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]