Over the last two months, four hot, all-new cars and SUVs were launched in India. These cars aimed for a wide swathe of buyers, across multiple segments. Arriving at a time when the chips in the Indian car market were down, how have these cars fared in a tough environment? Today, we look at just that.
The first generation Jazz was perhaps Honda’s most disastrous car launches in India. Priced at a steep premium over other hatchbacks, the car bombed. Honda came back with the next generation version of the car earlier this year and if initial sales figures are anything to go by, the 3rd generation (2nd for India) Jazz has struck pay dirt. The car has found nearly 10,000 homes within 2 months of its launch.
What’s propelling the all-new Jazz?
1. Heavy localization making for premium yet competitive pricing.
2. A 1.5 liter turbo diesel engine, which is dragging the efficiency minded to Honda showrooms.
3. Space and versatility that is keeping family car buyers happy.
The Creta is a winner, fair and square. A high voltage pre-launch campaign saw Hyundai lap up big bookings by the thousands. And even a stiff price tag could do little to dissuade eager compact SUV buyers. Sold in a wide range of price points, the first compact SUV offering from Hyundai for India is a big success. Over 10,000 units have found happy homes in about a month and a half of the vehicle’s launch here. The Creta is now India’s best selling SUV, compact or otherwise.
What’s working for the Creta?
1. A wide price band has allowed the Creta access to a swathe of buyers.
2. Sharp looks and a boat load of features have played to Hyundai’s traditional strengths.
3. A slew of variants, from an entry-level petrol to a diesel-automatic means that there’s a Creta for everyone.
Maruti Suzuki S-Cross
With under 50 NEXA dealerships, Maruti Suzuki’s reach for the S-Cross seems to be woefully inadequate, but there’s a party trick. While you can’t see a S-Cross in the automaker’s regular dealerships, you sure can book one. This is perhaps how Maruti Suzuki is taking the S-Cross to a wider cross section of buyers while retaining the ‘premium-ness’ of its upmarket offering. A first month’s sales of 4,000 units isn’t bad by any stretch of imagination.
What’s going the S-Cross’ way?
1. People used to the Maruti Suzuki brand would be positively surprised at the fit and finish levels that the S-Cross brings to the table. Quite simply, the crossover is the best finished Maruti Suzuki in a long time, and buyers like good surprises.
2. Despite its crossover pretensions, the S-Cross is a large, spacious hatchback that rides and handles very well. And the number of people looking for large, comfortable hatchbacks is growing.
3. Maruti Suzuki’s reach in India is nothing short of phenomenal. Each dealer selling a few units of the S-Cross makes for big numbers.
Ford Figo Aspire
The Figo Aspire may finally help Ford break away from the one product wonder that the automaker has traditionally been. Well, this has been Ford’s weakness not just in India, but in most markets across the world. The Figo Aspire has outsold the Ecosport in the first month of it hitting the Indian car market. If this home run continues, Ford’s first compact sedan for the sub-continent is likely to bring in big volumes for the American automaker in India. The Ecosport will finally have an able partner.
Why are buyers opting for the Figo Aspire?
1. Ford has gotten the pricing of this car spot on. The Figo Aspire offers more for less and this value proposition doesn’t seem lost on the budget conscious compact sedan buyer.
2. The car is easily the best looking compact sedan in its segment, and looks are becoming more important than ever in the Indian car market.
3. The Figo Aspire in a cinch, is aspirational. The car is the most powerful in its segment, in both petrol and diesel, and Ford has outdone itself in this regard. The car is also the most feature loaded, and the safest its class. The customer seems happy.