The Japanese carmaker Honda launched the newest version of their best-selling sedan the Honda City. The fifth generation of the popular sedan had seen its launch delayed by over three months thanks to the Coronavirus lockdown but with production resuming at Honda’s factory at Surajpur near Greater Noida, Honda has gone ahead with the launch.
The new iteration of the car features several improvements and is significantly longer and wider than the previous model, however, the previous model will continue to be sold in the Indian market for the time being.
Gaku Nakanishi, President and CEO, Honda Cars India said that this was because the carmaker felt that the new car was ‘step above’ the earlier model as well as the rest of the competition. The fifth-generation Honda City will be available in both Diesel and Petrol engines with the latter featuring a CVT automatic transmission option as well. Prices for the new car range from Rs 10.89 lakh to Rs 14.64 lakh and are available in three trim levels.
However with the negative sentiment in the Indian economy after the virulent spread of the Coronavirus, Nakanishi did not expect sales to fully recover until the first quarter of 2021, “Only in January to March, 2021 will we actually start to see sales showing an increase on a year to year basis.” Honda has been impacted by the lockdown situation as well, even though many of their dealerships are now open, several have had to be shut after some states have introduced a renewed lockdown. Their factory at Surajpur has also suffered with last weekend’s lockdown announcement in Uttar Pradesh catching them by surprise, however Nakanishi said that the carmaker was working with the local administration to ensure that the parts hub can continue functioning and that Honda Cars usually shut for the weekend any which way.