Honda Mobilio meets customers rational, emotional level

Updated: Jul 24, 2014, 11:40 AM IST

Reema Sharma

Honda Cars India Ltd. (HCIL) has announced its entry into the MPV segment with the launch of its mid-size stylish 7-seater Honda Mobilio.

The Mobilio is available in 3 grades offered in Petrol and Diesel variants – E, S and V with Manual Transmission.

With an aim to appeal to a younger audience who want both distinct styling as well as comfort of a spacious MPV, the Mobilio will also be available in an exclusive sporty RS variant which has bolder and sportier exterior design than base grade.

As the Honda design philosophy goes “Man Maximum, Machine Minimum”, the sense of quality is reflected in the interior and exterior design of the car.

In a candid conversation with Reema Sharma of Zee Media Corp, Jnaneswar Sen, Sr. Vice President – Marketing & Sales, Honda Cars India Ltd talked extensively about the much anticipated Honda Mobilio.

Q. What are your expectations from the Honda Mobilio?

We are very confident about the Honda Mobilio. It`s a new brand, a new product that meets the customer requirement beautifully. It meets the customers’ rational and emotional level. Mobilio`s huge amount of space, comfortable 7 seater and the cost of maintenance makes it a very reasonable product. People like to be seen in a good looking vehicle. On the emotional side, it gives them status. It also gives them the want to drive. The vehicle is also competitively priced. Hence our expectations are quite high from the Mobilio.

Q. Who will be Honda Mobilio`s competitors?

Mobilio is an MPV. There are many types of MPVs in the market, compact or full type. We would like to call our product as a mid size stylish MPV. The uniqueness of the product is in its styling. It will carve out its own position in the market. I will not like to name any specific competitor. It all depends on how you carve out a space for yourself.

Q. Honda Amaze Sedan has been instrumental in increasing company sales by 40%, do you think Mobilio will also add to further sales?

Yes you see, Mobilio has enabled us to enter a completely new segment. I am upbeat that it will give us good volume. Mobilio will lead to incremental sales and good growth. Though I will not be able to mention any figure as such, I am very optimistic that Mobilio will definitely add to the company`s growth.

Q. How would you position the MPV in the market?

During the course of development of Mobilio, we did a consumer survey of 2350 MPV owners to understand the customer, his needs etc. We are going to position it with the line "Apne liye, Apno ke liye". When a person is buying this vehicle, there is something for himself and his family as well. We will be focusing on family, which is our target customer.

Q. Honda`s i-VTEC and i-DTEC engines have been revolutionary. Does the company have further plans on upgrading the engine options?

We have already given two engine options the i-VTEC petrol option and i-DTEC diesel option. Both engines give best mileage in the section. There is no plan as of now.

Q. Are there other cars in the pipeline? What are the company`s plans for the second half of this year?

Next in line is the Honda Jazz, which will come early next year. I can`t comment on further launches right now. Honda has opened its second plant in Rajasthan. This year we are planning to expand our dealership network by 35 percent. From 170 facilities in 107 cities, we will expand to 230 facilities in 150 cities.

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