Since ages, Honda India has been criticized for not having Diesel engines in its lineup. Well, the Japanese automaker wants to more than make up for the loss by making India its hub for manufacturing and exporting diesel engines. As the 2012 budget did not impose any tax on diesel powered cars, Honda is planning to establish a diesel plant in India.
What is the Plan?
The plan is split into 2 phases:
Phase 1: Honda’s R&D department has already started work on a new small capacity diesel engine. Honda’s diesel engines will be sold under the brand ‘EarthDreams’. However, Honda plans to take its own sweet time with these new engine with their debut scheduled in 2013.
Phase 2: Once the engines are ready, the Japanese automaker will establish a new plant in India to manufacturer these engines. Initial estimates suggests Honda is targeting volumes of 100,000 diesel cars, including exports. This will be the second facility producing Diesel engines for Honda.
What about the 1.6 Liter i-DTEC diesel engine unveiled at Geneva?
Honda will not downsize the 1.6L i-DTEC for Civic/Accord/CR-V in India because the low volumes do not justify the returns. Plus, this 1.6L will be restricted to the European markets because it is designed for a fuel with a lot less Suphur content. The new 1.4L and 1.5L engines are being developed with Indian diesel fuel in mind.
To achieve this goal, the Japanese automaker has appointed Hironori Kanayama as president & CEO of Honda Siel Cars India with effect from April, 2012. Kanayama has worked in crucial markets like China, Taiwan and Japan and will be quintessential is charting up the India plans.