The financial year 2017-2018 was an eventful one for the automotive industry in India. From the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime and the country’s transition to the BS IV emission norms, there were many new propositions that changed the rhythm of sales in the sector. The introduction of new passenger cars from luxury brands in the Indian automotive space was a highlight as well. The government’s intention to convert to an all-electric fleet by the year 2030 also received a push last year.
Here, we take a walk (or rather a drive) down memory lane and analyse all the new models of cars and SUVs that raked in the profits for car manufacturers in 2017-18.
The facelifted version of the Swift was launched early 2018. The new Swift is characterised by LED projector headlamps with DRLs, precision-cut alloy wheels, and LED rear combination lamps. The SmartPlay infotainment system, auto gear shift technology, push button for start and stop, automatic climate control facility, steering mounted audio controls, and smart key are other highlights of the 2018 Maruti Swift. The petrol version of the car (with automatic or manual transmission) provides fuel economy of 22 km/l. The car also made history when it received 1 lakh bookings within 2 weeks of launch in February 2018.
A car that just missed a spot in this list was the Renault Kwid, and it deserves an honourable mention. The top-selling car from Renault sold 92,440 units in 2017. The average sales per month was 7,703 units. The Kwid also managed to outsell the Celerio several times last year.
Traditionally, the hatchbacks from Maruti have been the top choices for the prospective Indian customer. But there is now a segment shift with the crossovers outselling hatchbacks. This trend was seen with the Creta selling more units than the Kwid or Celerio last year.
GST Update: GST of 18% is applicable on car insurance effective from the 1st of July, 2017
Toyota has not taken many risks when it comes to the Indian car market. The main focus of the company has always been the premium cars priced above Rs.15 lakh. The company has managed to hit impressive sales number even though they focus mainly on one segment. No other brand in the country has managed to sell these many cars in the car segment above Rs.15 lakh as much as Toyota. This is due to some of the big cars launched by India like the Innova Crysta, Corolla Altis, Camry Hybrid, and the Fortuner.
The company is now planning to introduce themselves into the lower price segment, a segment that is very popular in the Indian car market. Toyota is looking to bring down the cost of their lineup, which is why they made an alliance with Suzuki last year. Toyota will kick off this alliance by launching the rebadged versions of Maruti Brezza and Baleno in India. Baleno is expected to launch sometime this year while the Brezza will sometime in the year 2020. Toyota has plans in place to launch two more vehicles for the C segment, one MPV and one SUV. Both the cars will be based on the Toyota Rush platform. This platform will be used by Maruti to launch their flagship MPV and SUV in the country.
20 February 2019
Mahindra is making its way towards becoming one of the biggest names in the auto industry. The company has acquired several names in the automotive sector across the globe, including the likes of Peugeot motorcycles, BSA, and Pininfarina among others. Mahindra is now looking to enhance its vehicle lineup. The global expertise is said to be offering the company a lead, and it plans to launch 10 new cars this year which include generation upgrades and facelifts. These vehicles include the KUV100 Electric which is expected to be launched by mid-2019. The TUV300 Facelift is set for release in late 2019, while the XUV300 could be available as soon as February 2019. The XUV300 LWB is set for launch by the end of the year, while the XUV300 Electric will be available to customers by the end of Q1 this year. The Thar and the Scorpio will hit Indian markets by 2020. The Marazzo Electronic will be up for sale by the end of this year, while the petrol variant will be launched in the first quarter of next year.
13 February 2019
With the fast growing SUV market in in the country, Tata Harrier is the new name to join the list recently. Launched on 23 January 2019, this SUV has gained popularity immediately after its launch. This new SUV boasts of its advanced features and spacious interior. It also features a stunning exterior a powerful engine. Harrier comes within an affordable price range starting from Rs.12.69 lakh. While this SUV has created a lot of buzz in the market the competitors are also geared up to launch a hoard of new SUV soon. In the next few months there will be expectedly a slew of new SUVs which will be directly or indirectly rival Tata Harrier. 8 of the upcoming Tata Harrier rivals include MG Hector, Kia SP, New Hyundai Creta, Skoda Kamiq, Volkswagen T-Cross, Renault Duster, Maruti Suzuki Vitara, and Next-gen Mahindra XUV500.
4 February 2019
Mercedes Benz is set to launch what will be India’s first electric SUV. Called the Mercedes Benz EQC, it debuted at the Paris Motor Show in 2018 and is based on the Benz GLC platform. The GLC platform had to be majorly modified for this. The EQC’s rivals in the global market are the Jaguar I-Pace and the Tesla Model X, both of which are not available in India. India’s first BS-VI compliant vehicle was launched by Mercedes Benz in 2018. Now, along with electric models, the German carmaker is planning to launch hybrid models as well.
The future may see both electric and hybrid vehicles being locally assembled in India. The EQC is based on the EQ concept that had its showcase in 2016. Compared to the conventional SUV, it is 315mm lower and 105mm longer. The cabin is both futuristic and premium with touchscreen infotainment panel, digital instrument cluster, etc. It will also have an electric drivetrain that has been newly developed. The rear and front wheels will be powered separately by two electric motors. The maximum power will be 765 Nm and 407 Bhp. The lithium-ion battery pack is 80kWh with a mileage in the range of 450 km for a full charge. It will take 40 minutes only to charge the battery to 80% capacity.
