Takuya Tsumura, President and CEO of Honda Cars India, confirmed in a recent interview that his company intends to enter the lucrative SUV segment next year. “The SUV market has grown robustly and now accounts for around 50% of the overall passenger vehicle segment,” he was quoted as saying. We are not taking part in that segment. We are confident that by introducing the SUV next year, we will increase volumes.”
According to reports, the Japanese manufacturer Honda is working on two SUVs for India, one compact and one midsize. Honda’s domestic portfolio has shrunk to Amaze, City, Jazz, and WR-V following the discontinuation of the CR-V and Civic due to the closure of the Greater Noida plant, with the sedan duo garnering higher sales volumes.
With the Jazz and WR-futures V’s uncertain, the upcoming compact SUV, internally codenamed 3US, is significant because it could replace the Jazz-platform-based WR-V crossover. Tata Nexon, Maruti Suzuki Brezza, Hyundai Venue, Kia Sonet, Mahindra XUV300, Nissan Magnite, and Renault Kiger are likely competitors.
Honda wants to get in on the action in the sub-four-meter SUV segment, which has seen a lot of activity in recent years. The Honda 3US will most likely be built on the same platform as the Amaze sedan and will be sold in both domestic and international markets from the brand’s Tapukara plant in Rajasthan.
While recent rumors suggest that Honda will no longer sell diesel engines due to more stringent upcoming emission standards, it will be interesting to see if the 1.5-liter i-DTEC diesel engine will be available in the compact SUV. However, the 1.2-liter i-VTEC petrol engine used in the Amaze is very likely.
There is also the possibility of the CVT being sold as an option. The compact SUV could arrive in the middle of next year, while an all-new midsize SUV based on the City is expected to arrive in early 2024.