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Acknowledging the importance of the small car segment in the domestic automobile sector, Japanese car major Honda Siel Cars India (HSCI) has decided to advance the launch of its maiden small car Jazz to the middle of next year. Honda was planning to launch the car from its upcoming Tapukara plant but has now decided to roll it out from its mother plant in Greater Noida.

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KOLKATA (Reuters) - The Indian unit of Japan's Honda Motor Co expects to launch its first small car around the middle of 2009, a company official said on Wednesday.

The hatchback named "Jazz" will be initially rolled out from a plant in north India, Jnaneswar Sen, vice president of marketing at Honda Siel Cars India Ltd, said on the sidelines of a news conference.

He did not give the price of the car.

Competition is set to increase in India with Tata Motors scheduled to soon launch the Nano, billed as the world's cheapest car with a price tag of about $2,000, and a clutch of others eyeing the small car market.

General Motors said in August it planned to launch a global small car, which would have design inputs from India, in the second half of 2009.

Sen said the company was also working on a smaller car for India that would be ready for launch in three years.

"The second smaller hatchback car mainly for India is being designed by a research team in Japan," he said.

Honda, which makes premium sedans Honda City, Civic and Accord in India, is ramping up annual capacity to 160,000 cars with its new plant in Rajasthan.

"The first phase of the new plant is ready and it will start making cars by 2009 end," Sen said

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ya though it will be expensive but Indian people are welcoming premium hatches as if one have many cars but then there should be good city car which has features,looks and also snob value...So rich people prefer these premium hatches for city use as before the same people ended up buying Honda City or even Octy as city cars...Even when we bought getz, 5lacs for Hatch was expensive at that time as it was 1st of its class in India but then we had budget and wanted to buy good small yet spacious car replacing our Santro but without a boot and were fed up from those Santro/wagonR as we had good budget so we ended up with Getz..Even Fabia is getting good response for this reason only.. bluesapphire2008-10-21 08:04:42

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Not so good news

Honda Siel, which is putting up a Rs 1,000-crore plant in Rajasthan for the Jazz small car, is now planning to roll it out of its existing Surajpur facility, pushing back the vehicle rollout date from the new plant by 6-12 months due to slowdown in the Indian market. It will also prune its proposed investments and cut back on hiring for the second phase of the new plant, say sources.

Speaking to ET, Honda Siel Cars India president & CEO Masahiro Takedagawa said:

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It was expected to be lauched in June 09 ( after Honda pre poned its plans).

It would be quite sad if its further delayed. Only one company will be rejoicing . Hyundai ! They will enjoy sales of i20 as long as Jazz is away.

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The Jazz would be a great car. Just hope its not priced above 6 lacs for 1.2 l engine. For the amount of space it has it would be perfect alternative for a sedan in todays traffic. If its getting launched in June 09 it would be great. Quite a lot of buyers waiting for it.

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honda jazz below 6 l is out of question. yes speed it would be against fabia and around 6.5L to 8L range but if delayed the launching of it then surely i20 is goin to catch few more buyers as it is also a good product as what we saw the reviews till date..

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Jazz would go head to head against Fabia & not really i20' date=' I would expect a price tag of ~ 7-8L for the Jazz.

[/quote']

Not really the i20??? What makes you say that?? Wait for the i20 price . i20 Petrol will go head on with Jazz & Fabia. Pricing of Jazz depends on the engine range it gets. If 1.2 is priced between say 6-6.5 and 1.3 VTEC is priced around 7-7.5 lacs with all the bells and whistles it might be ok. I dont think Fabia made a great impact on the premium hatcback segment. i20 & Jazz will surely do the duty.

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If you see the history of cars in India, Honda has always commanded a premium for its cars & went on to price them more than the competition, especially if its with Koreans!

Jazz would be priced 50k-1L more than the i20 IMO.

Also Fabia is  natural competition as Skoda's diesel cars go against Honda petrols! Maybe i20 diesel will be competition for Jazz, not the i20 petrol anyway.

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@Speed- I beg to differ.No doubt that Jazz will be more pricey. But Hyundai aint that far in overpricing. There is no doubt that i20 crdi and Fabia diesel will eat some sales of Jazz cos of its diesel.  I think the following would most probably happen :

Jazz 1.2 vs i20 Kappa vs Fabia 1.2 .

Fabia 1.4 tdi vs i20 crdi vs Jazz 1.3 VTEC ( Petrol).  

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Just take the case of Honda City & Hyundai Verna, both were from the same segment initially, but Honda moved forward & Verna petrol was nowhere in contention. Same would have been the case between Civic & Elantra(had it been around still), both are from  category, but diff. in pricing is substantial, even Elantra diesel could not have stood ground against Civic.

Lets compare apples to apples, Honda takes the game substantially forward for others to fall behind, stand in awe & take lessons to copy in future!

Take your own case, Verna is not even in your contentious list, even after so many members suggesting! Lets not forget your avatar too, would you plonk a Hyundai there!

Further engine options for Jazz suggested by you seem a little iffy to me, just diff. of 100cc separating 2 models! 1.2 & 1.5l  make more sense!

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will i saw a golden jazz during my visit to Honda, greater noida plant in september 2007, it was parked separately but almost in like no man's land and was covered in dust. took some pics but accidentally deleted them after some days, the interior was like the city zx but overall car was nothing special, may be because of the dust!!

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@Speed - You cant expect Honda 1.2 and 1.3 VTEC to be priced like Hyundai 1.1 petrol & 1.2 Kappa. Honda mostly wont plonk the 1.5 VTEC cos that will take it close to City s price. I get what your saying with your Civic vs Elantra eg. One advice lets just wait for the cars to be launched and after prices are announced we can have a point to debate on.

P.S. : I hadnt put Verna on my list cos of its looks , No airbags and quite overpriced. Otherwise its way better than Fiesta in interior room & A.S.S

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