Small Car Segment: Competition Heats Up; Buyers Spoilt For Choice
: Zooming ahead at a growth rate of 16%, the Indian passenger car industry saw 2.5 million units being sold in 2010 as compared to 1.06 million in 2004.
The growth has been attributed to the wide range of variety available in the highly popular small car segment as well as the growing purchasing power of consumers belonging to the numerically strong Indian middle class.
Indeed, India boasts of the largest market for small cars in terms of absolute numbers. Competition in the segment has further heated up thanks to a slew of launches by global and home-grown automobile giants jostling for a bigger chunk of the highly lucrative small car market.
Toyota Etios Liva: First unveiled at the Auto Expo last year in Delhi, the hatchback’s formal launch on June 27 in Delhi marked Toyota’s entry into the hatchback segment in India.
Available in four different models and seven colours, Liva is priced at a range of Rs 3.99 lakh-Rs 5.99 lakh.
Honda Brio: Most likely slated for an October release, Honda Brio will be powered by a 1200cc petrol engine, and is expected to deliver a mileage of 20 km/ litre.
The 4-door hatchback boasts of an ‘easy-to-handle compact body (length 3,610mm x width 1,680mm x height 1,475 mm)’ while ensuring enough cabin space for five people.
The price of Brio will most likely be around Rs 4.5 lakh-Rs 5 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).
Chevrolet Beat diesel: Expected to be launched this month, Chevrolet Beat’s diesel version will be powered by a newly developed 1L, 3 cylinder diesel engine.
According to ARAI, the vehicle will deliver a mileage of 23.5 kmpl.
Keeping in mind the price of Beat’s petrol variant, which was launched in 2010, the price of the car is estimated to be around Rs 4 lakh.
Nissan Micra: Nissan’s Micra diesel claims to give an average run of 18.5 km per litre. The company has so far sold 10,255 units since sales began on July 15, 2010.
Indica eV2: Released earlier this year, the hatchback claims a mileage of 25 kms per litre thanks to the CR4 diesel engine that it sports.
The car has 32% greater power and 46% better fuel efficiency over its predecessors.
It comes in the range of Rs 3.95 lakh to Rs 4.77 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) for the CR4 diesel engine and Rs 2.95 lakh to Rs 3.58 lakh, (ex-showroom Delhi) for the MPFI petrol variant.
The phenomenal demand for small cars in India has spurred vehicle manufacturers in India to introduce changes in and unveil modified versions of models already running on the roads. The focus has been on better fuel-efficiency and diesel cars which, despite their steeper price tag, allow owners to save money on fuel in the long run.
Indeed with prices of fuel and input material touching new highs each successive day, car makers seem to be pulling out all stops to make sure sales stay up and continue to grow as rapidly as they had over the past few years.
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