NEW DELHI: It’s the second coming for the Honda Jazz premium compact in India, and the pricing is competitive this time. Criticized for launching the car at Rs 7 lakh in its first innings in June 2009, a factor that led to its failure, Honda drove in the next-generation Jazz at an aggressive Rs 5.3 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi for the base petrol variant). With this, it is poised to take on Hyundai’s Elite i20 and Maruti’s Swift.
Honda, which faced a dull phase in India after a bright start, has been getting aggressive after driving in diesel-powered models. The Jazz is the latest in its portfolio and the company hopes to get a “respectable share” of the premium compact customers in this segment. At present, the premium compact market is dominated by Hyundai Elite i20. The new Jazz will have a 1,200cc petrol engine (Rs 5.3-7.29 lakh) and a 1,500cc diesel engine (Rs 6.49-8.59 lakh) and will be manufactured at Honda’s Tapukara plant in Rajasthan.
Katsushi Inoue, president & CEO of Honda Cars India, said the company will drive in new models. These are expected to include a compact SUV and an all-new car positioned below the small car Brio. “It is just a plan, and a study is on. The R&D department in Japan keeps looking at opportunities,” Inoue said, when asked whether the company plans to drive in cars to take on Maruti Suzuki’s Alto and Hyundai’s Eon.