General Motors is planning to launch two new products in the MPV (Multi Purpose Vehicle) segment to compete with the Maruti Suzuki Eeco, Tata Venture, Toyota Innova and Mahindra Xylo. A CarToq report about the two new MPVs.
GM India will pick the new MPVs from the minivans it makes in China. In China, GM (through its partners) makes the 8-seater minivans Wuling Hong Tu and the 7-seater Wuling Hong Guang.
These minivans will be available to GM India under the Chevrolet brand, the vice-president of Chinese manufacturing company was quoted as saying to Bloomberg.
Both these MPVs have been spotted testing in India recently, and the statement by the senior GM partner company in China strengthens the possibility of these launches in India. Of course, GM India will launch these vehicles under a different brand name but let’s take a closer look at what these MPV will offer Indian buyers.
Wuling Hong Tu
Expected price: Rs.3.5 lakh-Rs. 5 lakh
In December last year, CarToq reported that GM India had started testing the Wuling MPV named Hong Tu (Code name: N200). The Hong Tu is powered by a 1.2 litre, 85 bhp petrol motor, mated to a 5-speed manual transmission.
When compared to the Maruti Eeco, the Hong Tu is taller, longer and wider thereby stretching its seating capacity up to 8 passengers while the Eeco can seat only 7 passengers. The van has a rear wheel drive layout. It has a 2500 mm wheelbase and a length falling within 4 meters (to comply with Indian governments’ small car definition and thereby attract less excise duty).
The model might turn out to be a worthy rival to Eeco provided the features and interiors are on par with the competition. When launched in India, the Hong Tu will get a Chevrolet badge and could be priced in the Rs. 3.5 lakh – Rs. 5 lakh range.
Wuling Hong Guang
Expected price: Rs. 7 lakh-Rs. 9 lakh
The Wuling Hong Guang is a seven-seater minivan that comes in 1.2- and 1.4-liter petrol engine variants. It was spotted testing in Bangalore in February earlier this year by Goaonwheels.com. The spy photos revealed that the car’s dimensions are comparable to the Toyota Innova and Mahindra Xylo.
When compared to the Xylo and Innova, the Hong Guang is roughly 200mm shorter in length. However, the Chinese MPV is taller and hence, could offer better head room even for third row passengers. The Guang will be an 8-seater in the 2 + 3 + 3 layout.
The engine specifications of this vehicle are yet to be known. The India-bound Hong Guang is expected to come with features such as ABS, EBD, dual safety airbags, reverse parking sensors, engine immobilizer etc.
Stay tuned for more updates about these MPVs. So far, GM only had the Tavera as the people mover. With these vehicles, it could announce itself as a significant player in the Indian MPV market.