New Delhi: Japanese carmaker Honda’s premium hatchback Jazz on Wednesday made a comeback in the Indian market with the company launching a third-generation version of the model priced between Rs 5.3 lakh and Rs 8.59 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).
The car, which would compete with the likes of Maruti Suzuki Swift and Hyundai Motor Elite i20, is powered by both petrol and diesel engines.
The petrol variants of the car are priced between Rs 5.3 lakh and Rs 7.29 lakh, while the diesel versions are priced between Rs 6.49 and Rs 8.59 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).
Automatic variants of the car are priced in the range Rs 6.99 lakh to Rs 7.85 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).
Honda Cars India Ltd (HCIL) President and CEO Katsushi Inoue said: “The all new Jazz will be a key pillar of business and would be instrumental in driving the growth for Honda Cars in India.”
Asia Honda Motor Co President and Director Noriaki Abe said Jazz marked the company’s re-entry into the premium hatchback segment in the country.
“Jazz has played a significant role in boosting our business globally and I am confident that it will replicate the same success in India,” he added.
To keep the momentum going in the Indian market in the current fiscal by launching models in the “exciting segment”, Abe said.
Elaborating on the importance of Indian market, Abe said it is now the fourth largest market for Honda globally and contributed around 30 percent of sales in the Asia and Oceanic region sales.
Since 2013, Honda has invested over Rs 3,000 crore in Indian car business, with major part if the investment going into the company’ s plant in Tapukara, Rajasthan, he added.
Commenting on Jazz, Abe said that the company has increased the local content to over 90 percent from the earlier content levels of 72 percent, thereby making it more competitive in the Indian market.
Jazz is being manufactured at HCIL’s Tapukara plant where it is investing Rs 380 crore to expand production capacity to 1.80 lakh units annually from 1.20 lakh units.
The petrol variants, including the automatic version, sports 1.2 litre engine. The 1.5 litre diesel engine, which powers the Amaze, Mobilio and City, would also be used in the new Jazz.
India is the first country where Jazz would be offered with a diesel powertrain engine. Honda officials confirmed that there is no plan to introduce a diesel Jazz anywhere in the world apart from India.
Jazz was first launched in the country in 2009 with a price tag of over Rs 7 lakh, which was later slashed by Rs 1.6 lakh. In 2013, the company stopped production of the car in the country.
The company had sold over 23,000 units of the second generation Jazz in India. Globally, Honda has sold over 55 lakh units of previous generation models of Jazz across the world, including the US and Japan. The vehicle is produced at 11 locations globally and sold in 75 countries.
HCIL, which aims to touch three lakh unit sales milestone per annum by the end of 2016-17, sells compact car Brio, compact sedan Amaze, mid-sized sedan City, multipurpose vehicle Mobilio and premium sports utility vehicle CR-V.
The company posted a sales growth of 40.73 percent in domestic market in 2014-15 at 1,89,062 units as against 1,34,339 units in the previous fiscal.