1 February 2019
As per the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, it is mandatory for all vehicles to be insured. Having an insurance policy can help during difficult times. The penetration of insurance products in the country has increased from 2.71% in 2001 to 3.7% in 2017.
India is one of the fastest growing smartphone markets. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the usage of mobile apps is on the rise. Many features and factors are investigated by customers before buying an insurance policy. Therefore, some insurers have launched apps where details of the insurance are available and insurance renewal is easily possible. The introduction of these apps in order to help customers has been received well as it reduces the hassles of paperwork. It can also help in increasing insurance policy sales.
31 January 2019
Japanese auto giant, Nissan, has finally launched the Nissan Kicks in the Indian marker. The Kick is a premium 5-seater SUV. The petrol trim of the SUV has been priced between Rs.9.55 lakh to Rs.10.95 lakh. The diesel trim, on the other hand, is priced between Rs.10.85 lakh and Rs.14.65 lakh. All the prices are ex-showroom, Delhi. The SUV comes in 4 different trims – XL, XV, XV Premium, and XV Premium+. Two engine options are offered – diesel and petrol. Both the trims are mated with a manual transmission system.
The petrol version of the Nissan Kicks gets a 1.5-litre petrol engine that delivers around 106 bhp and about 142 Nm of peak torque. The diesel variant gets a 1.5-litre mill which delivers 110 bhp and 240 Nm of peak torque. The petrol trim gets a 5-speed manual gearbox. The diesel trim, on the other hand, gets a 6-speed manual gearbox. The SUV gets multiple colour options. These include 4 dual-tone shades as well as 7 single tone paint schemes.
30 January 2019
India’s largest non-life insurance company, ICICI Lombard recently reported muted Q3 earnings with its net profit rising by approximately 3% on a Year on Year basis to Rs.239 crore in the third quarter on lower investment yields and higher commission costs.
However, this report of the rise might just be an optical illusion for the insurer. According to the rules of accounting, commissions that are paid to agents (of agencies) are recognized upfront while the income from the premium payments are amortized over the following four quarters. Upfront expensing of acquisition cost that are aimed to drive business growth basically led to the plummeting of the profits of the insurance company. The overall growth of the business and operating performance as well remained more or less healthy.
ICICI Lombard has further reported a growth of 25.9% on a YOY (year-on-year) basis.
28 January 2019
According to the ‘BASF Color Report for Automotive OEM Coatings’ by the Coatings Division of BASF, white was the most preferred car colour by Indian consumers in 2018, with 43% of the buyers having chosen the tone. The next most preferred car colours were grey and silver, with around 15% of the buyers having chosen them.
This was followed by red, with 9% of the consumers having chosen the tone for their cars. Blue was preferred by 7% of the buyers, while black was only chosen by 3% of the buyers.
Ms. Chiharu Matsuhara, BASF Head of Design (Asia-Pacific), mentioned that small cars that have a pearl white tone are quite popular among consumers in India. She said that consumers in India were likely to prefer white cars since they do not heat up very quickly. She added that white has a luxurious image and that this could be another reason for it being a popular choice among car buyers.
The report also mentions that white was the most preferred colour in the SUV segment, entry-level sub-compact segment, basic compact segment, compact (premium) segment, and the mid-sized segment.
23 January 2019
Mercedes Benz India is preparing for the launch of its luxury multi-purpose vehicle, the V class on 24 January 2019. The car makers have rolled out the vehicle in various markets in phases over the last 4 years.
The V-Class is perhaps Mercedes-Benz’s most successful offering in this segment and is available for purchase in over 90 countries. According to industry experts, the vehicle is likely to bring the elements of luxury from the sedan segment into the MPV segment.
The V-Class will come with Nappa leather seats, a wide range of safety features, a 16-speaker surround system and one of the largest sunroofs in the MUV segment.
8 January 2019
Force Motors has initiated the deliveries of the new Gurkha Xtreme - the most powerful model of the renowned Gurkha off-roader. The car recently made its debut in the market with an ex-showroom price of Rs.12.99 lakh. The first set of images of the production-spec Gurkha Xtreme show what the model truly looks like without any additional options.
Outfitted with a front disc brake and a snorkel as a standard, the new Gurkha Xtreme features steel wheels as a standard along with 245/70R16 tyres. Furthermore, this car is equipped with a Mercedes-sourced OM 611 motor. Powered by a new 2.2-litre, 4-cylinder diesel engine, the Gurkha Xtreme is capable of producing a maximum power of 140 hp and a peak torque of 321 Nm between 1,600 rpm and 2,400 rpm. The engine of this car is coupled with a new Mercedes-derived G32 5-speed manual gearbox using a dual-mass flywheel. This car also carries a new low-range transfer case in addition to the facility to fit hub locks on the front axle. According to Force Motors, this feature helps save fuel while reducing the stress on the drivetrain in the 2WD mode.
Even though the outlook of the Gurkha Xtreme is similar to the Gurkha Xpedition and Gurkha Xplorer, several features including new steel bumpers at the front and rear end, LED turn indicators, different wing mirrors and decals, and a thicker footboard set the car apart from its siblings.
7 January 2019