Honda is launching its Bold Runabout Vehicle (otherwise abbreviated as BR-V!) on May 5th, 2016. The company is continuing its product offensive strategy and this will be the OEM’s fifth big launch in a timeslot of 3 years! (Amaze, New City, Mobilio, Jazz). The Japanese OEM is pinning a lot of hopes on this baby and the customers are also equally excited on the offering.
About BR-V: It was initially previewed by Honda as a concept in the middle of 2015. Despite being categorized as a Compact-SUV, in Indonesia it is seen as a Crossover Utility Vehicle or CUV. The Honda BR-V is derived on the same platform as the second generation of Honda Mobilio; (which was itself based on the small eldest sibling namely Honda Brio) allowing to share mechanical components including powerplants. It is also based on the philosophy of “Active Solid Motion” to look premium and tougher in the class.
Currently popularity of Honda’s portfolio is limited to Tier-1 and Tier-2 cities. With BR-V, the company would also want to strengthen its reach to the rural consumer (the Ground Clearance 201 mm will help for the purpose). Also the Premium SUV segment in particular has grown stupendously in past few years. It started off when Mahindra launched its XUV 5oo in 2011 at a price point of Rs.10.8 lakhs. Renault was quick to jump in the game and found immense success with Duster. Partner Nissan to launched its own version through Terrano. However, no one could churn volumes like Hyundai did with Creta. The market was speculative of the high price point of the Creta and the initial sales predictions did not go >4000 nos for the Korean offering. But 63,900 Creta’s were sold in just 10 months and it attained an average sale of 6,390 units/mth! It helped the overall segment to itself to grow at staggering 39% YoY. The stats is as mentioned –
BR-V will prove to be extremely crucial for Honda. The Japanese OEM struggled with volumes in FY16 and it already has 2 non-performers in its pack (Mobilio & Brio). The OEM lost its 3rd position to Mahindra and could post a meager growth of 1.6% YoY. BR-V is already doing wonders for the OEM in the initial markets that it was launched. In Indonesia, it is currently the second best selling car! January 2016 was the first month for Honda BR-V delivery at Indonesia, it sold 6.627 units and become second best seller car in Indonesia below Toyota Avanza and above Toyota Kijang Innova. Even in Feb’16, BRV sold 5,575 units and commanded a 6.3% Market Share.
The most crucial aspect of the launch in India will be its pricing. While we expect the car to be priced near to Hyundai’s Creta; the Indonesian price comparison might be helpful – BRV is available only in petrol and the prices is as mentioned:
- 1.5L S – 226,500,000 IDR (Rs. 11,41,711)
- 1.5L E – 236,500,000 IDR (Rs. 11,92.118)
- 1.5L Prestige – 261.500.000 IDR (Rs. 13,18,135)
Hence we expect the top diesel-spec variant to cost near Rs.15 Lakhs. However, it can turnaround the segment if the initial pricing is lower than as expected above!