The revival of “Civic” nameplate for India has helped Honda shake up its presence. The 10th Gen Honda Civic was launched in March 2019 and was greeted well by the masses. But there have been a lot of entrances in the mid-size sedan segment since the Civic, and that has affected its dominance.
Skoda brushing up and improving its marketing and aftersales support is one of the main threats for Honda as the Skoda Octavia stands to be the new norm of enthusiasm, something which was default with the last-gen Civic sold in India. The 2020 Civic has gone numb in terms of performance and it is slowly beginning to show in sales figures as well.
Honda Civic is available in India in three variants- V, VX and ZX. Pricing ranges from Rs. 17.93 lakh to Rs. 21.25 lakh and is bundled with an impressive list of features. 2020 Civic includes segment-first features like a Lane Watch camera and a remote engine starter.
|Ex-Showroom Price||Rs. 17,93,000||Rs. 19,44,900||Rs. 21,24,900|
|Engine and Performance||1.8L petrol|
|Highlighted Features||Adjustable seatbelt height; Rear AC vents||Paddle shifters; Walk away auto-lock|
Lane Watch camera; 8-way power driver steering
It is now available in only a 1.8L petrol engine coupled to a CVT as the 1.8L diesel engine has been discontinued due to BS6 norms. The petrol engine is highly efficient and returns an ARAI approved 16.5 KMPL and has a range of 776 km for all variants.
Upon its launch in March 2019, Honda saw an impressive turn of events with 2291 units of the Civic being sold. Bear in mind that it was launched on the 9th of March and most of these numbers are from the pre-bookings done before its launch.
|Month||Mar 2019||Apr 2019||May 2019||Jun 2019||Jul 2019||Aug 2019||Sep |
|Oct 2019||Nov 2019||Dec 2019|
However, there was a steep decline in April with just under 370 units being sold. The initial buzz was due to the excitement of having a well-known nameplate back in action after 6 long years! There was a linear decline after April till August after which it saw a slight improvement.
|Month ||Jan 2020||Feb 2020||March 2020|
But things plummeted soon after, due to the government’s notification on the enforcement of the newly developed stringent BS6 norms. This bought in a lot of confusion among prospective buyers who avoided going for the then available BS4 stock. Then in 2020, the spread of COVID-19 pandemic made situations worse and Honda Civic sold just 67 units in March 2020. This is not the case with Honda Civic alone, as you will get the idea from its rival comparison below.
People are slowly shifting to crossovers and that leaves the once-prosperous sedan segment almost barren. For the last year or two, the normal trend of sales for the mid-size sedan segment has been sudden spikes which eventually would go stagnant. The reason for this is a rapidly expanding crossover segment which is eating into its market. The rapid evolution of crossovers and its practical advantages over the likes of low-slung sedans in India makes up for a “checkmate” situation for this once ruling bunch.
Hyundai Elantra, Skoda Octavia and Toyota Corolla Altis have been the keepers of this segment and are the ones that pose a threat for Honda Civic. But fate has not been preferable for any of them as the segment as a whole is suffering due to the more practical and feature-rich crossover segment. The sales figures speak for itself with Toyota being the first automaker to fall for the pressure and pull the plug of its Corolla Altis.
|Model||Sep 2019||Oct 2019||Nov 2019||Dec 2019||Jan 2020||Feb 2020||Mar 2020|
|Honda Civic ||336||436||375||178||146||174||67|
|Toyota Corolla Altis||84||90||76||9||-||-||-|
Toyota Corolla Altis was discontinued in January 2020 due to dwindling sales. Hyundai Elantra is also showing no improvements over 7 months as it still sells in two-digits. Skoda is the only automaker that stands up to the Civic in terms of sales. Honda manages to cling to its podium with Skoda coming in at a close second.
The mid-size sedan segment surely has their internal differences, but if the situation proceeds in the same wavelength, then there will most probably not be a “mid-size sedan” segment to tuff it out. Skoda has its RS245 to boost up sales every year as it is the cheapest premium performance sedan you can get in India. Honda would have to rethink their approach to keep both the Civic and the segment alive! Bringing back the diesel power plant in a BS6 complaint form will also act as a booster for the Civic’s dull sales figures.