Honda begins export of new Jazz from India to South Africa

NEW DELHI: Ahead of the upcoming launch of the new version of premium hatchback Jazz in India, Japanese car maker Honda has started shipping the vehicle to South Africa from its plant in Rajasthan.

Present in India through its wholly-owned arm Honda Cars India, the company is producing the new Jazz at Tapukara plant where it is investing Rs 380 crore to expand production capacity to 1.80 lakh units annually from 1.20 lakh units.

"We have already started the export of the new Jazz to South Africa from here. The vehicle is being produced at our Tapukara facility," Honda Cars India Ltd (HCIL) Senior Vice-President (Marketing and Sales) Jnaneswar Sen said.

Honda's Tapukara facility currently produces mid-sized sedan City and compact sedan Amaze primarily for the domestic market.

Last month the company exported around 600 units of Jazz, City, Amaze and Brio primarily to South Africa. A few units were also exported to Nepal.

HCIL plans to launch in July the third generation Jazz in India.

Globally, Honda has sold over 50 lakh units of previous generation models of Jazz across the world, including the US and Japan.

In India, the Jazz was first launched in 2009 with a price tag of over Rs 7 lakh which was later slashed by Rs 1.6 lakh. In 2013 the company stopped production of the car in the country.

The company is looking to expand its sales network in the domestic market to around 200 cities and towns by the end of this fiscal from the current 152.

"In the current fiscal, we plan to expand sales network to over 300 outlets in around 200 locations from the current 232 showrooms in 152 cities. We are looking to expand more in smaller cities and towns," Sen said.

HCIL aims to touch 3 lakh unit sales milestone per annum by the end of 2016-17 fiscal. In 2014-15, the company's total domestic sales stood at 1,89,062 units as against 1,34,339 units in the previous fiscal, an increase of 40.73 per cent.

The company currently sells compact car Brio, compact sedan Amaze, mid-sized sedan City, multipurpose vehicle Mobilio and premium sports utility vehicle CR-V.

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