Cars launched in the past 3 months – What Clicked, What Didn’t

Snapshot – Over half a dozen mass market cars made their debuts over the last 3 months. Some were all-new models while others were mostly substantial facelifts and new variants of existing cars. How have they been faring at the hustings? We take a quick look.

Hyundai i20 Active

2015 Hyundai i20 Active 39

The Hyundai i20 Active is one of the better equipped hatchback based crossovers in India, in line with the Fiat Avventura. Based on the i20 Elite, the i20 Active is easily the most successful car in its category, bringing in good sales volumes in the last couple of months.

2015 Hyundai i20 Active 13

Apart from having a rub off effect of the i20 Elite’s success, the i20 Active adds a lot of value by bumping up ground clearance and featuring a stiffer suspension set up. It also helps that the Hyundai’s hatchback based crossover has top notch quality levels and ravishing looks.

Renault Lodgy

Renault Lodgy MPV 3

The Renault Lodgy is the second big success for the French automaker in India, after the Duster. The Lodgy has managed good volumes in the first three months of its launch in India. However, the increase in Lodgy volumes has seen the Duster dipping.

Renault Lodgy MPV 4

Two things could be at play here. One is that Renault is diverting the Duster’s production line to the Lodgy. The other is that car buyers in India are walking into Renault showrooms and opting for the Lodgy instead of the Duster. While it’ll take us a while to figure this out, it’s certain that the Lodgy is having a good run at the hustings.

Tata Nano GenX AMT

2015 Tata Nano GenX AMT 3

The Tata Nano GenX AMT has impressed only to disappoint. In terms of driveability, the AMT version of the car is a brilliant bet for city streets. The manual gearbox equipped version is also a great bet in terms of the number of useful features it now comes with.

2015 Tata Nano GenX AMT 5

 

In terms of the numbers though, the launch of the GenX variants of the Nano has done little to improve sales on the ground. The car continues to be a perennial underperformer for Tata Motors despite the long list of improvements and regular product interventions.

Mahindra XUV500 Facelift

2015 Mahindra XUV500 Facelift 11

The Mahindra XUV500 facelift has started off strongly, with numbers going back to 3000+ monthly levels. The XUV500 features better styling than before, although this is still a bone of contention among purists. Apart from new styling, Mahindra has given this SUV a long list of features.

2015 Mahindra XUV500 Facelift 13

 

These changes have given the crossover’s sales a spurt. However, this sales spurt could be hard to sustain in the coming months, what with the likes of the Hyundai Creta and the Maruti Suzuki S-Cross primed for July launches. These new compact SUVs are expected to have price overlaps with the Mahindra XUV500.

Maruti Suzuki Celerio Diesel

Maruti Suzuki Celerio Diesel 14

Maruti Suzuki expects 20-30 % of total sales to come from India’s most fuel efficient mass market car, the Celerio Diesel hatchback. The projections of the automaker seem to be in line with the 1st month dispatches of the Celerio Diesel, which does show a 20 % bump up in month on month numbers.

Maruti Suzuki Celerio Diesel 15

On whether the budget car buyer will opt for a noisy, twin cylinder 792cc turbo diesel engine is something we’ll have to wait and watch for. The start has been promising though. The coming months should shed more light on the long term prospects of the Celerio Diesel, and the impact it will have on the budget diesel car class in India.

Tata Safari Storme Facelift

2015 Tata Safari Storme SUV Facelift 2

Tata Motors seems to be doing all it can to turn around its fortunes in India. However, the market isn’t responding very positively. The Safari Storme Facelift’s May 2015 dispatches have shown a bump up in numbers, but this may not be sustainable given the slew of all-new SUVs coming in, and the mild nature of the facelift itself.

2015 Tata Safari Storme SUV Facelift 6

With the Creta and S-Cross just around the corner, and with the XUV500 getting a much more comprehensive facelift, the Tata Safari Storme Facelift seems designed to fail. First of all, it came too late in the day, and the second thing is the sheer minimalism in terms of visible and mechanical changes.

2015 Tata Safari Storme SUV Facelift 13

[Images courtesy MotoringWorld]

Hyundai Elantra Facelift

2015 Hyundai Elantra Sedan Facelift Front
2015 Hyundai Elantra Sedan Facelift

The Hyundai Elantra Facelift is doing better numbers than before in the D-Segment sedan class, but like the Safari Storme Facelift, the Hyundai sedan is likely to lose steam quickly. The D-Segment sedan class is shrinking and the facelift isn’t comprehensive enough.

2015 Hyundai Elantra Sedan Facelift Interiors
2015 Hyundai Elantra Sedan Facelift Interiors

What this means is, after the initial spike that the Elantra Facelift is likely to see in the initial few months, the sedan could go back to being behind the likes of Toyota Corolla Altis and the Skoda Octavia in terms of sheer numbers. An all-new Elantra is the only thing that can really take the fight up to the Corolla Altis.

2015 Hyundai Elantra Sedan Facelift Rear
2015 Hyundai Elantra Sedan Facelift guns for segment leader, the Toyota Corolla Altis.