Brio is Honda’s first venture into the crowded Indian small car segment. And Inaba seems determined to pull it off well.

As an automobile manufacturer, Honda has always enjoyed a top-of-the-mind recall the world over, and India is no exception. The reason is simple – the unmatched features that the company delivers to its customers through its high-quality products. But, now that it has stood up against rivals like Toyota, Ford, Volkswagen, et al, by launching the Brio in the small car segment, it has a big task in hand – of overpowering it rivals while keeping the brand image intact. Well, Seki Inaba, Director – Marketing, Honda SIEL Cars India is the man in charge. Inaba, who took over from Tatsuya Natsume in April this year, has been associated with Honda for more than two decades and brings with him the excellent sales & marketing experience with an in depth understanding of consumer trends in different markets including CIS, Middle East and Africa. But the question remains: Can he deliver what Honda’s top management is expecting from one of their most ambitious projects in India – Brio? While the first episode with the Jazz has nothing spectacular to talk about, the aggressive pricing of the Brio gives Inaba the right weapon to fight its rivals in an already crowded Indian hatchback market. In an exclusive conversation with Pawan Chabra, Inaba discusses the market strategy for the Brio going forward.

Honda has a reputation for manufacturing technologically advanced vehicles. Do you think it will help the company gain high initial volumes for Brio?
With products like City, Civic, Accord, et al, in its portfolio Honda already enjoys a very strong connect with its Indian consumers. However, with the existing product line-up, Honda was only present in the top 20% of the Indian market, but Brio will take us straight where the maximum action is. It was one of the most-awaited products of 2011 and we are confident that we will be able to sell enough numbers of the Brio in the Indian market. Now that the product is out in the market, we have expanded our presence in the segment which accounts for the highest volumes in the Indian passenger car market. In fact, this is one of the main reasons why we have kept such an aggressive price for this hatchback in the Indian market. We expect India to be one of the largest markets for automobiles (globally) in the future and Brio is certainly the first step towards a shifting growth trajectory for us in India.

So, what kind of media mix will you be using to promote Brio and what results are you expecting?
We will be launching a 360-degree campaign for Brio. It will have a healthy mix of all popular media vehicles. The idea is to make consumers aware of the product. The focus is very clear as far as Brio is concerned – we expect to gain a lot of consumers through Brio. Although I cannot share the exact figures that we are looking at, roughly we will be producing around 10,000 units of the product within this year. With over 80% localisation of the product (soon expected to reach 90%), we expect Brio to join City when it comes to the best selling model for Honda SIEL in India.

For more articles, Click on IIPM Article

Source : IIPM Editorial, 2011.

An Initiative of IIPM, Malay Chaudhuri and Arindam chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist).

For More IIPM Info, Visit below mentioned IIPM articles.

IIPM ranked No 1 B-School in India : IIPM ranked ahead of IIMs
IIPM: Management Education India
Prof. Rajita Chaudhuri's Website

IIPM in sync with the best of the business world.......
Arindam Chaudhuri on Internet.....
Arindam Chaudhuri: We need Hazare's leadership
Professor Arindam Chaudhuri - A Man For The Society....
IIPM: Indian Institute of Planning and Management
Planman Technologies


Leave a Reply.