No Accord & CR-V diesels for the Indian market says, Honda’s Jnaneswar Sen

For quite some time now, Honda has been selling diesel engined variants of the Honda Accord sedan and the CR-V crossover in the European market. The engine in question is a 2.2 liter, four cylinder turbo diesel unit, which in different states of tune, has been powering the Accord and the CR-V. In India though, Honda has been steadfastly avoiding the option of offering the Accord and the CR-V with the diesel engine stating that this engine is not suitable for the Indian market due to the quality of diesel available in India not matching European standards, to which this engine is said to be designed.

Here’s what Honda SIEL Cars India’s senior vice president for sales and marketing, Jnaneswar Sen has had to say about why Honda will not launch a diesel engined Accord or CR-V,
While it is technically possible to downgrade both these engines, the low volumes of the Accord and CR-V (in India) do not justify it. Also the engines for the European market have been developed taking into account the low sulphur content in the diesel there, unlike in India.
That said, the prescribed standard for ultra low sulphur diesel for most of the European Union confirming to Euro V emission norms is 10 ppm(parts per million), the ultra low sulphur available in India from 2010 confirms to 15 ppm, which is very close to the EU figure. All in all, this news would come as a dampener to many prospective Accord and CR-V buyers, who for long have been hoping for diesel engined variants of these cars. One factor however, could work in favor of the Accord and CR-V in the future.

Honda is said to be developing a more powerful version of the 1.6 liter i-DTEC turbo diesel engine with EarthDreams technology, that was recently showcased at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show. The more powerful version of this engine, pumping out 160 Bhp and 349 Nm is said to be aimed at replacing the current 2.2 Liter diesel engine. If that happens, Honda’s bad Indian diesel talk might not be a valid reason anymore in case the 1.6 Liter i-DTEC engine powers the 2012 Honda Civic in India as well.

For now though, Honda’s current focus seems to be on small capacity diesel engines that could power the likes of the Brio and the Jazz in the Indian market, and more importantly these cars would bring in the much needed volumes for the car maker. However, it remains to be seen how well Honda manages to adapt the under-development diesel engines to work with Indian diesel, for that would make or break the brand, highly renowned for its engine technology globally, in the Indian car market.