Almost all carmakers have compact sedans planned for the Indian market
In India, a car isn’t just a basic means of transport, a way of getting from point A to B. Rather, it is a statement of having arrived in life. In a nutshell, aspiration is the name of the game when it comes to cars in India, preferably with a boot in tow. Indians love economizing and this applies to the cars sold here too. Case in point is the very unique segment, created solely to benefit from the Indian government’s sops offered to compact cars and the Indian car buyer’s preference for four wheels with a boot attached, the compact sedan category.
Tata Motors was the first off the block, when it chopped the Indigo sedan’s boot to come up with the Indigo eCS compact sedan. Moderate success was the result, but just enough to convince other players to take a stab at this segment. Maruti Suzuki did take a stab, and to spectacular success. The sub-4 meter Swift Dzire compact sedan is the best selling sedan in India, and with the recent upstart Honda Amaze, the compact sedan segment does sales of about 25,000-27,000 units/month.
These numbers are simply too hard to ignore, especially with the compact sedan now becoming a proven formula for success. In the next couple of years, over half a dozen compact sedans will be launched in India, giving hatchback and first time car owners an opportunity to move to “sedan class”, albeit in an affordable manner. CarToq profiles the future compact sedans that the Indian car market will get to see in the next two years. In case you didn’t know, CS stands for compact sedan.
2014 Tata Manza CS
The full-size Manza’s boot will get chopped to achieve the sub-4 meter length while the wheelbase will be retained. A 1.2 liter turbo petrol engine and the 1.3 liter Fiat Multijet turbo diesel engine will power the Tata Manza CS. The car is likely to debut in the second half of next year, as Tata Motors’ second compact sedan. Positioning and pricing will be in between the Indigo eCS and the full-size Manza.
2015 Hyundai Grand i10 CS
The Grand i10 CS, a booter version of the hatchback variant, is likely to share engines and transmissions with its hatchback sibling. The car will be Hyundai’s replacement to the Accent sedan. The car will face off with the Maruti Dzire and the Honda Amaze. Expect pricing to undercut that of the next-gen i20 hatchback. A launch in later 2014 or early 2015 is envisaged.
2015 Ford Figo CS
The next generation Figo hatchback (a.k.a the new Ka) will be launched in India during 2015, following which a compact sedan version will make its debut here. The compact sedan version of the next-gen 2015 Figo will replace the Ford Classic in the Indian car market. The CS version of the Figo will borrow engines and transmissions from its hatchback sibling.
2015 Tata XO based CS
In 2015, Tata Motors could have no less than 3 compact sedans, operating at different price points, in the Indian car market. The Tata XO platform based compact sedan is likely to be positioned alongside the Indigo eCS or may even be positioned a touch lower down the price band. A 1.05 liter turbo diesel engine and a 1.2 liter turbo petrol engine is likely for the new Tata XO based CS. A direct rival is expected to be Maruti Suzuki’s next gen 2014 Alto (A-Star replacement) based compact sedan.
Maruti Suzuki YL7/New Global Alto based CS
Like Tata Motors, Maruti Suzuki will also build multiple sub-4 meter compact sedans. The YL7 platform, codename for the 2014 Global Suzuki Alto or the A-Star replacement, will play host to a compact sedan that will sit under the Dzire in terms of price and positioning. By the looks of it, the YL7 CS could be the least priced compact sedan in India, taking affordability to an all new high. A 2015-16 launch for this car is likely.
Volkswagen Up! based CS
Volkswagen will build a compact sedan for the Indian market. Doubts revolve around the platform that the German car maker will choose to underpin its compact sedan. The Up! platform, with the Taigun compact SUV’s floorpan, is likely to be used. As the Taigun is likely to make its debut in 2015, the Up! CS could follow soon after. A 1.5 liter turbo diesel engine and a 1.2 liter TSI turbo petrol engine could be the two motors powering the Up! based CS.
Renault-Nissan Micra based CS
For now, the word about Renault-Nissan working on a Micra-based compact sedan is more of a rumour. However, this possibility cannot be discounted given the fact that the Datsun GO hatchback, a car based on the Micra, can eventually play host to a low cost compact sedan as well. More than the Micra being extended (we already have the Sunny, don’t we?), a defined boot being strapped onto the Datsun Go’s derriere seems a logical option. Don’t be surprised to see an official announcement on this front from Renault-Nissan.