Japanese carmaker Toyota on Monday, June 27, 2011, launched the petrol variant of its much anticipated small car Liva in India, priced between Rs 3.99 lakh and Rs 5.99 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). The Etios Liva is set to liven up the game with its design and competitive pricing, much like the Etios, which became a game changer for the entry-level sedan segment. The Etios Liva will be pitted against the Maruti Swift, Hyundai i10, Fiat Grand Punto, Volkswagen Polo, Nissan Micra and Skoda Fabia.
Another Japanese automaker who is all set to launch its much-awaited hatchback is Honda. The company said it will launch the hatchback Honda Brio in the next two to three months, ahead of the festive season. The car is expected to be priced at Rs 4.5 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) for its base model and is expected to be equipped with a 1.4 petrol engine and a 1.6 litre diesel engine.
Maruti Suzuki, the leader in the mass segment, plans to launch the new Swift by end of this year. The company has registered a drop in the small-car sales and plans to regain its falling market share. The new Swift will share its mechanical underpinnings with the current crop but the skin on top will get slightly changed. It would take a practiced eye tell the difference. The interiors, would, of course, see a big change, with their quality being improved by quite a few notches. Expect the price the car to be around Rs 10,000-Rs 12,000 more than the outgoing model, which currently starts at Rs 4.09 lakh.
Maruti's arch rival Hyundai is gearing up launch the i10 in its diesel avatar, with a small 1.2-litre engine. This engine expected to make the i10 quite peppy and at the same time quite frugal, and will cost around Rs 75,000 more than the regular petrol model, which currently starts at Rs 4.19 lakh for the Kappa-engined model.
According to reports, Fiat India is going to make some radical changes in its product and distribution strategy very soon. And the company is going to launch upgraded versions of hatchback Punto and Linea sedan. The current models of Punto cost between Rs 4.3 lakh to Rs 6.8 lakh. (ex-showroom Delhi).
Also jumping on to the diesel bandwagon is the Chevrolet from General Motors India with its Beat model. Beat has done well for the company with its sharp styling and low maintenance. The diesel version is expected to take the battle further with the big boys. Prices currently start at around Rs 3.55 lakh, and as with the Hyundai, expect a Rs 75,000 premium over the petrol model.