Bertrand D'souza, Editor, Overdrive believes that Honda's latest offering Amaze will definitely eat into Maruti Suzuki's market share of Dzire and that of other car companies like Hyndai, Tata Motors Toyota etc.
Japanese auto major Honda Motor today launched its much-awaited entry level sedan Amaze at a price range of Rs 4.99 lakh to Rs 7.60 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). The model is the company's first diesel offering in India.
The petrol version of Amaze will be available at a price range of Rs 4.99 lakh to Rs 7.50 lakh and the diesel car will be priced between Rs 5.99 and Rs 7.60 lakh,.
Below are excerpts of his interview on CNBC-TV18
Q: What do you think the Honda Amaze can do to Maruti’s Dzire and indeed to the entire automobile space?
A: The Amaze will definitely shake up the market principally because the diesel is something that a lot of people have been looking forward to for the last couple of years. It is supposed to be a fairly efficient engine. Honda has targeted their audience very specifically saying it is diesel and it is the most fuel efficient engine you can buy in that segment today.
Q: Two things can go against, one that it is a tad more expensive then the Dzire and secondly we are also coming to a time when diesel will not be necessarily much cheaper than petrol. The price advantage is at least thinning if not vanishing?
A: We don't expect the differential between petrol and diesel fuel prices to shrink down that rapidly. So Honda still has an advantage over. The pricing between Amaze and the Dzire which is its principal competitor in this segment, the Rs 10,000 difference we would have expected it to have a slightly lower price point but it is still a very competitive pricing because you will be buying into is the premium associated with Honda, buying into the Honda family. The Honda brand has always been one level above everything else that is there in the hatchback or the sedan segment. So Rs 10,000 difference isn’t a very lager amount to pay for the Amaze.
Q: From the stock market point of view what they can the Hero Honda story be repeated here? Will that be a concern for Maruti Suzuki or will the strong network, the strong brand name that Maruti has will just take in with its tide and there will not be as much impact on the Dzire?
A: Maruti will continue to do the magic that it creates in the market, there is no doubt about that. They have the network right now; they have a product that is very strong. But Honda will cannibalise Maruti and will take a lot of customers from Maruti, principally because one of Maruti’s biggest problems right now is supply. They are not able to manufacture enough to meet the demand. Honda has stepped in now in that same category and it is an equally good product.
So, Honda will definitely take a lot of customers from Maruti as well as from Tata Motors,Toyota, Hyundai and Mahindra's Verito.