Honda Cars India CEO, Yoichiro Ueno, has confirmed that Honda will not launch a new product below the Honda Brio to rival the Renault Kwid or the upcoming Hyundai A-segment hatchback (Santro successor).
Mr Ueno was quoted saying:
Brio will remain our entry-level car even when the BS-VI emission norms come into force (by 2020). This speculation (on a car below Brio) was always a speculation which we had never commented on. Moreover, we are known for our premiumness and will never dilute that by launching any car below Rs. 5 lakh at a time when the market dynamics are changing.
Honda has always maintained a premium brand status in the country, spearheaded by the success of its mid-size Honda City. Launching an A-segment hatchback could be detrimental to the premium image they've cultivated since operations began. Instead, the Brio will stay Honda's entry level product, which will rival the sub-4m B-Segment hatchbacks like the Maruti Swift, Ford Figo, and Hyundai Grand i10.
The Japanese manufacturer is currently working on the next generation Brio, which is reported to be a global model, and not exclusive to the Asian countries. Codnamed 2UA, it is expected to be revealed next year. Honda India will have a major hand in the development of the next-gen Brio series, so expect Honda's INR sub-10 lakh cars to be further tailored-made for the Indian market. Prior to the Brio or the decision to introduce it, the company will launch the next-gen Honda Amaze in 2018.