• Jul 2, 2007


There isn't a major carmaker in the world today that wouldn't want a piece of the action in India's rapidly growing car market, namely its compact car segment. One car company that's favorably positioned to capitalize on the Indian market is Honda, which is already one of the country's largest manufacturers of cars and motorbikes.

Honda chairman Satoshi Aoki has revealed that there are plans to launch a premium small car in India by 2009 as well as an ultra-cheap minicar that would cost under US $3,000. Originally under consideration were the small Fit (pictured above) and City models, but these cost upwards of $9,000, three-times as much as Honda was aiming for its new budget model.

Aoki admits it would be difficult to build a car that retains 'Honda characteristics' for that kind of money and that the original plans have now been shelved. "Personally I would be surprised to see such a vehicle," Aoki revealed. This now puts doubt on claims from Renault-Nissan and India's Tata Motors that they'll introduce their own sub-$3,000 cars by the end of the decade.

[Source: India Times]


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 51 Comments
      Doug
      • 7 Years Ago
      Yes: I remember the Yugo. That was a mistake.

      But Americans (and America's car companies) will do well to learn from the Indian market. If the union tries to short-sightedly kill the effort, then they will go the way of the American Federation of Musicians: practically extinct. A cheap, low-powered, low priced car is in the near future.

      mcconnellval@aol.com
      • 7 Years Ago
      you grt what you pay for. cheep.
      frank k
      • 7 Years Ago
      I really don't see Honda willing to risk it's reputation of quality and durability on a venture like this. I doubt there would be much of a market for a bare bones whatever that could be sold at that price either. Comment # 3 mentioned a Yugo with over 250,000 on it. Thats an amazing claim. Was it towed by a Honda for 200,000 of those miles? Those truely were disposable cars. I remember one Lincoln dealer who gave you a Yugo if you bought a Town Car. A customer of mine has a Yugo that still runs more or less. It has 40,000 on it.
        Bill Wilson
        • 7 Years Ago
        @frank k
        It was not towed by a honda or toyota. A good friend of mine had it. Changed the oil every 3000 miles and did the main. on it when needed. He checked daycares in MO and had a 3 or 4 county area. He drove it for many years. If you want I will give you his name. Bill
        frank k
        • 7 Years Ago
        @frank k
        No Bill,I believe you. It is amazing as I said. Strange things can and do happen in the world of cars. That for sure is one of them,you must admit.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I remember selling parts for the Datsun B210, Honeybee model. There were Datsun models before then as well. I also remember the sports car models 1600, 2000, the forerunners of the "Z" cars with the 240Z being the first and one which I almost purchased and wish I had now. I used to deliver parts in one the small Datsun pickups, which was very basic, but a tough litttle truck, I should know because I abused the hell out of it...LOL. Article excerpt:

      "The 1970s marked a slump in the Japanese auto industry as a result of the oil crisis. Gasoline prices started to increase, and then a number of other difficulties arose. U.S. President Richard Nixon devalued the dollar and announced an import surcharge: transportation prices went up and export control was lacking. To overcome these problems, Nissan U.S.A. brought in Chuck King, a 19-year veteran of the auto industry, to improve management, correct billing errors, and minimize transportation damages. As a result, sales continued to increase with the help of Nissan's latest model, the Datsun 210 'Honeybee,' which was capable of traveling 41 miles on one gallon of gas."
      • 7 Years Ago
      Oh, Judith. I am with you. But, in America, I'm afraid that the Automobile Unions have gotten such bloated pay with benefits for the workers that affordable cars are just a dream to a lot of Americans. The companies say that it costs them over $70 an hour with pensions and health benefits, etc. labor. I think the number is a bit of a stretch and $36 an hour is more like it. That's still a lot of money for what they do. And, I know what they do as my father worked with the UAW before the workers got overpaid.
      James Peters
      • 7 Years Ago
      I believe that such a car could be manufactured. It would have to be a "Throw Away" though. In other words, engine, drive train would be composit as would the body. No capacity for repair. If it quit, you would buy a new one. If you wrecked it, you would buy a new one. Personally, I would not own such a vehicle but in India they would be in every household.
      Randolph
      • 7 Years Ago
      In my personal business dealings with Indians living in this country, I have never really found them to be interested in quality, safety or expertise in the products they purchase, only cheap. It makes sense to me that cars in India would have to be made within that price range in order to sell. I can't imagine how a car could be made so inexpensively and not be dangerous and unreliable, especially with the speeds we drive in the US.
      Jimmy Sky
      • 7 Years Ago
      why shouldn't a company build a long lasting reliable ,easy to maintain with minor mechanical ability, like the VW of yore. why shouldn't the people have a car that doesn't break their backs with interest payments and gets great mileage so we can go to work and hope we can afford another week til payday. why COULDN"T there be a car like that for US made in the US for US ?
      • 7 Years Ago
      As i said, most don't get it!
      chuck
      • 7 Years Ago
      go for it most are not worth 3k
      • 7 Years Ago
      I do not think anyone can make a safe $3000 car. As far as the U.S. cars, we have to think small cars, we are making cars too big, too gas hungrey,and driving too much.
      shadow
      • 7 Years Ago
      the chevy vega was a cheap car I drove one for 6 yrs delivered a lot of pizza,s an had a ball driving it but I also had a chevelle SS 69 paid 5,000 for it off show room floor that was a car but some of you would,nt know what a real car was with all this crap they make today over half the cars your paying 30,000 for won,t be around at 100,000 mi either
    • Load More Comments