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Car giant Honda forays into Africa with India-made cars

Posted on Oct 26, 09:31AM | IANS

A ship laden with India-made 390 Honda Brio cars set sail for South Africa Thursday, marking the automobile manufacturer's maiden foray into South Africa and the South African Development Community (SADC) countries, an official said here.

At a brief ceremony in Mumbai port this afternoon, Honda Cars India Ltd (HCIL) President and CEO Hironori Kanayama flagged off the first consignment shipped to South Africa, where it will be on sale from December.

"The expansion of Honda's export business is the first step towards developing India as another hub for export of certain models," Kanayama said on the occasion.

After Thursday's first step, HCIL will export another 1,600 Brios to South Africa and SADC by March 2013, contributing significantly to the company's growth and the Indian automobile industry.

Kanayama said it was a matter of pride that the Brio manufactured in India was "of best quality and ready to be introduced in the international markets," starting with South Africa and SADC - Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mauritius and the Seychelles.

The Brio is presently rolled out from the company's first plant in the country at Greater Noida, with the export model also being manufactured in the same premises.

While the engine and transmission components of the Brio sold in India and those for export markets are being manufactured at the Tapukara plant in Rajasthan, it will export both MT and AT versions of the vehicle.

"The export model will be similar to the Brio manufactured and sold in India along with some customization to suit local regulations," Kanayama added.

HCIL, which established operations in India in Dec 1995, launched the much-awarded Brio in Sept 2011 and has so far sold around 25,000 units.

Signifying advanced design and technology, durability, reliability and fuel-efficiency, HCIL's India product portfolio also includes the Jazz, City, Civic and Accord, while the CR-V is imported from Japan as a completely built units.