Wednesday, March 21, 2012
By Pawan Rana
Small car petrol models helped industry rise from low sales slumber
Craze for diesel cars may be in the veins of auto industry for some time, but the real heroes are the petrol powered small cars such as Tata Nano, Hyundai Eon and Maruti Alto. The growing popularity of these entry level cars has no big reason behind it. It is simply the high interest rates, rising fuel prices and the present hike in excise that have forced Indians to think small as if you think of big you have to pay extra now. The rise in car prices has also strained the purchasing capacity of the car buyers. Now, they need a car and they go for the most affordable ones and these are the entry level cars like these.
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Significantly, sales of small cars in February touched 50,000 units that are the highest ever. Small cars include cars with a price tag of Rs 3.5 lakh or less. Notably, downslide in small car sales has pulled down the overall sales growth in 2011. Now that the market has improved and the high engine capacity cars have gone dearer, the car buyer who wished a sedan or an SUV earlier thinks of finally settling down to affordable hatchback like Nano, Eon, Tata Indica Vista, Hyundai Santro or the best selling Maruti Alto.
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As per car experts, if the present trend of growing sales of small cars continues, the FY 2012-13 may witness a growth of 8-10 percent. Interestingly, demand for entry level diesel cars has also increased in the past years and cars like Maruti Swift, Renault Pulse, Nissan Micra diesel and Chevrolet Beat Diesel have witnessed good sales boost.
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Basically, there are three factors that support the petrol driven small cars. These are; low initial cost, low maintenance and with the advancement in technology the small cars deliver high mileage. This is the reason why Tata Nano and Maruti Alto sales have almost doubled compared to the sales in October 2011.