Honda Cars India Limited, the domestic subsidiary of Japanese multinational auto maker Honda Motor Co., has launched its Amaze entry level sedan in the domestic market on April 11, 2013. Amid immense buzz and hype in media, Honda Amaze hit the company stores with a starting price of Rs. 4.99 lakh (ex-showroom New Delhi), which puts it a stiff face off against the likes of Maruti Suzuki Swift DZire and Chevrolet Sail. As per reports, Honda Cars India saw its Amaze garnering 6,000 bookings by the domestic car enthusiasts in just 11 days.
Expressing his views on the launch of Amaze entry level sedan in the country, H. Kanayama, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Honda Cars India Limited, was quoted as saying, “Amaze has been developed keeping in view the Indian customer's needs. It is Honda's answer to Indian customer's longstanding demand for a Honda diesel and should have a strong acceptance.” He further added, “We have worked on aggressive localisation overcoming many challenges in terms of timelines, technology and costs to launch Amaze at an attractive and affordable price.”
By keeping pricing overtly competitive, Honda Cars India has pitched its Amaze in a cutthroat battle against the likes of Swift DZire and Chevy Sail. The petrol range of Honda Amaze falls within Rs. 4.99 lakh to Rs. 7.5 lakh, whereas diesel trims come with price tags between Rs. 5.99 lakh and Rs. 7.6 lakh. Maruti Suzuki offers its Swift DZire in the range (both petrol and diesel) starting from Rs. 4.92 lakh that goes on till Rs. 7.5 lakh. Further, General Motors India has tagged its Chevrolet Sail entry level sedan with retail values in the range between Rs. 4.99 lakh and Rs. 7.51 lakh. Evidently, the three rivals- Amaze, Swift DZire and Sail carry identical pricing, due to which some fireworks are expected soon in this segment.
At present, Swift DZire is the undisputed champion of the entry level segment and its popularity led General Motors India to accelerate its Chevy Sail launch plans in India. The arrival of Honda Amaze has definitely stirred up a new competition in the entry level fight club, which also features the likes of Tata Indigo eCS, Mahindra Verito, Ford Classic and Toyota Etios. Considering the 6,000 advanced bookings, it is clear that Amaze is going to be the next volume puller for the Japanese auto maker in the Indian auto market.
Speaking his mind on the impact of Honda Amaze in the entry level sedan segment, Deepesh Rathore, India Managing Director (MD) at IHS Automotive, was quoted as saying, “Honda will wean away some customers from DZire, but it will also expand the overall segment. The company however may not be able to come close to Maruti Suzuki's monthly volumes due to limited penetration in smaller cities, unlike Maruti which has spread all across the country.” He further added that the new Amaze would sell close to 4,000 units every month in India and the figure may improve to 5,000 units in the near future.
Speaking of under-the-hood specifications of Honda Amaze, the stylish entry level sedan is offered to Indian car enthusiasts in both petrol and diesel options. The petrol variant of Amaze comes fitted with a 1.2 litre i-VTEC motor sourced from Honda Brio that produces a peak power output of 87 bhp. The diesel Amaze is powered with the cutting edge and revolutionary 1.5 litre i-DTEC Earth Dreams power-mill, which produces an impressive peak power output of 99 bhp, along with an equally stunning fuel efficiency of 25.8 kmpl.
As per reports, entry level sedans contribute around 8 to 10 per cent of the domestic passenger car market and can be called the second fastest growing class of vehicle after utility vehicles. Therefore, the future of Honda Amaze sedan looks promising and the stunning model would definitely give its competition a run for their money in the Indian auto sector.