Thursday, November 13, 2008

Honda's Civic Hybrid cheaper by Rs 8 lakh

Honda has slashed the price of its Civic Hybrid cars in India by an unprecedented Rs 8 lakh, as it looks to boost sales of
the environmentally-friendly sedan in an unfriendly economic environment.

After the price cut— the sharpest in Indian automobile history and introduced with immediate effect—the hybrid Civic will cost Rs 13.36 lakh compared to its launch price of Rs 21.5 lakh. This is also the first time in its decade-long presence in India that Honda, which is absorbing the full impact of the price cut, is resorting to a formal price cut to sell its cars.

Launched this June, the hybrid Civic had generated huge interest among customers, but its high price meant sales were few. The company had only managed to sell 60 cars till date. In contrast, the petrol version of the Civic, launched in India in July 2006, sold 5,236 units in the first seven months of the fiscal.

The company, which operates as Honda Siel Cars India (HSCI) in India, said the decision to cut the price was aimed at making eco-friendly cars more affordable. The Civic Hybrid is India’s first full hybrid vehicle. Its 1.3 litre petrol engine and an electric battery give it an average mileage of 20 kilometers per litre of petrol, making it the most fuel-efficient car in its category on Indian roads.

“We have taken a hit on the price to offer this eco-friendly technology to potential customers. There have been thousands of enquiries for the Hybrid, which had not culminated in actual sales,” Honda Siel v-p Jnaneshwar said.

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