'Honda to motor down Jazz in India in 2009'

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Bangalore, Oct 21: Honda Siel Cars India will bring its small car Jazz to India in the middle of next year, a company official said.

Speaking on the sidelines of a function to release the premium car maker's new version of third generation Honda City here today, Mr A V Prabhu Kumar, Zonal Head (South) said the car would be manufactured at its two plants -- Noida and the new plant, which is almost ready for operation, at Vivadi in Rajasthan. ''Though Jazz is going to be one of the models in premium segment among small cars, it would attract just a half of Excise Duty and compared to mid sized cars, will be priced attractively.

''Compared to 24 per cent Excise Duty for medium sized cars, Jazz, due to its small size, carries a duty of just 12 per cent,'' he said.

The official said the new plant would begin production later this year and the company was focused in strengthening the Honda City's, in its new avtar, share in the C Segment.

At present, it had a market share of 24 per cent in C Segment, he added.

''India is the largest market for Honda City in the world and we want to further bolster it.

''The new model is aesthetically appealing, strong and sleek exterior in style. We had sold 26,000 units last year and so far we have sold 17,000 during the current fiscal,'' he claimed.

Mr Kumar said the new model was just released in Thailand market in September and would be available for Indian car owners in mid November. Our dealers have started taking bookings for the new Honda City,'' he said.

He said the total car sales for Honda was 62,000 last year and it was expected to go up to 65,000 to 70,000 this year.

Earlier, after releasing the new model, Mr Tatsuya Natsume, Director - Marketing, said the third generation Honda City was equipped with a 1.5 litre four cylinder i-VTEC engine which delivers a power of 118 PS while providing good fuel economy similar to City ZX.

The company is offering three variants of the new model and it cost Rs 7.88 lakh, Rs 8.38 lakh and Rs 9.08 lakh, respectively.


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