Honda is planning to launch a new SUV in the Indian market. The brand has remained away from the SUV segment for quite some time now. At the same time, the Indian market is observing a sharp trend towards the SUV segment. According to reports, till July 2021, the SUV segment gained around 34% of the market share, and the sedans have taken quite a hit due to this trend shift. To counter this, Honda could be developing a new SUV specifically for India. The brand has been slow to make a move but better late than never.
SUV Segment Competition Check
In the Indian market, the SUV segment is one of the most hotly contested sections. When Honda launches its SUV in India, the car will compete with the Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, Skoda Kushaq, Volkswagen Taigun, Tata Harrier and MG Hector. Reports suggest that the Honda SUV will come with a 5-seater two-row and 7-seater three-row option. With the three-row option, the Honda SUV will further compete with the Hyundai Alcazar, Tata Safari, MG Hector Plus, and the Mahindra XUV700.
Honda S-SUV (Code: 31XA)
According to sources, the upcoming Honda SUV will be internally known as S-SUV and codenamed 31XA. But the brand recently filed the ELEVATE moniker in the Indian market. This leads us to believe that Honda could name the car Elevate. Reports suggest that Honda will develop the S-SUV from grounds up and it will be India-specific. But we think, to balance the economies of scale, Honda will develop the SUV in India for the world. The brand is also likely to use the Honda City platform and powertrains for techno-economic viability. Reportedly Honda is likely to achieve around 90 per cent localisation and price the SUV aggressively in the Indian market.
Honda N7X – New 7-seater eXitement
Recently, Honda revealed the N7X, a cross between an MPV (Multi-Purpose Vehicle) and an SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle) in Indonesia. There is also a possibility that the mid-size SUV for India will be related to the N7X concept. The brand also shifted its complete production operation to Tapukara, shutting down the Gurugram plant, optimising its installed capacity further. While both plants were churning at 30% capacity, the single Tapukara manufacturing plant is now running at 70% capacity. If the brand uses the City platform, Honda may not need to retool the Tapukara plant to accommodate the new SUV.