Dongfeng-Honda is eying the compact SUV market in China which has just got a new entrant in the form of the Ford EcoSport.
The current era clearly belongs to the compact crossover SUVs and as we mentioned a number of times earlier, everybody wants one. For Dongfeng-Honda, the mini SUV segment in China is too big to postpone plans for it.
Speaking to Chinese media on the sidelines of the launch of the Honda CR-V 2WD (the relaunch of the old generation CR-V), Mr. Li Peng, deputy general manager, sales, Dongfeng-Honda hinted that the company will launch a mini SUV to rival the likes of the recently launched Ford EcoSport and the Buick Encore which is basically a badge engineered Chevy Trax.
There is a very good chance that the mini SUV in question is the production version of the Urban SUV concept that was unveiled at this year's Detroit Auto Show. Honda has announced that its sales begin in Japan by the end of 2013 and in the US next year. It will be made at Honda's Mexican plant with "Magic Seat configuration, advanced telematics and modern interior."
As for China, Mr. Li says that the car will not be launched at least till 2015.
The Urban SUV is based on the next generation Jazz platform which will also be shared by the next gen City.
Considering that the next gen Jazz and City are India bound, it makes total sense for Honda to bring the SUV as well. After all Honda now has a diesel engine to play with and the SUV market is relatively less crowded.