Mahindra THAR — India’s own off road champion!

Launched in the Indian market on October 4, 2010, This compact and mid-size four-wheel drive off-road Jeep CJ-like SUV has always been appreciated for its brilliant off-roading capabilities, rugged and masculine robust body-built and legendary jeep styling. This also has been voted one of the top 10 SUVs available in the Indian market.

Let’s see the volume trend for past 5 years –

Monthly Sales Data (2015-2017)

Thar earned a lot of reputation in its segment and won the hearts of many with its off-roading capabilities but what could be a concern for Mahindra is the stabilizing volumes Month on month and has not been able to give any significant volumes addition. Rather we can term Thar now as a Brand building vehicle in Mahindra’s portfolio.

Year 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Average Monthly Sale 637 729 742 510 588

Mahindra Thar which is facing almost No competition in its segment but has the closest competitor in terms of sales volume, despite of New (Thar) vs. outdated design Maruti Suzuki Gypsy which doesn’t offer a diesel engine, power steering but still stands as the closest competitor of Mahindra Thar! In the other hand The Thar has a rugged design, masculine robust body-built, while the Gypsy has conventional styling and outdated design. Still Gypsy brings good numbers to Maruti Suzuki and has been able to give competition to Mahindra Thar in terms of sales volume.

Let’s look at the comparison:

The total volumes of Thar models are about 7,700 units a year and of which 65 per cent comes from DI model. Mahindra expects the incremental sales go come from CRDe version in the near future with changing aspirations of urban people and launch of new Thar with more features. Best of Luck for the off-roader!

Swift at 35!

Maruti Suzuki has officially opened bookings for the new Swift. The new Maruti Suzuki Swift can be booked for a token amount of Rs 11,000. The car was also showcased to media today. We decided to track the evolution of Swift as a model and also assess its sales statistics in the Indian market.

Tracing the venerable vehicle back to its roots,the first thing we noticed was the Swift badge has been slapped on a lot of vehicles over the past 35 years! Not just talking about its four generations,each generation itself contains a dizzying range of body styles and engine and transmission options ,not to mention the variants produced for the Japanese and the Americans and other foreign countries.

It all started with General Motor’s M Platform. The GM M platform was the designation used by GM for the platform that underpinned the second and third generation Suzuki Cultus and its offspring (Swift). It was designed at GM’s Technical Center in Warren, Michigan, USA. Suzuki designed all the engines, drivetrains and actual body initially. From 1985 through 1989, all models were imported from Suzuki’s facilities in Hamamatsu, Japan. From 1990 on, all North American M-cars were produced at CAMI Automotive in Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada with the exception of the convertible and turbocharged models which were imported from Japan.

Suzuki Cultus (rebadged as Swift outside Japan)

GM did not find the project profitable and the unfinished design was sold to Suzuki. The project was completed by Suzuki and they launched the car as the ‘Cultus’ in the Japanese market. The Swift name plate was used by Suzuki in the markets of Austallia and the Newzealand. Even GM badge engineered it to launch it as Cheverlet Sprint in North America.(The third generation M platform was only sold by Suzuki as the Suzuki Swift in North America as Suzuki decided to create their own Swift to market around the world.)

This is how the first Gen SWIFT looked like!

The First generation Swift was introduced in the year 2000 as a replacement for the Suzuki Cultus. Outside Japan, the “Suzuki Ignis” name was used! Both three- and five-door hatchback body styles were offered, although the three-door was not offered as part of the regular lineup in Japan.

2nd Gen Swift!

The Second generation of the Swift marked a significant departure with the previous Cultus-based models, with Suzuki redesigning the vehicle as less of a “low price alternative” subcompact and more of a “sporty” subcompact hatch. The Swift’s design and driving characteristics focused on the European market with its chassis refined through a road-testing program across Europe.

3rd Gen Swift

The Third generation Swift is currently in sale at the Indian market. It had its wheelbase extended by 50 millimeters over the previous second generation and has many visual updates. While the new car looks different from the old one, its design is an evolution of the radical second generation styling with a longer and more rounded appearance.

4th Gen Swift

The Fourth generation Swift debuted in Japan on 27 December 2016. The hatchback is built on the ‘HEARTECT’ platform which made its debut in 2015 and is the same lightweight platform used for the production of hatchbacks Baleno and Ignis!

Sales Statistics of Maruti Suzuki Swift in India –

  • ~18 Lakh Swift’s has been sold in the Indian soil till date in past 13 years
  • Swift saw a downward trend since 2015 (post the launch of Nexa Baleno). However, it still sells a whopping 1.67 Lakh units/year!
  • The upcoming Swift will carry the same lightweight platform as the current gen Baleno / Ignis.

