Honda India exploring new markets to export cars

08/08/2012 - 12:00 | ,   | Shrawan Raja

2012 Honda City tail lampsYesterday we did a story yesterday on how India-made petrol cars are shining in South Africa, and today we have news on another prospective player, interested in taking to exports, to make it through the tough times in India.

Honda is working on adding more countries to its export roster, if a report on Economic Times is to be believed. Honda is already exporting locally manufactured vehicles to immediate neighbors Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh in limited volumes.

Its ability to make cars at a competitive price, and the falling demand for its petrol cars in the domestic market could lead to Honda India taking exports very seriously.

Maruti Suzuki saw the petrol sales drop as an opportunity to export the Swift Dzire to African, South American and Middle Eastern countries. Toyota will ship at least 20,000 petrol variants of the Etios to South Africa annually, while Figo petrol variants are clocking impressive numbers in South Africa and Mexico. Nissan India exports the Micra across the world and is shipping Sunny to Middle Eastern markets.

The report cites Thailand as the main source of supply of Honda cars for African countries. This could soon change as India may take over the responsibility of exporting cars to these countries. Honda manufactures RHD versions of compact cars in India such as the Brio, Jazz and City. The Brio and City could be exported to these countries and in the meanwhile, Honda could identify new markets.

Honda's export business has a bright future as more segments could witness Honda's participation. We have read reports that opportunities are being explored on the Brio platform, which could yield two bigger body-styles in the coming years. A mass-market sedan and MPV could be useful inclusions, not only to reach more customers in India, but also to the export lineup.

Honda already sells the Brio in Indonesia, while plans were unraveled recently for an Australian debut. We are keeping a close eye on the Brio's passport, as it plans more overseas journeys.

Once diesel technology is available in the B and C segments, Honda cars will be back in the hunt in India. The export story need not end there as its production capacity can certainly be increased when its second plant in Tapukara, Rajasthan, comes online.

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