Maruti, Hyundai ‘Cross Over’ to All-new Small Car Space
ENTRY-LEVEL FOCUS Enthused by response to Renault’s Kwid, Maruti is planning a crossover model of Alto, while Hyundai is working on a similar concept called AH
Mumbai: Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai Motor India are looking to revise their strategy for entry-level car models, given the unexpected success of Renault’s Kwid, said several people aware of the development. Given that the Kwid’s SUV-related styling cues enthused buyers enough to reinvigorate the segment, Maruti Suzuki is considering the introduction of the next Alto in a tall boy, crossover avatar by 2018, they said. Hyundai Motor India has also started work on a new project internally called AH that aims to deliver a stylish crossover design to woo entry-level car buyers in the second half of 2018, people said. The South Korean car maker estimates potential sales of 95,000 to 1 lakh units with the new vehicle, according to vendors.
Although a small car, the Kwid has adopted the design swagger of a larger vehicle, prompting Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai to go back to the drawing board. Apart from this, Mahindra & Mahindra has created a new micro-SUV segment with its KUV100 starting at .₹ 4.5 lakh, calling it an entry-level SUV.
About a year after the Kwid’s launch, more than 1 lakh people have either bought or booked the car. The KUV100 has got about 37,000 bookings since its unveiling in November. The Kwid starts at .₹ 2.6 lakh. Maruti Suzuki managing director Kenichi Ayukawa lauded Renault on its success. AT THE MARUTI SUZUKI WORKSHOP
introduce next Alto in a tall boy, crossover avatar by 2018
observed the global trend of crossovers penetrating the compact car segment
with affordable pricing make an interesting option for Indian consumers AT THE HYUNDAI STABLE also started work on a new project internally called AH deliver a stylish crossover design in the second half of 2018
has created a new micro-SUV segment with its KUV100
has got about bookings since November
was launch last year, Renault got about more than bookings for the car “We have to congratulate them but we are not happy, so we have to have some counter measure. We are deciding what kind of product is needed in that segment,” he said in a recent interview to ET.
A senior executive at the largest car maker said the company has observed the global trend of crossovers penetrating the compact car segment and that body style along with affordable pricing make for an interesting
option for Indian consumers.
“The design for the new Alto is yet to be frozen for India but clearly a consideration of crossover body style is being looked at,” he said.
Even as the design of the next Alto is being deliberated, the new crossover hatch from Maruti Suzuki, the Ignis, will be hitting the market in the festive season this year.
The Ignis has a tall boy design with a high seating position, which will draw the attention of prospective buyers in the sub-.`6 lakh bracket, which makes up 35-40% of the overall car market.
The entry-level car market accounts for a fifth of the annual total of 5.5 lakh units. The segment has come alive with the Kwid, analysts said, adding that Renault group company Nissan will be launching the Redi-Go from the Datsun stable in June. That car too has similarly aggressive styling, they said.
Rakesh Srivastava, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Hyundai Motor India, declined to comment on future product plans but said the entry car segment had been declining due to lack of new launches. With that having changed, the segment is expected to recover.
According to him, car penetration in India is still very low at 19 vehicles per 1,000 people and the entry segment is bound to grow as many users of two wheelers will look to upgrade.
“We expect the entry car segment to continue to have sizeable volume with moderate growth rate with new launches,” Srivastava said. “At Hyundai, we are watching every segment closely including the entry segment for product opportunities so as to strengthen our leadership position with new launches of at least two new products every year,” he said.
CO MAY CO HAS BODY STYLE CO HAS AIMS TO MAHINDRA & MAHINDRA KUV100 SINCE KWID