Swift at 35 years, clearly has carried on the legacy of the Suzuki and this generation will carry on for more years. Swift has made major contribution in making Suzuki a true global car manufacturer and making Suzuki carrying on pole position in India. Surely it is the most anticipated launch of the year and the buzz will explode very soon.

Data Source: Wiki

(This article is written by the latest addition in our team – Gourav Saksham, a dentist by profession and a Petrohead by passion. You can connect with him at gouravsaksham@gmail.com)

Bajaj Auto unveils the all-new 2018 Avengers

Bajaj unveiled the latest avatars of its cruiser offering ‘Avenger’ –

  • Avenger Cruise 220 and Avenger Street 220 gets an all-new 2018 look
  • Both models get new all new LED DRL headlamps, visors, digital consoles and graphics.
Matte Black

The Avenger 220 Cruise comes with a new classic design headlamp with integrated LED DRL’s flanking the sides. The windshield also gets contemporary styling. The new console incorporates a blue coloured backlit full function digital display.

The Avenger Street 220 boasts of an all new roadster design headlamp with LED DRLs incorporated in the bottom section, a bikini fairing and roadster style rear grab. Matching the look of this bike is an amber coloured backlit full function digital display.

Both the 220 cc bikes come with a completely revised tail fender and an all new halo-effect tail lamp. The rear suspension has been improved with 12 % additional travel whilst retaining the tight wheel and fender packaging of the cruiser style. Avenger Cruise 220 will be available 2 classic colors, Auburn Black and Moon White. Avenger Street 220, on the other hand, will come in contemporary and stylish Matte Black and Matte White colors.

Matte White

These technical specifications have been retained. The Avengers come with Bajaj’s trusted 220 cc DTS-i engine to deliver – 19 PS power and excellent low to mid-range grunt with torque of 17.5 Nm. Both bikes come with an oil cooler to ensure all day riding irrespective of external conditions.

Commenting on the launch Mr. Eric Vas, President – Motorcycles Business, Bajaj Auto Ltd, said “Avenger created and leads the Cruiser bike segment in India. The 2018 Avengers break new ground in the evolution of this style. With its distinctive appearance and rich ride performance, the Avenger 220 shall continue to be the gold standard for Cruiser bikes in its class well into the future.”

The Avenger Cruise 220 and Street 220 both will be priced at Rs. 92,954/- (all Ex-Showroom Maharashtra).

Specifications

Indian Luxury Car Market

Mercedes Benz was the first luxury car maker which has shown confidence in Indian market and set up assembly plant near Pune after Indian Government has allowed foreign auto makers to set up factory through direct investment route in early 90s. First car launched was E-Class, it was W124 series which was then quite dated in global market as W210 series was ready for launch in Germany. Mercedes corrected the course in 1997 by launching W210 Series E-Class, followed by S-Class (2000), C-Class (2001) and M-Class (2002). For almost 10 years Mercedes was the only Luxury car maker in India. By 2004 global economy was very buoyant, India too was riding on the wave, then other luxury car makers decided to set up shop in India and offer expensive toys to emerging wealthy Indian to showcase their new found opulence. Since then only brand which got discontinued was Maybach, a brand re-introduced by Mercedes Benz to compete against Ultra Luxury brands – Rolls Royce and Bentley. This happened because Maybach (2002-2012) disappeared from global market, as it failed to catch imagination of people across the globe, as it doesn’t have heritage to boast of against the prominent competitors. Bugatti, a member of VW family, too has introduced its hyper car Veyron, which claims to be one of the fastest street legal car in the world. It also happened to be most expensive car sold in India till date, if you don’t consider the armored version of conventional models from other luxury car maker. Veyron has been replaced by Chiron globally and is yet to touch Indian shores. Tesla and may be Alfa Romeo are the only brands which can be expected in near future to join the luxury club.

Country of Origin

Britain has most numbers of luxury car brands to offer in India, ironically, none is owned by the British now, which you will see next. Large volume of luxury cars comes from German stable and ultra-sports car arena is dominated by Italians. Safety obsessed Swedish car maker Volvo too is gaining market share as it has recently started assembly operations at Volvo Trucks’ plant near Bangalore. Company from Far East is the most recent entrant.

Family

Whatever car you fancy about with your wealth, VW here has widest range of brands to offer under its umbrella. BMW can have similar spread if it acquires Aston Martin. Some mass market brands like Tata and Geely got lucky with the acquisition of luxury car brand JLR and Volvo respectively.

