Friday, December 23, 2011
By Manoj Kumawat
SUV at the price of small car is what year 2012 has to offer
Believe it or not, come 2012 and anyone can own a compact SUV or MPV at the price of a small car. Reason: carmakers such as Maruti, Hyundai and Mahindra besides Ford have all lined up to offer customers with SUVs, MPVs that will just cost similar to a premium hatchback. On the other hand, despite India being a market largely dominated by small cars, one finds very few new insertions in the small cars section in the coming year.
Where Maruti is all ready to launch its MPV Maruti Ertiga, homegrown SUV maker Mahindra is all set to introduce a squeezed version of Mahindra Xylo that has been christened as Mahindra Xylo Mini. French car maker Renault following its aggressive strategy for India will be launching Renault Duster and Ford has set its plans right for Ford Ecosport. It is also expected that Nissan and Ashok Leyland will also roll out their MPV soon. Besides, General Motors also has plans to enter this segment.
Experts believe that the recent shift of focus by the car companies is a direction reflection of the saturation that has come in the small car market. There are now too many offerings for the customer and thus the growth rate is slowing down gradually. Seeing this, car manufacturers have chalked out fresh strategy of upsizing their customers and offering them a small size SUV or mid-sized MPV at the price of hatchback.
Whatever be the case, the end customer will be at profit. The calculation goes like this. The price of top-end version of any hatchback goes to Rs 6 lakh to Rs 7.5 lakh and almost all these compact SUVs or MPVs will be available in this price segment. So it will be like, ‘why not to go for the bigger than to be contended with a small car’ for the customer.