The Indian small car market might get another German beauty soon. Carmaker Volkswagen has hinted that it is ‘mulling’ over the introduction of a car smaller than Volkswagen Polo. The Indian small car market is a fast growing one and this move can be seen as Volkswagen’s next step to tap this ever-growing compact car segment in the country. According to Volkswagen Group's India Communication Head Kurt Rippholz, “Believe me, we will have something smaller than the Polo. We are working on it."
Every time the Mercedes SLS television commercial plays on TV the wing like doors of the car catch the eye (along with the driver, of course!). We have all fancied the wing like doors mostly seen on concept cars at auto expos. But can these wing-like doors really be mass produced? Obviously, since they have not been mass produced as yet there must be some disadvantage they have. Let us have a look and see what the latest with these cool looking doors is.
Want a Tata Nano right away? Just wait till August-September and you would not have to wait and wait to get that little girl home as it would be available off the shelf anytime. Manoj Arora, senior manager, Tata Motors said, “From this August or September, customers will be able to walk into our showroom and drive out in a Nano.”
The much awaited small car Nissan Micra has signed up Ranbir Kapoor to be its brand ambassador. The peppy little ‘made-for-India’ car is being rolled out of its Chennai facility. Nissan MotorIndia managing director and chief executive officer Kiminobu Tokuyama expressed, “Today is an important and memorable day for Nissan India and our partner Hover Automotive. I am delighted to announce that Ranbir Kapoor is our brand ambassador.”
Luxury car brands have been doing well in the Indian market and the competition is allowing the buyers to buy great products at amazingly good prices. Brands like Mercedes, BMW, Audi et al are the new choice of the upwardly mobile Indian car buyer. While the foreign countries and the so called ‘developed’ markets are up to the brim the Indian luxury car market is just starting to rise. More and more luxury car brands are expanding their presence in the Tier I and Tier II cities that have buyers with deep pockets. Dr Wilfried Aulbur, managing director and CEO of Mercedes Benz told an English daily, “We attribute this success due to aggressive product marketing strategy and focus upon the end customer. In 2010, we revisited every product line enhanced engines, enriched our offerings and further reinforced value proposition of our products. Our exciting product portfolio was backed-up by the broadest and deepest luxury car network spanning 56 touch points and 26 cities while the fascination of our brand was carried forth through the driving experience programmes.”
The Indian car market is seeing green and the total sales for cars have increased 14 per cent annually in the past four years. But what is to be kept in mind is that the average unit sales per model have gone down 12 per cent in the Indian market. Talking in terms of numbers a small car launched in the market sells about 13,000-15,000 units per quarter, the number was once at 22,000-24,000 units about three years ago.
This trend and shift in the numbers has led automakers to come up with new versions or new models of cars one after the other. Fresh products with great features need to be rolled out constantly to feed the ever growing consumer demand. This trend has no doubt increased costs for the car makers who are already battling the rising raw material costs.
One of the most prestigious automotive giant Honda Siel Cars India (HSCI) has just smacked an all refreshing version of its premium sedan Honda Civic on Monday in India, the new version is out in the market carrying three variants, power projected with the supreme 1.8 Ltr, i-VTEC engine promising you an all new experience of riding it anywhere to everywhere.
Toyota Motors has displayed its upcoming hatchback and sedan Etios at several places in the country and the Japanese auto giant is all set to roll out the compact car Etios by early next year. This is Toyota’s first hatch especially designed for India. The car is suppose to have DOHC 16-valve engine with a 1200cc displacement and is expected to be priced around Rs 5 lakh. Toyota would be manufacturing Etios in both hatchback and sedan variants. Toyota Etios was at display at the Delhi auto Expo 2010 and evoked curiosity among onlookers. The hatch and notchback segment of Etios have a sharp and big smiling grille that has been high-mounted especially for India and give the car a very tough look. According to Toyota Kirloskar Motor Ltd (TKML) Managing Director Hiroshi Nakagawa, “Our compact car Etios, which has been specially designed and developed for the Indian market, will be launched in the first quarter of 2011, as our second plant is scheduled to go on stream by this year-end.”
Planning to buy a MUV (Multi Utility Vehicle) and confused between the brands? Well, Toyota Innova has something more to offer to you. The car-maker Toyota Kirloskar Motor has announced a special edition of the much loved ToyotaInnova. The multi-purpose vehicle Innova’s special edition would be priced at Rs 8.87 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). The company has sold over 2.26 lakh units of the Innova since its launch in 2005. It is currently available in four variants in a price range of Rs 8.15 lakh to Rs 11.98 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)
The year 2005, when Maruti Swift hit the Indian roads, marked the beginning of India's premium hatchback revolution. Skoda joined the league with Skoda Fabia in 2006 and the Korean auto maker Hyundai with Hyundai i20 in Dec'2008. But, it was the in year 2009 that the segment really bloomed in India. Indian auto industry experts have been saying that these high-end hatchbacks are certain to give entry level sedans a run for their money as India is and would always remain an essential small car market. About 70% of the cars sold in India are small and compact cars.