Honda trying to make ‘Civic’ sense!

Honda Civic – The legend makes a comeback to the sub-continent!

Entry-D segment has seen a dramatic change in recent years; a lot of customers in this segment have been wooed off to bigger SUVs or have upgraded to the Big 3 German sedans. The dwindling volumes in this segment ensured that the OEMs slowly move out their offerings from the segment or avoid investment to get in new models in the category. However; Honda has taken a bold stance and re-enter the segment with it’s globally best-selling nameplate – The Civic. Going to be launched in the 10th Generation Avatar; the 2019 Civic should have two engine-gearbox combinations – a 141hp, 1.8-litre naturally aspirated petrol and a 120hp, 1.6-litre diesel engine. The Technical Specifications for the New Civic is as shown below:

Source: Autocar

The upcoming Civic should be feature loaded and have all the goodies that is currently available in the rival cars. Features like dual-zone climate control, a powered sunroof, a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment display (Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatible), an eight-way power adjustable driver’s seat and a smart key (which can also be used to turn the engine on and off, operate the sunroof and power windows and open the boot) are standard. Other kit on the new Civic include push-button start, automatic wipers and a fully-digital 7.0-inch MID in the instrument cluster that displays information including access to a connected smartphone’s phone book, call history and music, along with average fuel efficiency and the distance to empty meter. The instrument cluster also has displays for a seat-belt reminder and a door opening alert.

With so much preparation by Honda to launch the New Civic; the biggest question is – Kitna Bikegi? (How many units shall it sell?)

Before answering the question; let’s assess the global scenario for the Civic Marque – Initially gaining a reputation for being fuel-efficient, reliable, and environmentally friendly, later iterations have become known for performance and sportiness. US contributes to 40% of the Civic sold internationally! Almost 11.5 million units of Civic has been sold in US alone in the past 46 years (since 1973). In 2018; More than 27k units of Civic was sold every month! (Almost double the Honda India’s volumes). The US historical sales data for Civic is as shown –

Source: Wikipedia

If you note that over the years; the volume of Civic has gradually increased signifying the consumers acceptance of the car and probably also means that other cars in the segment are faring equally well (let’s not forget world’s best seller Corolla too).

Civic Sales Statistics – India

The 8th Generation Civic sold 54,821 units during its lifetime in India. The highest number of Civics were sold in the year 2007.

However; things have changed dramatically here in the subcontinent. To get an exact picture; we have taken the comparison sales of 2 years – 2007 (which recorded highest number of Civics sold in India) and 2018 (for understanding the latest scenario). The analysis shows –

While 40,992 cars were sold in the segment for the year 2007 (average of 3,416 cars per month); the sales for the segment dropped to 6,014 cars in 2018 (average of 501 cars per month). While we do not see the hopes of any revival for Optra & Laura; we anticipate Civic to sell ~50% of what it was selling in 2007. Going by our assessment; we predict Civic to do an average of 700 units/month. However; India is a price sensitive market and Honda has to be extremely aggressive in the launch pricing to make a significant impact and bring traction back into the dying segment.

One thought to “Honda trying to make ‘Civic’ sense!”

  1. It is time for OEMs to understand the Indian market need and road traffic conditions. Leaving out on Diesel Automatic is a big mistake. Hope they bring high-end variant on CVT petrol at least. City traffic in any metro or a tier-1/2/3 city in India is no longer manual shift friendly. Unless you drive 60 to 80% of the time on the highways, it is not worth the pain of manual shifting when you are spending more than Rs. 20 L. Enthusiasts want to drive manual shift on a less traffic area, not sure they would enjoy in the city traffic either. In a price sensitive market, it is time to give that extra comfort for money with high-end automatic variants. Women play an important role in decision making in Indian households and I am sure they would approve an automatic when they realize the ease of driving.

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