Honda Cars India’s exports keep pace with domestic market sales | Autocar Professional


Honda Cars India, which retails the Amaze and City sedans along with the Elevate midsize SUV, has reported domestic market sales of 4,822 units in May 2024, up 3% year on year (May 2023: 4,660 units). Like other OEMs, the company too was impacted by challenging market conditions due to heat-wave conditions in the sweltering month of May resulting in weaker showroom traffic.

The Japanese carmaker, which closed FY2024 with total passenger vehicle sales of 86,584 units, is benefitting from its recent entry into the booming SUV market with the Elevate.

In CY2023, Honda’s domestic market wholesales were 84,289 units and exports comprised 25,854 units. A back-of-the-envelope data check of the company’s dispatches in the first five months of CY2024 reveals that domestic market sales at 32,067 units (up 5%) are already 38% of CY2023 sales, and exports at 30,364 units have exceeded CY2023’s overseas shipments (up 255%) by 4,510 units with seven months to go for the year to close.

Interestingly at this stage, domestic market and export sales are separated by just 1,703 units. And that’s the result of the company’s receiving a shot in the arm with rising exports of the Elevate SUV to its home market of Japan.

Built on Honda’s Global Small Car platform, the Elevate is benefiting from the rising demand in India for midsize SUVs and has been instrumental in bringing Honda Cars India ‘back in the game’, particularly in the booming SUV segment where it was missing on the action big time. The Indian utility vehicle industry hit record sales of over half-a-million units – 25,20,691 – and the Elevate gave Honda a 1.33% market share compared to FY2023’s 0.24 percent.

India is the first country in the world to manufacture and sell the Elevate, which has a localisation level of more than 90 percent. 

Over 15,000 Elevates shipped to Japan
While the Elevate has brought Honda ‘back in the game’ in India, it has also given a new charge to Honda Cars India’s export programme. The company has begun exporting the made-in-Tapukara (Rajasthan plant) SUV to Japan last year, where it has been badged as the ‘WR-V’ or Winsome Runabout Vehicle.

From the commencement exports to Japan, Honda Cars India has shipped 12,733 units till end-April 2024, which means with the addition of May 2024 numbers that total would have crossed 15,000.

Honda Motor Co, which launched and began selling the made-in-India WR-V in Japan on March 22, 2024, has targeted monthly sales of 3,000 units, which translates into 36,000 units annually.

India is the first country to manufacture and sell the Elevate, which has a localisation level of more than 90%, globally. Honda’s export strategy aims to make India as an important export hub for the new model to other parts of the world, catering to the robust demand for SUVs globally.


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