Gone are the days when a handful of Marutis, the HM Ambasaador, and the Fiat Premier Padmini were the only cars one had to choose from. Today, there are at least half a dozen new car launches every month. However, every once in a while, there comes a new car that totally changes the rules of the game. From changing the buyer’s perception to outselling some really well-established models – such cars are known to have disturbed the convention. Here, in this post, we take a look at as many as 10 Game Changers of Indian Car Industry of the recent times.
#1 Renault Kwid
The Kwid became the first crossover-ish hatchback to launch in the entry-level segment of our car market. Basically, this car attracts all those who aspire to buy an SUV but have a smaller budget. Rugged looks, a fairly spacious interior, considerably frugal and peppy engines, optional AMT – there’s too much that this car offers. No surprise, then, that it has managed to leave a sizeable dent in the sales of the Maruti Suzuki Alto.
The Celerio became the logical successor to the AStar. While this car’s tall boy architecture and a less entertaining suspension make it different from its predecessor, what really sets the car apart is the AMT transmission. Fast becoming a rage today, the AMT technology made its debut on the Celerio.
The micro-SUV segment in India was kickstarted by the Mahindra KUV100. A hatchback-turned-SUV or an SUV-turned-hatchback – the KUV100 s is actually a good amalgam of a B-segment hatchback and a Small SUV. Also, with the recent facelift, the KUV looks sufficiently rugged and upmarket.
#4 Hyundai i20
In its second-generation now, the i20 became the first-ever premium hatchback to have really appealed to the Indian car buying lot. However, the real reason for the i20 to make it to this list is segment-first safety features it offered back in the day. The last-generation i20 was the only car of its type to offer a full quote of 6 airbags along with disc brakes on all four wheels.
The Ford EcoSport is responsible for making the sub-4m compact SUV segment popular in India. Its world-class design, the terrific Ecoboost engine, attractive pricing, and the low cost of maintenance made it an immediate hit. While Maruti stole the limelight away with the Vitara Brezza, the EcoSport still enjoys a. pretty high brand image. Easily one of the most likable Ford cars of recent times, this one.
The Renault Duster has almost totally lost out to the Hyundai Creta in last few years. However, it’s actually this rebadged Dacia that has been responsible for making the small SUV segment popular. Also, even today, the Duster is the only small SUV in its price range to offer a 4wd system.
#7 Maruti Ciaz
The Maruti Ciaz became the first car to comprehensively outsell the once-invincible Honda City. It is also the only Diesel-powered C-segment sedan to offer a start-stop system. A really spacious cabin is another factor that works well for this Maruti offering. The Ciaz has been responsible for pushing its rival to improve their game.
All those who feel that big, costly MPVs can’t sell too well in India should look at the Innova Crysta. The latest generation of the company’s globally recognized MPV brand is considerably more expensive than the earlier generation model. However, it still manages to post better sales figures than its predecessors. Truly amazing, right?
The VCross is another car that has managed to surprise everyone with its sales performance. The VCross is big, heavy, and pretty expensive. Yet, it has managed to appeal to the ‘metrosexuals’ and even many off-roading enthusiasts. The succsess of the DMax V-cross will surely encourage other manufacturers to launch similar offerings in India.
#10 Jeep Compass
An expensive small SUV from the Fiat Chrysler Group doesn’t sound like a great recipe for success in the Indian car market, right? However, the Compass surprised everyone by shattering all sorts of sales records in its segment. What’s more, it even ended up leaving a dent in the sales of the Mahindra XUV700, which is surprising if you take into account that the XUV offers more seat and the high trust that a Mahindra badge comes with.
So, what do you think of these 10 game changers of Indian car industry?