While a few Honda fanboys might have been eager for this product to hit showrooms, it is now being reported that Honda might not launch the HR-V SUV in India. This is a surprising move as the brand was nearly prepared to introduce this SUV and position it between the BR-V and CR-V in our market. The HR-V when launched would have rivaled the likes of Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, MG Hector and Nissan Kicks.
The primary reason for this launch being cancelled for India could be the pricing. Honda had managed to only manage 30% localisation of parts for the HR-V SUV which would make it very expensive. Also, looking at the aggressively priced recent launches like the Kia Seltos and MG Hector would have added to the drama. Honda might have considered this not too strong a product at the higher price tag, and hence the investment would not be justified.
Internally codenamed as the 2XV, the project for introducing the mid-size SUV was in full swing though. Honda had also managed to have 2 trial productions of the HR-V at their plant with a few prototypes produced and the final trial production could have started this month. Honda was initially planning to have mass manufacturing of the HR-V SUV by December 2019. But with 70% components having to be imported from Japan, Thailand & China; the HR-V could very well have become the most expensive in its class.
Another point to be noted is that the HR-V, also known as Vezel in some markets is a 5-seater SUV and is already nearing the end of its life cycle. So it made no sense in introducing a car so late to our market, which would turn out to be too expensive, not have sales and then phase out in markets abroad. Honda considered the HR-V for India back in 2013, but the SUV wasn’t given a green signal. Given the fact that the Honda BR-V has prices ranging from INR 9.52 – 13.82 lakh ex-showroom, the HR-V would have landed in a segment higher without adding that much value.
Honda’s next product for India is expected to be the new-generation City sedan. The 5th generation Honda City in India is also expected to debut with a mild-hybrid system.