Mumbai: Honda Cars India, which on Thursday shipped the first lot of 390 units of its locally-made hatchback Brio to South Africa, said it may make the Noida facility as an export hub for some of the models.
It rolls out around 2,500 Brios a month.
"The expansion of our export business is the first step towards developing India as another hub for export of certain models. I think this market has a lot of potential to be an export hub for us," Honda Cars India President and Chief Executive Hironori Kanayama told reporters here.
The locally-made Brio is the first model exported to South Africa by Honda India, he said, adding the first tranche of 390 cars is a significant milestone.
"We will export over 1,600 Brios to South Africa and SADC (South African Development Community) countries by next March," he said.
The SADC bloc include Tanzania, Kenya, Mauritius and the Seychelles, company's Senior Vice-President Jnaneswar Sen said.
Sen said the Brio, which is rolled out from the company's Great Noida plant has 90 percent localisation.
In the past 14 years, the company has exported a total of 1,028 cars, including the City, Jazz and Accord, to the Saarc region. It has now added Brio to the export portfolio.
The Brio is set to go on sell in South Africa in early December and it will be sold through Honda Motor Southern Africa dealers and through its distributors in SADC countries.
Sen added that the company plans to roll out an entry level sedan, which will be built on the Brio platform, and a new CRV, premium SUV, next fiscal to expand its portfolio from here.
"We are developing entry level sedan from the Brio platform with both petrol and diesel variants. A new CRV will also be launched next fiscal," Sen said without divulging any timeline.
Honda sells the popular sedan City, mid-segment Civic, premium sedan Accord, entry level hatchback Jazz and Brio, apart from the premium SUV Honda CRV in the domestic market.
First Published: Thursday, October 25, 2012, 13:50