Honda Cars India will for the first time export the fully assembled 1.6-litre diesel engine from its Tapukara plant in Rajasthan. Exports start from July.

The Economic Times of India said making the complete engine in India was a local first as currently it does not have any model powered by this specific diesel motor.

First shipments will be for Thailand from where Honda will ship to other factories in countries such as the Philippines for use in the global models.

ETI noted Honda officials recently said the Tapukara factory in India was its largest for manual transmissions and diesel engines and also the largest exporter of manual transmissions.

Tapukara plant has a production capacity for 180,000 engines a year and makes 1.2- and 1.5-litre petrol engines plus the 1.5-litre diesel that powers the City, Amaze and Jazz models among others.

Currently 450 engines are made daily but 670 could be built. This capacity will be used for the new 1.6 diesels.

ETI noted that, since 2013 when the diesel powertrain division was set up at Tapukara, HCIL has been exporting critical engine parts for the 1.6 diesel to Honda UK for powering the Civic and CR-V. India and Europe are strong diesel markets for Honda and therefore it decided to make India the manufacturing base for such engines.

Component exports are important business for HCIL and it ships to 15 countries, Jnaneswar Sen, senior VP sales and marketing, told ETI.

Important destinations include North America, South America, Europe, Japan and South East Asia.