2018 has been a slow burner but in the last couple of months the industry has witnessed a number of important launches addressing different segments
It has so far been an exciting year as far as car launches are concerned as automakers responded to the latest trends in markets and most of them priced their products aggressively in the hope of becoming VFM prospects in their respective segments with good features list.
The largest automaker in the country introduced the much-awaited Swift hatchback at the Auto Expo 2018 and as expected it has become an instant hit with average monthly sales of around 20,000 units. Maruti Suzuki did not stop there as the facelifted Ciaz came by in August 2018 and took the segment by storm.
With updated visuals and interior along with a new SHVS petrol engine, the Ciaz summoned its authority in the segment and even achieved 7,0002 units in its very first month in the market. What has been special this year is the overall competitive nature of the new products as carmakers tried to address customers’ expectations by and large.
Hyundai’s revival of the Santro nameplate did come as a surprise for many and it has what it takes to be another high volume grabber. The second largest car brand in India needed a new affordable vehicle to increase its market share of 16 percent and the Santro with its modern exterior, ample interior room and a few segment-first features in top-end variants will be idle for the task.
Mahindra began the launch of its new generation vehicles via Marazzo as the MPV in seven- or eight-seat configuration has received the tremendous response in no time. Within 45 days of its market debut, over 10,000 bookings have been made.
The Marazzo injects a fresh breath of air into Mahindra’s range and is positioned diligently between top-end Ertiga and entry- to mid-spec Toyota Innova Crysta with several interesting equipments onboard. Nissan’s budget sub-brand Datsun did not want to be left out of the equation and thus threw in a number of updates on the Go and Go+.
Courtesy of the changes, the hatchback and MPV have been more appealing than ever and despite no mechanical modifications, they can be considered as a much-needed evolution with top-end models boasting seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Ford wanted to make the most out of the subcompact sedan space and thus graced the market with Aspire facelift earlier this month.
The sportier exterior, a new petrol motor and updated interior have been appreciable and they are sure to reflect in the sales numbers in the coming months. Isuzu’s MU-X facelift, also launched earlier this month, was another welcoming addition with plethora of changes and it gets best-in-class 5-year standard warranty.
Toyota Launched the Yaris sedan this year to compete against Ciaz, City and Verna and it has posted decent sales but couldn’t make any huge damages to the competitors. The Brezza AMT was another popular launch of 2018 as the subcompact SUV seekers looking for two pedal technology had another good option to think about.
The latest generation Amaze, a major hit this year, averaged well over 9,000 units since its market entry and it has managed to maintain its consistency as well.
It showed the commitment of the Japanese brand to India and it could make for a tasty competition in the segment. Last but not the least, Tata Motors continued on the same pace it left off last year in 2018 and brought in a range of new products. Just in the space of 51 days, the company introduced Tiago NRG, Nexon Kraz edition, updated Tigor and JTP version of the Tiago and Tigor recently.
The performance-based Tiago JTP and Tigor JTP were the significant ones as they demonstrated that even affordable cars can be faster and fun to drive. The NRG cross hatch variant was to further leverage the popularity of its top-selling Tiago hatchback and its presence could reflect in the sales numbers sooner rather than later.
With two more months left on the calendar, the new generation Maruti Suzuki Ertiga and Mahindra Y400 are the important launches to keep your eyes peeled on!