Business Today

New Year to drive in wider choice of cars

After the economic slowdown, the Indian auto market was flooded with as many as 78 new models launched during 2010, across all the segments.

Anuradha Shukla | December 29, 2010 | Updated 10:56 IST

The year 2010 was a landmark for the Indian auto sector as it saw a record number of launches as auto sales continued to zoom in top gear, making India the second fastest growing market in the world after China.

After the economic slowdown, the Indian auto market was flooded with as many as 78 new models launched during 2010, across all the segments. The range extended from Maruti's new Alto powered with a K-10 engine to what is touted as the world's most expensive and fastest car, the Bugatti Veyron.

Mercedes Benz alone unveiled 18 new models and variants in a single calendar year.

With India's economy expected to grow at nine per cent and the rising purchase power of Indian customers, the trend is expected to continue in the year 2011. As more and more automakers are lining up new models to be launched in the year 2011, consumers will be spoilt for choice with the huge variety across all segments.

According to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), total sales of cars in the domestic market is expected to be 17,14,925 units in 2010-11. In 2009-10, domestic passenger car sales stood at 15,26,259 units.

"Globally, India is second the largest market for passenger cars which account for 32 per cent of the domestic market share. And the trend will continue in the next year," Pawan Goenka, president, SIAM, said.

And that is the reason companies like General Motors (GM) to Mercedes to Volkswagon are focusing on India with products specially designed for the Indian market. Products like Toyota's Etios, Volkswagon's Polo and Nissan's Micra have been specifically designed for the Indian market.

"I think by 2011, India should be among the top ten markets for General Motors globally. I would be really surprised, if it doesn't happen," said Kevin E. Wale, General Motors group president and managing director (MD).

The year 2011 is getting more exciting for the small car segment with both Maruti and Hyundai planning to launch small cars priced around Rs2.5-2.75 lakh.

Chevrolet Spark will also come with a new 800 cc car with a considerably lower price tag than the current 1.0 litre variant. Those looking for hatchbacks will have Toyota Etios Liva and Honda Brio both expected to be priced around the Rs4.5 to Rs6 lakh range.

Toyota has already stirred the dull sedan segment with the launch of its much hyped sedan Toyota Etios.

Customers can see more models as Renault is also planning to launch its midsized sedan Fluence by mid 2011, with a price tag expected between Rs 12-13 lakh.

Nissan's sedan Sunny is also expected to hit the market by mid 2011, this will make the sedan market more competitive.

mosimageMaruti Suzuki, maker of the people's car, is also planning to enter into the luxury sedan segment with the launch of Maruti Suzuki Kizashi by January 2011 which is expected to be priced above Rs 10 lakh.

The luxury car market is also set up for new launches as Audi, BMW, Mercedes and Porsche all have big plans for 2011. With the entry of Aston Martin, the market is set to get even more interesting.

India is currently the second largest motorcycle market, behind China. Hero and Honda's split is set to make the market more competitive and companies like Yamaha and Bajaj are already looking at this as an opportunity to launch new bikes.

The rising number of affluent Indians have already created lot of interest among the luxury carmakers. The year 2010 see a host of launches with Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, Bugatti making a beeline for the Indian auto sector.

The trend will continue in the 2011 as other companies like Aston Martin and Ferrari are planning to enter Indian market.

Ferrari is already in talks with Tata Motors for their upcoming launch, which is expected in 2011.

So the luxury car market is set to be more interesting.

India is currently the second largest motorcycle market behind its Asian counterpart China.

The year 2010 marked the split of the 26 years joint venture of Hero Group and Honda Motors. The experts expect that it can be a game changer for the India two wheeler segment.

The split will fuel up more competition in the market with other players looking to grab their market share.

Both companies are aggressively gearing up for more launches in 2011 and other competitors like Yamaha and Bajaj have already announced a series of launches in its two wheeler segment.

The year is going to see a major comeback of scooter sales with Honda preparing for the re-entry of Piaggio, which is planning to re-launch the iconic Vespa scooters in 2011.

Courtesy: Mail Today

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