Social Stratum

Luxury car maker have their own pecking order and fascinatingly have an upper price ceiling too. When you consider other rich man transportation toys like private Jetliner or Yachts, sky is the limit. But when it comes to cars, the most expensive car you can buy from a showroom is either Rolls Royce Phantom or Bentley Mulsanne, even if you have all the wealth of the world. Here we are excluding cars which are expensive in first place by default rather than by design – Hyper Sports cars (primarily focused on high performance, sometime made up of expensive material like carbon fiber, Titanium, and not meant for everyday ride due to stiff suspension setup, seating position and lack of storage space), limited editions (because you cannot order when you wish to), armored vehicle (conventional vehicle becomes expensive), custom made Limos (elongated version of existing cars) and vintage cars (vanity value). Ever thought on these lines or is this has some correlation with Maybach’s failure? If you have an answer, then please write to us. *(Ex-Showroom Price Range in ₹ Crores)

Luxury Car Sales

Till 2006 Mercedes has enjoyed its monopoly in Indian luxury car market. But in last 10 years all the three German (Audi, BMW and Mercedes) luxury car maker got the chance to wear #1 crown, turn by turn. Change in design language, CEO’s aggressiveness, new product launch, especially smaller and more affordable ones, were key reason for shuffling of top deck. Unlike mass market segment where Maruti and Hyundai have had strongly held #1 & #2 rank and seems they would be continuing to do so, Luxury car market will see new leaders with every successful new product or new generation launch.

2017 happens to be the best year for the luxury car market in India where some companies are rejoicing with the sales growth they achieved over preceding year. Almost all are unhappy with September 2017 GST rate revision, which they feel has dampened the growth, and in future it will remain so. Yes tax does have an impact but it has to do more with the wealth and prosperity of the masses for luxury market to grow rapidly. Let us think from a different perspective. Till late 70s India and China had similar GDP size and in today’s date have similar population. Indian luxury car market size is close to 40k units now, but in China, Audi alone, sold more than 5 lakh cars (46k monthly average) in 2017! 3 decades of double digit GDP growth has made Chinese wealthier than Indians. With India’s current GDP growth rate it will take decades to reach such exponential growth in Indian Luxury car market.

Overall market

If you look at the overall passenger car market, luxury car penetration is mere 1%. Here we did a very conservative estimate of revenue and found that the revenue and tax contribution share is relatively high. When you read these figures just keep in mind, that these are very conservative estimates for illustration purpose only, based on certain very broad assumptions. Actual figures based on variant and fuel type of car and revenue from after sales spares can be on higher or lower side (may have wide variation).

Revenue = ∑ [Number of individual model sold x price of lowest variant (excluding indirect tax-GST/VAT/Excise)]

Halo products

There is handful of niche product from non-luxury car makers which falls into price territory of luxury cars. These are all halo products and are not sold in large volumes in India but are meant to showcase the heritage or technological accomplishment of the company, and add to the brand identity. Since all are CBU import, they are quite expensive for the badge they have on front grill.

For example Fiat 500, in late 50s it used to be cheapest car in Italy and made owning personal car a reality for the masses, similar to what Maruti 800 did in India since its launch in 1983. 500 signify the 479 cc engine it used to have then. Now Fiat 500 has assumed an iconic status. It still has the retro styling and borrowed its underpinning from humble Fiat Panda.  In white color it looks more like a lovely pet mouse.

In India, it was first launched in 2008 and was powered by a 1.3L 90 bhp diesel engine and didn’t do well and was eventually discontinued in 2010. It was re-launched in 2015, this time with Abarth badge on front grill and a new name “Abarth 595 Competizione”, with much powerful 1.4L T Jet petrol engine pumping out 160 bhp. 595 signify the original retuned car of 60s which came with a 595cc engine and Abarth is to Fiat is what AMG is to Mercedes Benz, an in-house tuning company. Company claims that it can do 0-100 kmph in less than 8 seconds and clock a top speed over 200 kmph.

Despite the fact that every automotive brand has an upper price ceiling which is psychologically ingrained in the mind of customer, some of these high priced halo products are doing well.

(The article is written by the Newest Pundit on the team – Rohan Rishi. You can connect with him at emailrohanrishi@gmail.com)

Luxury Car Sales for last 10 years!

Yes, we have been able to collate the data for the last 10 years (2008-2017)! The Luxury Car Industry has grown >5 times in the last 10 years in the Indian subcontinent. Though the overall annual volumes is less in the country, the continuous growth in the segment has attracted many Luxury carmakers to make their presence here. To highlight the significance of Indian Luxury Automotive segment – India is one of the first few markets in the world where the Lamborghini Urus is being launched. Even with a ticket price of Rs.3 crores (Ex-showroom, Delhi), company claims that they have exhausted almost all the Lamborghini Urus SUVs allotted for India, for the year 2018!

