Saturday, August 18, 2012
By Manoj Kumawat
New small cars launch delays due to grim economic conditions
India has been the heaven for new cars and every new car maker loved to launch new cars in the country. But recently Volkswagen, Ford and Italian car maker Fiat seems to have deferred their plans of bringing in new cars (specially small cars) to India. Otherwise Volkswagen Up, Skoda Citigo, Ford Ka, and some Fiat cars would have been launched in India by now. The reason behind the intentional delay by these car makers is the devaluation of the rupee as well as the anti-car maker policies of the government. Meanwhile, the general economic indicators are also not so inspiring to infuse in any enthusiasm in the car makers.
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The delay is said to have been from six month to one year. All these cars were scheduled to be launched in the mid of this year but following the grim economic situation and no initiative taken by the government in this respect and even putting forward anti car industry policies have all dampened the prospects of the launch of these cars in India. All these cars were to be priced under Rs 4 lakh and the Up!, Ford Ka and Fiat’s small car were expected to target Maruti A Star as well as new Hyundai i10. In addition to being cars for India, these cars were also targeted to be part of the export from India strategy and all these car makers had plans to make India a major production hub for these cars.
It could be the possible reason why Fiat is not able to expand its portfolio in India and it has sensed the slow conditions and had expected a meek response in advance. Notably, Fiat has only two cars in India – Fiat Punto, Fiat Punto Sport and Fiat Linea sedan. Meanwhile, Ford and Volkswagen have a lot of offerings even in every segment and a lot of others are said to be in the making. However, presence in the under Rs 4 lakh segment is missing and it is this segment which is the hottest in the market.