Honda is planning to launch a diesel variant of its sedan City in India. The sedan has been facing stiff competition of late in the Indian market. A lot of new car buyers are preferring a diesel variant which is helping cars like Volkswagen Vento (sold in both petrol and diesel options) eat into the market share of City. Volkswagen sold 3,973 units of Vento in March this year compared to sales of 2,773 units reported by Honda City in the same month.
The petrol variant of Honda City
Interestingly 65% cars sold by competitors of Honda City run on diesel. City has been the best selling car of the premium mid-sized sedan segment for long, but was beaten by Volkswagen Vento in sales for the last two months. Honda is already developing a diesel engine for the car. Jnaneswar Sen, senior vice-president (sales & marketing) of Honda Siel Cars India has confirmed the company is developing the same in Japan, and that it could take more than two years.
The competition is heating up in the premium mid-sized sedan segment of India. The sales of the segment is rising 25% a year on an average, and 140,000 units were sold in the financial year 2010-11. The segment is set for more competition with the recent launch of Hyundai new Verna, with diesel variants priced between Rs 8.09 lakh and Rs 10.75 lakh. Ford is also likely to launch new Fiesta in both petrol and diesel variants in July this year.