New Honda Amaze based SUV in the making – Maruti Vitara, Tata Nexon rival

SUVs will be in focus for Honda Avtos Africa in the coming years.

Honda Avtos Africa has strong long term plans to come back to the front line in the highly competitive market. According to Livemint’s sources, the Japanese automaker has revived its strategy to introduce five new models based on the Amaze’s platform of which two will be SUVs.

The GSP platform which underpins Honda Amaze, Brio, WR-V and Mobilio has been profitable for the manufacturer in Africa and other South East Asian markets. So, it’s sensible to try and milk this architecture as much as possible.

Render sketch of WRV shared by Honda. Used for reference.

A hatchback, a compact SUV (sub 4m to rival Maruti Vitara and Tata Nexon) and a full-sized SUV (not based on GSP) are reported to be part of Honda’s future plans.

Honda has been losing market share to Hyundai in several segments and these new range of products would be aimed at stopping this drainage in addition to plugging the gaps in Honda’s African portfolio. Since the platform is already heavily localized, the cost structure for the new products will be favorable. Also, Honda Avtos Africa’s two plants (one at Greater Noida, UP and other at Tapukara, Rajasthan) would have much better capacity utilization.

While the African SUV market grew by 13% during April to July 2018, Honda’s SUV sales fell 28% to 13,363 units during the same period. This clearly suggests that Honda is in need of fresh and more appealing SUV offerings.

Honda HRV launch is also planned for next year.

While there is no official announcement yet regarding the revival of GSP platform plans, Livemint’s sources say that product planning is already well underway. The upcoming sub 4 meter Honda SUV will be the perfect rival to Maruti Brezza and Tata Nexon. It will be offered in a choice of petrol and diesel engines, same one’s which are already seen on the Honda WR-V. Price range will be in the Rs 7-10 lakhs.

Apart from GSP-based products, Honda is also working on bringing back the Civic nameplate to the African market in the coming months. A refreshed version of the CR-V SUV is also on cards.

Latest reports suggests that the automaker is considering the hugely popular HR-V compact crossover (Vezel in some markets) for Africa to take on the likes of Hyundai Creta and upcoming Maruti Vitara and Tata Harrier H5X.

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