So, the new Honda City is finally here. It is the fourth generation of the sedan and yes, it now gets a much-awaited, much-anticipated diesel engine. But…
So, the new Honda City is finally here. It is the fourth generation of the sedan and yes, it now gets a much-awaited, much-anticipated diesel engine. This is a huge occasion and people are already going bonkers over the new car. And why should they not? For more than a decade, the City has held a special place in the hearts of people. Not just this, it has actually been one of the best-selling sedan models in India. In a mileage/diesel driven automobile industry like ours, the City has held its place purely on its petrol mill, and this is a clear indicator of how very good that unit was/is. Honda also hit the jackpot with the Amaze diesel. Considering the fact that it is this same diesel unit that is going to power the City diesel, other car brands have a lot to fear. Now although all of this sounds and looks perfect on paper, there is a lot more than meets the eye.
Throughout last year, the automobile industry has been facing a turndown. The depreciating rupee and rising import costs only worsened things. On the other hand, the market has literally seen a barrage of new vehicles and the consumer now has a whole lot more options to choose from. At this point, no brand can safely talk of a domination/monopoly. A ‘people’s brand’ like Maruti, which at one point had waiting periods for almost all its big-sellers, has practically no waiting period on any of its vehicles.
2013 saw Honda make huge inroads with its Amaze diesel. Honda’s motive back then was to introduce a compact sedan for the Indian market. In my opinion, Honda should have acted on its ‘City’ plans then. They should have introduced the fourth generation City with the diesel engine before the Amaze. This would have given them a huge market share to capture. At a price below Rs 8 lakh, the City diesel would actually be a steal considering that it is an upmarket sedan and also a true heartthrob.
When City was first launched in India, there really was no major competition. The car cashed in on its ‘enthusiast’ and the whole upmarket feel. But now, the competition is massive. I reiterate, I do not say that the new car will not sell, in fact it could go on to break records (considering the kind of surprises our car industry throws all the time). But I definitely feel, Honda could have timed it better, brought it in early. Probably, the early second quarter of 2013?