Honda India rules out ‘cross’ variant on new Jazz; Sporty ‘RS’ variant could happen – IAB Report
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First Jazz to come with a diesel engine.
As Honda Cars India is gearing up for the launch of the new third generation Honda Jazz, the company’s Senior Vice President for Marketing & Sales, Mr. Jnaneswar Sen, interacted with Indian Autos Blog over an email and answered a few of our questions.
Our first question was with regards to the new Jazz’s localization strategy, to which Mr. Sen did not specifically give out the Indian Jazz’s localization content, but said that volume models currently sold (Honda City, Honda Amaze, Honda Mobilio) have a local content of over 90 percent. Given that the Jazz shares its platform and many parts with the City, a similar number can be expected for the hatchback as well. Mr. Sen confirmed that the car will be produced at the Tapukara plant in Rajasthan.
Honda’s previous launch in India, the Mobilio, saw the sporty ‘RS’ variant being launched alongside the regular model. When asked about sporty variants for the Jazz, Mr. Sen said “it is too early to talk about the other variants”, lending us to believe that a similar plan could be in store for the hatchback as well. In markets abroad, the Jazz is offered with a myriad of customization options ranging from ‘Modulo’ kits, to ‘Mugen’ performance upgrades.
Three of the Jazz’s competitors in India – the Hyundai Elite i20, VW Polo and Fiat Punto Evo – have spawned ‘cross’ variants (Hyundai i20 Active, VW Cross Polo and Fiat Avventura) which further add to the sales numbers. A recent report indicated that Honda was considering a cross variant on the new Jazz for the Brazilian market, where it would replace the previous generation Honda Fit Twist – a cross variant of the second generation Jazz. For the Indian market however, Mr. Sen said there “is no plan to introduce a cross version on the Jazz”, at least in the immediate future.
The new Jazz will however launch with a 1.2-liter petrol and a 1.5-liter diesel engine. The former will reportedly come with a manual and a CVT option.
Rivals: Tata Bolt, Fiat Punto Evo, VW Polo, Maruti Swift, Hyundai Elite i20
Expected Price: INR 5-7 lakhs, ex-Showroom
Launch date in India: June-July 2015