The Indian car market is slowly getting populated by more and more models, but there are still some models that are sold abroad that have not yet made it to India. We take a look at some practical cars for India that if launched here, will likely catch the fancy of buyers in the volume segment.
These are not very expensive cars and for the most part can be priced very competitively at between Rs. 5 lakh and under Rs. 15 lakh. These cars are selling reasonably well abroad and should do well in India too, if launched here, especially as most of them are focussed on the entry-level end of the market. Also read: Five cars we need in India now
Honda has just launched the N-One mini hatchback in Japan, and this car looks like it is perfectly suited for the Indian market as well. It can slot in under the Honda Brio and directly compete with Maruti’s Wagon-R. The car has a cute design, with boxy retro-styling, which is quite practical, as it frees up quite a bit of interior space, just like the Wagon-R. The car is available with two 660 cc petrol engines in Japan, which is extremely fuel-efficient, with a claimed efficiency of 27 kmpl. But in India, it could be fitted with Honda’s 1.2 litre Brio engine, which should make it even more desirable. Price it at Rs. 3.5 lakh to Rs. 4.5 lakh and Honda has a winner on its hands. Also read: New cars from Honda in the next 2 years
The Skoda Citigo is Skoda’s version of the Volkswagen Up, which VW has said it is not immediately considering for India, although the car has been spotted testing here. The car is available in three-door and five-door configuration, the latter being more suited to the Indian market. It could be launched with the new 1-litre petrol engine it has that puts out 75 bhp of power and also the 1.2 litre diesel from the Skoda Fabia and Volkswagen Polo. If this car is priced between Rs. 4 lakh and Rs. 6 lakh, Skoda can get back in the game with a nice small hatchback.
The Fiat Panda is a car that Fiat is seriously considering for India, but there has been no news on when it will eventually launch the car here. The Panda has been a successful car in Europe, and if launched in India, would probably sell alongside the Punto, a strategy that would give Fiat better coverage of the premium hatchback market with more models. The Panda is a spacious hatchback with plenty of interior space. It is very stylish and the interiors look really good. Internationally the Panda has a choice of six engines and a 4×4 option as well, but in India, Fiat would do well to consider a simple petrol and diesel engine choice to stay price competitive. If the Panda can be priced between Rs. 5.5 lakh and Rs. 7 lakh, it would offer buyers of the Hyundai i20 and Maruti Swift better choice.
Maruti has seen success with the Ertiga, a vehicle that was developed specifically to be a seven-seater multi-purpose vehicle. However, it’s not spacious enough. If Maruti wants to get into the volume segment, it should consider the Suzuki APV, a multi-purpose van that can easily seat seven, and is quite spacious. This vehicle can directly compete with the Mahindra Xylo and Nissan Evalia, and knowing Maruti’s localization capability, it could be competitively priced. The Suzuki APV is a seven-seater, multi-purpose vehicle that’s sold with a 1.6 litre petrol engine (same as the SX4’s engine). In India, Maruti could also offer it with the 1.3-litre multijet diesel – in the same state of tune as the Ertiga. It could be priced between Rs. 7 lakh and Rs. 9 lakh, to compete with Chevrolet’s upcoming Enjoy.
The Ford Focus is a car that would give Ford a competent product to sell in the Rs. 10 lakh to Rs. 14 lakh price segment, just above the Ford Fiesta. It can compete with cars like the Toyota Altis and Skoda Laura. The Focus can slot in just below the Ford Mondeo, a car that Ford may likely bring back to India as well. The Focus is available internationally with an EcoBoost petrol engine (1.6 litre) and a 2-litre diesel engine. Both these engines would do well in India. The diesel puts out close to 160 bhp, while the petrol 1.6 EcoBoost also puts out the same power in the European market. Also read: Five car types India deserves
These are some cars that would do well in the budget end of the market if launched in India. Share your thoughts on them.