The Honda Civic sedan and the CR-V SUV were axed from the Japanese automaker’s portfolio in India following the company’s decision to end manufacturing activities at its Greater Noida plant closure. Both models were installed in a CKD (totally knocked down) kit in the Uttar Pradesh factory, in addition to the famous City sedan that was manufactured there.
- Slow-seller Honda Civic and CR-V axed
- The City is now part of Honda’s India portfolio
- Honda’s full production operations have shifted solely to the Tapukara plant
Honda has transferred the production of the City to its Tapukara, Rajasthan factory, but the plant can only handle the manufacture of vehicles of a certain scale, which has contributed to the discontinuation of the company’s flagship sedan and SUV on our market. The Rajasthan plant also serves as the production center for Amaze, Jazz and WR-V.
Following its current change, Honda has ensured that it will continue to satisfy the service and spare component requirements of its current Civic and CR-V customers for a period of 15 years.
Why is Honda Civic and CR-V Greater Noida plant closure?
Honda sold 45,690 vehicles in the period April-November of FY2021, of which Civic and CR-V accounted for just 850 units and 104 units, respectively. Although the effect of COVID-19 cannot be overlooked, both vehicles were slow-selling to the brand even before the pandemic.
Launched at Rs 17.70-22.30 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), the current-gen Civic was overpriced, with only the more powerful and better-equipped Skoda Octavia placed marginally higher. Likewise, at Rs 28.15-32.75 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), the new CR-V dropped on the expensive side of the category in which it competed. The fact that Honda had overplayed its hand on the price front was obvious from the fact that both models were on sale with substantial discounts at the dealer level, month after month.
The engine line-up was another part of their armor. Not only did the powertrains lack full force, but there were also some significant omissions, such as the lack of petrol-manual and diesel-automatic options for the Civic. In comparison, despite the premium positioning, the company has struggled to develop more powerful engine options available abroad.
High costs, an ill-considered powertrain approach and a strong lack of attention from Honda, then prevented Civic and CR-V from gaining real market traction, with the current economic downturn the last straw.
The company has confirmed that it is targeting a long-term presence in our market and that its new move has not restricted any potential product investment plans.
The Greater Noida plant has been in service since 1997 and had an annual capacity of 1,000,000 units. By moving all manufacturing activities to Rajasthan, Honda is now hoping that domestic and export demand would help to make better use of the 1,80,000 Tapukara annual capacity unit that went online in 2014.
Honda’s decision to draw the curtains on its signature products while rethinking its manufacturing activities is aimed at improving operational performance and safeguarding India’s future.
Honda Civic India: A Short History
In 2006, Honda debuted the Civic Moniker in India for an eighth-gen model. The sedan was sold with a 1.8-liter petrol engine coupled to a manual or torque converter automatic transmission. A 1.3-liter petrol mill and a CVT gearbox were also on sale. Suffering from the lack of an oil burner on a market that was quickly shifting toward diesel at the time, Honda India shut down the Civic in 2012.
After a brief break, Civic returned to our market in March 2019. The facelifted 10th-gen model was launched with an improved 1.8-litre petrol engine coupled to a CVT gearbox and a 1.6-liter diesel engine coupled to a manual transmission.
Interestedly, although the current-generation petrol Civic has seen its continued service until the latest announcement, the diesel variant has been discontinued for a limited time until the BS6 variant is available in July 2020. This indicates that the positioning of the business in Civic has shifted quite rapidly, with the car being axled just a few months back.
The decision of Honda to tap into the India model also arises as it is planning for the launch of the eleventh generation Civic in 2021.
Therefore, Hyundai Elantra has the entire executive sedan market in India before next year’s latest Skoda Octavia arrives.
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A short history for Honda CR-V, India.
Honda joined its Indian portfolio in 2004 with the second-generation CR-V. Two versions of the SUV were offered as a complete import on our market before the 4th-gen model was introduced on the CKD route in 2013.
Honda brought in our nation five years back, the fifth-generation CR-V. When only 2.0 and 2.4 liters were offered here with previous models, the new edition of the SUV marked the first day with a 1.6 liter diesel engine the first time (which, ironically, was discontinued the switch to BS6 earlier this year). The 2.0-liter oil mill was also available.
In our market, the CR-V rallied against people like Volwagen Tiguan Allspace, Hyundai Tucson and Jeep Compass. Like the Civic, the CR-V has already been revised and unveiled for the international markets “as reported by www.autocarindia.com”.