Honda now third-largest carmaker in India; overtakes Mahindra & Mahindra in July

Written by Roudra Bhattacharya | New Delhi | Updated: Aug 2 2014, 15:10pm hrs
Honda AmazeHonda's success has largely come on the back of a shift in focus to the mass market. (in pic: Honda Amaze - Car Dekho)
Japanese carmaker Honda has emerged as the third-largest carmaker in July with volumes rising 40% to 15,709 units, overtaking home grown player Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd which saw a 5% drop in monthly sales to 14,708 units.

With a market share that has more than doubled from about 3% in FY13 to almost 7% today (April-June FY15), Honda currently follows market leader Maruti Suzuki India and Hyundai, who command about 44% and 17% market share respectively.

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Honda's success has largely come on the back of a shift in focus to the mass market from the premium segments that started with the Brio launch in September 2011, but really gained strength after the Amaze- its first diesel model in India with an all-new 1.5 litre i-DTEC engine - was launched in April 2013. Thereafter the company launched the new City in January this year and the Mobilio MPV last month, both of which also sport the same diesel engine. The City and the Amaze have both been strong success with monthly volumes upwards of 7,000 units.

"We actually have a capacity constraint and are currently making as much cars as we can. We will have to soon see when to start the second shift at the new Tapukara plant," Jnaneswar Sen, senior VP for marketing & sales said. Honda currently operates two plants at Greater Noida and Tapukara (Rajasthan) with a combined output of 1.4 lakh units a year.

Volumes are likely to only grow from here with the launch of the new Jazz early next year that will be Honda's first diesel hatchback in the market. Industry sources said that this will be followed by a compact SUV on the Brio/Jazz platform, a new small car below the Brio, a diesel variant of the CR-V and the new Accord.