Piggybacking on the immensely successful launches of their new and rejuvenated offerings like the Amaze compact sedan and the new City, Honda Cars India is all set to emerge as the third biggest passenger car maker in India head-to-head with SUV major Mahindra & Mahindra this season. According to reliable sources in the auto financing circuit, Honda is among the few car companies that have managed to buck the slowdown in the automobile market. “We expect Honda to clock anywhere between 18,000-20,000 units in retail this month,” says the head of one of the top three auto finance companies. “Given that M&M also sells around 19,000 units a month, it would put Honda on par with the third biggest passenger vehicle company in India after Maruti and Hyundai.” Honda sold 15,700 odd vehicles in January 2014 and around 14,300 units in February. Thanks to the excise reduction, year-end push, spectre of a price rise and March 31 being both Gudi Padwa in Maharastra and Ugadi in southern markets, march-april is expected to bring in good retail numbers for the auto industry.