From British marque Morris Garages to Korean favourite Kia Motors and French giant Citroen, auto enthusiasts in the country will soon be spoilt for choice
Guwahati: Holding the fourth place in the world automobile industry, India is currently attracting auto manufacturers throughout the world to invest in the country’s market. According to reports, the car purchasing capacity in the country is witnessing an upward growth, with Rs 12-16 lakh bracket being the most popular among the Indian buyers.
Almost every day, newer companies are setting foot in India to grab a market share of the second most populous country in the world. Here are three new companies which will officially launch their products in India this year.
Morris Garages, also known as MG, has launched its first product in the Indian market on Thursday. Called ‘Hector’, the mid-sized SUV will be available in the price bracket of Rs 12-17 lakh. Hector is MG’s official entry in the Indian automobile market.
The USP of Hector, as the company claims, is that it will be the first car connected with Internet facilities. The 5-seater SUV will come with 19 exclusive features and more than 50 connected features, including always-on Internet connectivity enabled by e-SIM.
The SUV will stand on the new BS-VI norms and will be available in both petrol and diesel engines. Automatic transmission is, however, available only in the petrol variants. It has four variants in its lineup: Style, Super, Smart and Sharp. The manual transmission for petrol is only available in the two lower variants whereas dual-clutch transmission is being offered only in top two variants. The top three variants also get one hybrid petrol engine under the hood.
Hector will take on some of the existing segment leaders such as Jeep Compass, Tata Harrier, Nissan Kicks, Mahindra XUV500, the upcoming Kia Seltos and Hyunda Creta, among others.
The base variant of the car is priced at Rs 12.18 Lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), undercutting a segment higher than Jeep Compass by almost Rs 3.5 lakh, ranging up to Rs 16.88 lakh. Though the prices are introductory, Hector is placed between the two most popular segments and it will take on competition from the both.
MG is owned by Chinese state-owned automotive SAIC Motor and has been in the world market since 1924. It is headquartered in Longbridge, Birmingham, England and is the largest importer of Chinese made cars into United Kingdom.
The Korean automobile company is making its entry to India with its mid-sized SUV, Seltos. The 5-seater SUV will feature in the most popular price bracket of Rs 12-16 lakh. It will debut with a pair of petrol and one diesel engine where one of the petrol engines will be turbo-charged. The transmission options will include a 6-speed manual, 7-speed dual-clutch automatic, CVT auto and a 6-speed torque-convertor automatic.
Seltos will face competition from the segment-leading Hyundai Creta, Nissan Kicks, Maruti Suzuki S-Cross, Renault Captur, MG Hector and Tata Harrier. It will follow the BS-VI norms of the government and has already started taking pre-bookings. As per some reports, the company will unveil the SUV on August 22.
Kia Motors Corporation, widely known as Kia Motors, is headquartered in Seoul and is the second largest auto manufacturing company of South Korea. The company is owned by Hyundai and is known as the sister company of the parent brand. Kia Motors was initially a manufacturer of steel tubing and bicycle parts known as Kyungsung Precision Industry founded in the year 1944.
In 1953, it changed its name to Kia Industries and opened its first integrated automotive assembly plant in 1973.
French automobile manufacturer Citreon held its first-ever press conference in India in April this year detailing its strategy for the Indian market. The company showcased C5 Aircross, an SUV, which will be its first model for India and will launch by September next year. The French carmaker also said that it would launch a new model each year in India starting 2021. The launches would be under what the carmaker calls its new ‘C Cubed Programme’.
The European variant of Citroen C5 Aircross is 4500 mm long and is powered by a 2-litre diesel engine and 1.2-litre petrol engine which are mated to an eight-speed auto transmission as standard. But, match the requirements of India buyers, C5 Aircross will have several changes. Citroen's first model will be assembled at its Hosur plant in Tamil Nadu and is expected to be price under Rs 20 Lakh.
The French brand is part of Group PSA, which first entered India with Peugeot in the mid-90s. The company was founded in 1919 by French industrialist Andre Citroen and it a part of the PSA Peugeot-Citroen Alliance in 1976. The firm established its reputation for innovative technology with the Traction Avant, the car with world's first mass-produced front wheel drive and it was also one of the first to feature a unitary type body with no chassis supporting the mechanical components.
India is the fastest growing automobile industry in the world attracting newer car manufacturers every year. For new brands, Indian is a competition market with already established brands like Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai. Though more than half the share market is owned by Maruti Suzuki but the monopoly is limited in terms of price as the flagship product of the company is S-Cross which redlines Rs 12 Lakh. The preference of the buyers are shifting to the safety and paying more money for safety as well as comfort and convenience features. It is ultimately resulting in popularising the higher price bracket and tempting more and more companies to participate in the competition.