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Honda SIEL drives in India’s first hybrid car, Civic Hybrid

19-June-2008
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Honda SIEL drives in India’s first hybrid car, Civic Hybrid

With petrol prices hitting the roof and growing concerns over alarming climate changes, hybrid vehicles could be a perfect answer. Honda SIEL Cars India (HSCI) on Wednesday launched India’s first hybrid car, the Civic Hybrid. However, priced at Rs 21.50 lakh, the hybrid version costs almost double that of the petrol Civic. It would be interesting to see how Honda markets not just the car, but the new concept as well, in India.

The Civic Hybrid has a petrol-electric engine that makes it more fuel efficient and eco-friendly. According to Honda officials, the Civic Hybrid provides nearly 47 per cent enhanced fuel efficiency along with lower emissions. The car has a set of high-tech batteries to provide the electric boost. Once the car reaches cruising speed, it automatically switches over to the electric mode, thus saving on petrol. The fuel average is around 20 km per litre.

HSCI is targeting affluent people in Sec A for promotion activities. Promotion would focus on print and the Internet. Though hybrid cars are quite popular in the US and Japan, the entire concept is very new to India. Hence, Honda would have the first mover’s advantage as well as the challenge of creating awareness about the hybrid concept.

Speaking at the launch, Masahiro Takedagawa, President & CEO, HSCI, said, “Our objective is not to get large volumes or to make a statement. Our objective is to give an opportunity to Indian customers to experience this new technology. And they can do that at any of our dealerships across India.”

Jnaneswar Sen, Vice President- Marketing, HSCI, said, “We are concentrating on three major points – safety, environment friendly and energy consumption – when rising oil prices is a concern for all. We don’t have any competitors in this hybrid section in India at present.”

The Civic Hybrid would be imported from Japan as is the case in other countries that it is available in.

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