It was reported in July 2020 that Honda has decided to make India a strategic export hub, with plans for its operations to begin vehicle shipments to left-hand drive (LHD) markets. Now in the latest development, the export of first batch of LHD units of the all new Honda City has been commenced. The 2021 Honda City LHD units are destined for Middle Eastern markets.
Honda has already been exporting the right-hand drive (RHD) models of the new City to South Africa since August 2020 and Nepal and Bhutan from October 2020; however this will be the very first time that LHD models built in India are being exported. Reportedly, the Indian-made Honda City will be exported to as many as 12 left-hand drive markets across the world.
Commenting on the development, Gaku Nakanishi, President and CEO of Honda India said:
“Honda City has been the benchmark of sedans in India and addition of exports of its left-hand drive model to completely new destinations is a great opportunity for us to strengthen our India business. We have invested in creating an expansive world-class manufacturing facility at Tapukara which can produce both right-hand and left-hand drive models that allows us to manage demand for domestic and international consumers.”
The City is a highly successful product for Honda in India which is considered as a market leader in its segment. Now in its latest generation which was introduced in India in July 2020 the vehicle since August 2020 has managed to remain the bestselling car in a highly competitive market where it goes against the likes of Hyundai Verna, Maruti Suzuki Ciaz, Skoda Rapid, Toyota Yaris as well as the Volkswagen Vento.
With 17,347 units sold between August and December 2020, sales of City sedan in Indian market got almost doubled than that of its rivals, thanks to the introduction of the latest generation model.