Honda Cars targets 8% growth

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Hopes to sell 17,000 units in March to close FY19 with total sales of 1.80 lakh PVs

Honda Cars India expects to close the current fiscal with a growth of 8% as against a likely 3% sales growth for the passenger vehicle (PV) segment, its president and CEO Gaku Nakanishi said on Thursday.

“In case of Honda, till February we saw a growth of 6.5%. For March, we are forecasting sales of 17,000 units, taking our annual sales to over 1.80 lakh units, which will be a growth of about 8% over the previous year,” Mr. Nakanishi said.

The company sold 1,66,585 units in the 11-month period from April 2018 to February 2019. It sold 1.7 lakh units in the 2017-18 financial year.

In an interview to The Hindu in October last, Mr. Nakanishi had said that the company was eyeing a double-digit growth. He, however, said that the company would “catch up, or even better the market growth.”

Talking about the industry, he said that it may see a growth of only 3%, which was “lower than our expectations,” impacted by factors such as a weakening rupee, increasing fuel and insurance costs, and low availability of finance due to liquidity crunch faced by NBFCs. Honda Cars, which on Thursday launched the latest version of its Civic sedan priced between ₹17.7 lakh and ₹22.3 lakh, is also looking to fill gaps in its SUV line-up, going forward.

However, Mr. Nakanishi did not share details.

Sedan portfolio

The launch of the all new Civic “completes our sedan portfolio in India. Now we have to work harder for the SUV segment,” Mr. Nakanishi said. The all-new Civic comes in petrol as well as diesel variants. The company claims that the petrol variant would achieve a fuel efficiency of 16.5 km per litre, while the diesel version would offer 26.8 km per litre.

The company had launched the Civic in India in 2006, selling 55,000 units till 2013 when it was discontinued.

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