Honda has introduced the Elevate SUV specifically designed for the Indian market, marking the first of five SUVs that the company plans to launch in the country by 2030. Bookings for the Honda Elevate will begin next month, and the official launch is scheduled before the festive season.
Honda’s Strategy for SUVs in India
Takuya Tsumura, the president and CEO of Honda Cars India, stated, “We have developed a comprehensive product strategy for India. Our plan is to introduce five SUVs by 2030. While Elevate will have a significant presence in India, it will also serve as a key export hub for this model in the future. Additionally, within the following three years, Honda Cars India plans to release an Elevate electrified model.”
Earlier this year, Honda announced its plan to introduce a new model each year in India, including hybrids and electric vehicles (EVs). Honda is also looking into the prospect of introducing premium vehicles through the Completely Built-Up (CBU) and Completely Knocked Down (CKD) channels in India in order to strengthen the Honda brand there.
Positioning of the Elevate SUV as a Competitor to Hyundai Creta
Honda’s entry into the midsize SUV segment comes at a time when SUVs have become dominant in the market, accounting for over 40 percent of the overall market share. The Honda Elevate will compete in the midsize SUV sector, which is now India’s second-largest sub-segment. It will compete with popular models such as the Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, and Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara.
The company considers the Elevate to be its third key pillar in the Indian market, alongside the City and Amaze models. It aims to strengthen its presence in the rapidly growing SUV segment.
Manufacturing and Dealership Upgrades
To accommodate the Elevate and future products, Honda has increased production capacity at its Tapukara facility in Rajasthan. The daily manufacturing capacity has been raised from 540 vehicles to 660 vehicles per day as of Q1 2023.
In preparation for the Elevate launch, Honda Cars India has invested ₹260 crores in upgrading its dealership network. The new customer interface (CI) is being implemented across showrooms. The brand currently has 326 outlets in 238 cities, with strong demand for its existing offerings in smaller cities. Honda reports that Tier 3 cities contribute to about 30 percent of its overall sales. The Elevate will be launched in India first, followed by other global markets.