- “The Shift to Diesel Took Us By Surprise.” Interview: Jnaneswar Sen, Honda Car India
Jnaneswar Sen, Senior VP – Marketing and Sales, Honda Car India
Jnaneswar Sen has years of experience in the automotive industry. Prior to joining Honda Car India, he was with Maruti Udyog limited for almost 15 years. In Kolkata for the regional launch of the all-new Honda Amaze sedan, Sen spoke to autojunction.in about the Amaze, new products in the pipeline, and the company’s diesel strategy. Edited excerpts below.
AJ: Why did Honda take a long time to bring a diesel car to the Indian market?
JS: Honda’s first ever diesel model was launched in Europe only 10 years ago, in 2003. In India, the new Amaze is our first diesel car, but to be honest with you, we really didn’t feel a pressing need for a diesel. The shift to diesel (in the market) did take us by surprise, and the skewed fuel pricing on account of diesel subsidies was largely responsible for this. However, at Honda we believe in developing our own technology and being best in class and with the new 1.5-litre iDTEC we have the best diesel engine in this class.
AJ: Can you shed some light on the ‘dieselisation’ by Honda? Will we see other models within the family using this engine?
JS: Not for the time being. Let me make it clear that the Amaze will be the only diesel car from Honda for the time being. The Brio will not get a diesel engine just now, and neither will the City, as has been speculated.
AJ: What products does Honda have lined up in the pipeline?
JS: (Gestures with an open palm) We have 5 new products lined up for India over the next three years. Presently we operate in only 10 percent of the car market, but let me tell you we will soon have a presence across 50 percent of the market segments.
The Amaze is our first product. Next year, we will see the new Jazz, and also a new 7-seater MPV. The year after that, we will see the new compact SUV and the new City.
AJ: Will these future models be available with this diesel engine?
JS: (Smiles) Yes.
AJ: You mentioned Honda will have a presence in 50 percent of the market’s segments. Can you tell us what market share you’re targeting?
If you ask me the target for the year, I honestly don’t know. We take it month by month. Presently we have 10 percent market share. I do not control the market, so how can I control market share?
AJ: What are Honda Car India’s export plans?
JS: India will become a hub for diesel engine parts. We will export parts such as the crankshaft, engine block and head to the UK, where it will be assembled and sold. As far as CBUs are concerned, we export to neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan. We’ve also begun exports to South Africa (Brio) and these will continue.
In FY12 we exported parts worth INR 330 crore, and this will go up to INR 500 crore in FY14.
AJ: Any plans to make India a global small car hub for Honda?
JS: See, around the world, Honda has more than 100 factories. The focus of these factories is always production to satisfy local demand. That is Honda’s philosophy, and that is what we believe is the most cost-effective way to manufacture cars.
AJ: You sell the Accord and CR-V with a diesel engine in Europe. Any plans to launch the diesel variants in India?
JS: Given the volumes, we currently cannot achieve economies of scale. We are happy with the sales of the CR-V and Accord. These are niche models in India, but they have a loyal customer following and our in-house research indicates that these buyers prefer petrol.
AJ: The Civic has been discontinued. Any plans to bring the new Civic into India later?
JS: We will see. Nothing has been finalised either way.
Honda Car Features
Jnaneswar Sen has years of experience in the automotive industry. Prior to joining Honda Car India, he was with Maruti Udyog limited for almost 15 years. In Kolkata for the regional launch of the all-new Honda Amaze sedan, Sen spoke to autojunction.in about the Amaze, new products in the pipeline, and the company’s diesel strategy.
- Formula 1
- Volvo Car Corporation
- Audi R18
- Auto Expo
- Car care tips
- FIA WEC
- Land Rover
- Maruti Suzuki
- Nico Rosberg
- Tata Motors
- Volvo Technology
- 'diesel tax'
- Audi R18 e-tron quattro
- Audi R18 LMP1
- Audi India
- Audi Driving Experience
- Audi A8
- Anti-lock Braking System
- Anti-lock Brakes
- Andre Schürrle
- Alto 800
- Allgäu-Orient Rally
- Active Safety Test Area AB
- Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose
- 24 Hours of Le Mans
- 1956 MG Magnette ZA
- 1933 Humber
- 1932 Ford V8 DeLuxe Phaeton
- 1926 Auburn Tourer
- 1925 Fiat Tipo 103
- 1924 Rolls-Royce 20 HP Barker Tourer (GLK 21)
- 1906 Renault Freres
- 14th Maruti Suzuki Raid-de-Himalaya