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
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
Planning on implementing the technology initially on the Santa Fe SUV, Hyundai Motor Company has showcased the first ever smart fingerprint technology vehicle. Expected to be available only in a few markets in the first quarter of 2019, the driver will be able to unlock doors as well as start the vehicle using this feature.
The driver will need to place a finger on the sensor, which is present on the door handle and on the ignition to open and start the car. Both are equipped with a sensor. Adjusting seating position and setting of side-view mirrors are some of the features that can also be done with the help of this technology. Along with this, Hyundai also plans on implementing many more customisable technologies in their vehicles to strengthen their leadership in technology for the future.
4 January 2019
The 8th generation of the Toyota Camry will be launched on 18 January 2019. The Camry Hybrid will be an entry-level luxury sedan and will compete against the likes of the Honda Accord Hybrid and the Skoda Superb.
The new Camry comes with a number of upgraded features including a sleeker body, blacked-out roof and larger wheels. The car ’s interiors have also received a makeover and come equipped with a touchscreen infotainment centre, reclining rear seats, and a new heads-up display.
The pricing for the new Camry Hybrid has been set at Rs.43.54 lakh. The high price of the car is due to the 48% GST that is charged on all hybrid vehicles in the country.
26 December 2018
The Tata Harrier has been officially unveiled by Tata. Every detail of the vehicle has now been revealed by Tata Motors. The company has also opened bookings at the company dealership and on the online website. The car can be booked by making an advance payment Rs.30,000 which will be fully refundable if you wish to cancel the booking after making the payment. The base variant, the Tata Harrier XE will be equipped with parking sensors, speed sensitive door locks, dual airbags with ABS, projector headlamps, central locking, 16 inch steel wheels, LED DRLs, Manual AC, power adjustable wing mirrors, tilt and telescopic adjustable steering wheel, rear AC vents, puddle lamps, and power windows. The car is expected to be priced at Rs.16 lakh. The Tata Harrier XM is above the XE. This will offer an infotainment system with four speakers, front fog lamps, rear parcel shelf, rear wiper boot lamp, and much more. It is expected to be priced at Rs.17.5 lakh. The Tata Harrier XT is expected to be priced at Rs.19.5 lakh. The Tata Harrier XZ is the top variant model available for sale. It is expected to be priced at Rs.21 lakh.
24 December 2018
Tata has been trying hard in the last couple of years to change the way Indian car buyers perceive the famous auto brand. Tata successfully managed to pull off the rebuilding process successfully with the launch of vehicle like the compact hatchback Tata Tiago, compact SUV Tata Nexon, and compact sedan Tata Tigor. After establishing a new and improved name in the compact car segment, the company is now planning to enter the premium car market with the launch of Tata X451 and premium SUV Tata Harrier.
Both of the upcoming vehicles were showcased at the Auto Expo 2018. Ahead of the launch of the vehicle in January 2019, Tata has unveiled some images of the upcoming SUV and it bears a lot of similarities to Harrier concept vehicle that was on display in the Auto Expo. The first Harrier has been manufactured at the all new manufacturing line of Tata Motors based in Pune. The upcoming car is one of the most anticipated cars in a while. The new SUV Harrier will the first vehicle of Tata Motors to incorporate their new IMPACT 2.0 design philosophy. The SUV is equipped with flared wheel arches that will be housing 5-spoke alloy wheels. The car has blacked out B-pillars and a high shoulder line. The C-pillar of the vehicle will be housing a triangular quarter glass. There will be rake windshield, slim wraparound tail lamps, and a spoiler at the rear end of the vehicle. The company have not released much details about the interiors of the vehicle but it is expected that the SUV cabin will be getting a dual tone grew-brown theme. The Tata Harrier is expected t o be priced starting at Rs.15 lakh with the price going up to Rs.18 lakh.
18 December 2018
Tata Motors is expected to launch the Tata Harrier in the early part of 2019. First showcased at the Auto Expo in the early part of 2018, as the H5X Concept SUV, the exterior details were unveiled last month and now the interior details have been revealed. The dashboard has a wood-like finish in the bottom half with an overall colour scheme that is dual tone. There is a hexagonal and angular look for the AC vents. The Tata Harrier’s steering wheel is similar in appearance to the Tata Nexon. The engine is expected to be 2.0 litres, multi-jet engine that is sourced from Fiat. Tata Motors’ 2.0 Impact Design philosophy will be evident in the Tata Harrier. The Tata Harrier will also be the first vehicle of Tata Motors that will incorporate Land Rover’s technologies. This is the Omega Arc Platform of Land Rover’s which will impart exceptional off-road and on-road capabilities.
17 December 2018
As per the Secretary-General of Global NCAP, David Ward, 5-star Global NCAP rating cars, made in India, will be coming soon. He added that the India car makers have made put up huge efforts to make their cars safer since 2014. In his opinion, Indian cars with a 5-star rating as per the Global NCAP rating will make their way to India by the start of 2019.
As per a media report, the Global NCAP has already tested about 23 Indian cars. These include the Renault Lodgy, Maruti Vitara Brezza, and Maruti Swift. David Ward also announced that they are not looking for a 5-star rating on entry-level cars as they want somebody to get the top award of the ‘Safest Car For India’. In order to qualify for the award, the vehicle will have to score a 5-star in the test for adult occupant safety and a 4-star rating for child occupants.
14 December 2018
The coming weeks are expected to see mankind enter new horizons with driverless cars.
Alphabet Inc., the secretive subsidiary of Google’s parent company, Waymo, is all set to release the very first commercial driverless car service on the planet come December 2018. The service is expected to compete directly with Lyft and Uber. The name of the service is kept a secret as of now until an official announcement is made. The company released an email statement according to which it has been working on the technology of driverless cars for almost 10 years now, and the biggest focus of the company has been on safety.
13 December 2018
Almost a month away from its launch, a lot of specifications of the much-anticipated SUV from the production line of Tata Motors, the Tata Harrier, are out on the public domain. Although there have been rumours about the SUV coming with a 6-speed automatic transmission system, it has been confirmed now that the Harrier will be offered only in the diesel trim with a manual transmission system and front-wheel drive. The automatic transmission system is likely to be up for sale only after it makes its appearance on the yet to be named seven-seater SUV sibling of the Harrier in late 2019.
The Harrier is a 5-seater SUV which is powered by a 2.0-litre Kryotec diesel engine which is capable of producing about 140 hp (approx.). The engine will be mated with a 6-speed manual gearbox which will be a standard fit. However, it has also been confirmed that the BS-VI version of the SUV which will make its debut later will come with an automatic transmission system.
12 December 2018