Amazingly Amaze!

With the low sentiments in industry, there comes in a catalyst to galvanize fortunes for the Japanese car maker and certainly will effect auto industry in a good way. Honda entered the Indian auto market way back in 1998 and since then we have liked almost every single offering from them. Ain’t we? We rely on the Honda brand certainly because of its benchmark petrol engine and the prestige it gets along.
Now it’s time for Honda to love us back (The brio concept) and amaze us with its diesel offering. Since past few weeks Honda amaze is the buzz of the town. Looking at the exterior of the car in the first place itself you like it because of its congruous proportions. It makes you believe that it’s a sedan, not a boot attached with a hatchback. The front chrome grill distinguishes it from the brio and fog lamp sculpture on the bumper makes it look wide. The chisel streak on the side gives it some character and at the back tail lamps gives a hint of derivation from Honda city.  As you step inside interiors are taken straight from brio without any tweaks, which is a bit of let down. The real differences when you sit behind you never get a feeling that you are in a sub 4 meter saloon. Be it under thigh support or head room it’s the best in the class.  And 400lt boot again impresses you with space Honda has carved in with its proportionate designing.
Under the bonnet is the 1.5litre diesel engine which is a result of Honda’s Earth dreams Technology. It churns out 98bhp and 200NM of torque and above all it gets pretty friendly on your pocket with 25.8km/lt of fuel. As the commercial says you are eating chips and are not getting fat. Right on the money, you get the power and the mileage both best in the segment. Honda uses very special engine oil called 3D engine oil and honestly we don’t have much to say about it since they are Japanese.
Now when you drive the car it is smooth as expected, comfortable but not quite as expected. And the surprising part is when you turn ignition off the car shakes violently which remains a concern. It’s these small bits that effects a great deal. Since Honda has got almost everything right. Now with aggressive pricing for a product like this, it is bound to keep Honda busy running on full capacity and its showrooms crowded for a while. Moreover it will make other car makers busy either trying to justify their counter parts or developing strategy for the new ones.
The entry level sedan from Honda’s stable which would “Badlegi Honda ki Duniya!”. The much awaited FIRST diesel offering from the Japanese major has put Honda back into the race and has left nothing to Desire J

(Author – Anshul Chawla – Is an automobile enthusiast who love and live cars! Can be ignited at anshul_chawla@live.com)

Indian Car Sales Figures – April 2013

April 2013 Sales Figures – Pan India

HIGHLIGHTS:

Source: ET

·         Let’s all observe two minutes silence considering the debacle Industry has observed in April 2013. The race to put forward a respectable score for F13 (April 2012-March 2013) had led most of the OEM’s to push maximum number of vehicles to dealers in March 2013. The ripple effect was seen immediately in April – these are the brands who experienced their worst offtake figures in last 6 months or even a year in many cases! – Chevy (Spark, Beat, Captiva), Ford (Figo), Mitsubishi (Pajero Sport), Honda (Brio, Accord), Hyundai (Accent, Elantra, Santa Fe), Mahindra (Verito, Quanto, Xylo, XUV 500), Maruti (Alto, Ertiga, A-star), Nisaan (Micra, Evalia, Sunny), Renault (Fluence, Pulse, Scala, Koleos), Skoda (Fabia, Superb), Tata (Nano, Indigo+Manza, Safari+Storme), Toyota (Liva, Innova), VW (Vento, Passat).

·         Ufff, the list was never ending. If you observe, there ain’t a single OEM which has escaped the tide. The blue-eyed brands – be it the from Ertiga to XUV500, or Innova to Elantra have taken a hit. The only respite being the stellar performance of the newcomers – Sail sedan is slowly gaining ground and Honda has literally AMAZEd us all! The mantra for 2013-2014 is quiet simple – it’s not ‘Only the best survive’; but it is ‘only the NEWest survive!’. Novelty is the need of the hour and the OEMs with the new product in the kitty would have a significant advantage over competition. A glance on the upcoming products of the year which are set to change the game for the respective OEMs – Ford Ecosport, Chevrolet Enjoy, Mahindra Verito Vibe, Tata Nano Diesel, Manza CS, Skoda Octavia, Mercedes A-class, CLA, etc

·         For April 2013, domestic sales of Maruti Suzuki amounted to 90,523 units, a marginal rise over the 90,255 units it sold in April 2012. This was led by the ‘Dzire’able performance of its swift sibling. The brand has launched a mega campaign across 30 cities – Dzire Mileage Rally to fight for its turf against Amaze. Also a special top-end variant ‘REGAL’ was launched to up the premiumness of the brand. Its new found LUV has shown signs of distress – the brand Ertiga which was hovering around average ~7k nos has dropped to ~5.1l figures. The A-star has lost its sheen. Even the Alto figures left much to desire for!

·         Hyundai has shown strength in its character by growing significantly in tough times. The Korean auto major reported 4.30 per cent rise in total sales at 56,954 units in April 2013. Eon & i10 are contributing steadily and the petrol price rationalization has helped the brands. i20 figures average has seen a dip, can we call it an AMAZing effect? Verna repeatedly delivers its fluidic performance! Accent is in its last stages of the life cycle. However, it is interesting to note the consistency of Sonata volumes – 20 nos repeatedly from past 8 months!

·         The third largest auto maker had a real tough time – its flagship XUV 500 saw a 29% drop in Month-on-Month offtake volumes. Is this the sign of the cheetah slowing down? Verito again proves its name wrong – how can a product with such ability & truth fall? Who could imagine that its distant sibling – the Duster with the same engine and similar interiors has become the largest selling SUV! Quanto on the other hand seems living the weekend life and is not being accepted by the people who consider the weekdays more important! The elder brother Xylo also had a meek month and the platform volumes has seen a considerable dip in overall. Has the Igatpuri strike taken a toll on the volumes?

·         Bolero proves again why it is the most loved SUV of the country with an easy 9766 figure. Scorpio also establishes on the reason for it being the most feared SUV with reliable 4.4k mark.  

·         Tata Motors jump back to 4th place as a part of the fate and not design. Thanks to TKM for the 37% degrowth and allowing Tata Motors the position. Indica+Vista brand seemed to supported the OEM by contributing to 50% of the OEM volumes. Sumo which was averaging @ 2.8k figures at one time has gone down drastically to 1.7k volume. Storme wasn’t able to bring any kind of storm in the market. Aria & Nano have become perfect examples of how not to market / price an excellent product!

·         Toyota registers a 37 per cent sales decline in April 2013. The company sold 9,007 units in the domestic market in April 2013 as compared to 14,378 units in the corresponding month in 2012. This was heavily attributed to the decline in its Innova volumes. No reason to be surprised here! – the brand has touched 8.4k in March’13 and hence the rationalization HAD to happen in April. Etios siblings contribute equally to the decline – the refreshed avatar haven’t changed much for the brands. Fortuner still remains strong with over a 1.1k mark.

·          Honda experiences an AMAZing comeback. The OEM has left no stone unturned in terms of marketing its FIRST diesel offering in the sub-continent. With over 22000 bookings within weeks of its launch, it surely has left nightmares amongst its competition – right from Manza to Dzire!


·         ‘Make the right move’ my friend – says Fiat India. But the customer yet again is not moving towards the potent brands. Punto & Linea still suffer from low acceptance in the market.

·         With over 80% of Renault volumes being achieved through Duster sales; it becomes pretty evident how a single RIGHT product can change the OEMs fortune. The brand has surprised us all and has easily become the most accepted SUV for the year.

List of Top 20 Brands of the month –
TOP 20 Selling Cars