In the consolidated Sales of past 10 years, Mercedes Benz take the Top slot with the sales of 88,260 units. BMW stands second with sales of 70,209 units. Audi within a smaller span came close to BMW and sold 67,887 units. It is important to note that while Mercedes is present in the country since more than 20 years, BMW and Audi have completed just half the tenure of Mercedes! BMW’s rise was phenomenal – It was able to dethrone Mercedes as the No.1 luxury OEM, just within 3 years of its presence in India. Audi’s rise has been similar – Though it was founded in 2007, it jumped as the No.1 Luxury Car maker  by 2013 and toppled both BMW & Mercedes. However, the spur of new launches in 2015 drove Mercedes Benz back to Numero Uno position! In 2017, Mercedes Benz commanded a market share of over 39% and is going strong year on year. It also achieved its all time highest sales volume of 15,300 units in 2017!

The ranking table has been extremely volatile over years and the same is depicted in the above table. Also attached here is the latest Ad from Mercedes Benz highlighting the No.1 Luxury OEM for 3 years in a row –

ISUZU D-MAX V-Cross 2018 edition launched in India

The updated ISUZU D-Max V-Cross gets exciting new features and equipment in the 2018 edition. Available in two variants, High & Standard, at ₹15,76,240 (ex-showroom, Chennai) and ₹14,26,241 (ex-showroom, Chennai) respectively, the new V-Cross 2018 is an upgrade over the earlier version that was launched in India in May 2016.

Feature Highlights – Variantwise

The Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Traction Control System (TCS) were much needed features and makes the V-Cross safer in the outdoors. Day-time Running Lights (DRL) and LED Tail Lamps have been added as well. Auto Cruise Control and a 6-way Power Adjustable Driver seat add to the comfort and convenience of the driver on long road trips. The Rear View Camera shall make parking in the city a ease. The new V-Cross comes with dual-tone interiors and sporty Black Leather seats shall add up the quotient of Adventure Utility Vehicle. And all this, while the V-Cross retains the true ISUZU DNA of tough build, durability, fuel efficiency and reliability.

The new V-Cross is available in the newly introduced bold Ruby Red colour apart from the earlier range of colours – Orchid Brown, Cosmic Black, Titanium Silver, Obsidian Grey and Splash White.

It has been Awarded as the ‘Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year’ at the BBC Magazine TopGear Awards 2017 and at the CNBC-TV18 Overdrive Awards 2017,. With a capable 4WD, lmodern SUV features & equipment and a large practical deck, the new V-Cross 2018 is expected to be an adventure vehicle. However, the segment is currently niche and V-Cross is trying to capture it. The other competition in the segment should be Mahindra Scorpio Getaway & Tata Xenon. However, the Isuzu is way more capable and premium than others.

An ode to Tata Indica – 20 years of Indi’genious’ car!

Yeah, Tata Indica was India’s home grown first indigenous (originating or occurring naturally in a particular place; native) car! It was showcased in 1998’s auto expo and shipment to dealers started from Feb’99. It has sold an impressive ~15 Lakh cars in 226 months and is currently in the end of its life. We saw a post on 20th Birthday of the legendary vehicle today, and hence this article! Let’s see some interesting stats on the brand –

  • Within a week of its unveiling, Tata Motors received 115,000 bookings! Within two years, the Indica had become the number-one car in its segment.
  • Introduced with the caption “More car per car,” the ad campaign focused on roomy interiors and affordability. And yes, it was one of the most impressive automotive ad campaigns of all time.

  • Indica was the first Tata to have a monocoque chassis! And the other firsts from Tata Motors were – first car to have a “body in white”, first car to be designed keeping aerodynamics in mind, first car with a transversely mounted front engine, front wheel drive layout.
  • The Indica offered options like air conditioning and electric windows, which were previously restricted to upmarket imported cars in India!
  • Indica was also exported to European markets from 2003. It was rather badged as a MG Rover CityRover!

  • It’s highest sales in a month was 15,283 units (Mar’2007)!
  • Tata Indica has sold 14,69,038 units till date and has been the best selling car by an ‘Indian OEM’!
  • Indica established Tata Motors as a forerunner in the Indian OEM’s race. Other OEMs (like M&M) followed the suit. Indica also helped Tata Motors launch other models (Indigo, Indigo CS) which elevated Tata Motors race to No.3 OEM in Indian market.
  • A glance at Indica’s sales over years –

Interesting Fact – 1998 Auto Expo was iconic in terms of the cars which were showcased that year (Tata Indica, Hyundai Santro, Honda City, Ford Fiesta etc)!

Launch Ad –

Indica V2 TVC –

KTM Duke 390 now available in White!

Yes, KTM which is already famous for its orange avatars, has launched the white Duke 390 for 2018. The 390 Duke comes packed with 43.5 Ps of power and 37 Nm torque and a host of features
such as a trellis frame, all-LED headlamp, multifunction TFT display, open-cartridge suspension by WP.
Safety is ensured by the presence of large dual disc brakes (320mm/230mm front/rear) and ABS by
BOSCH.

KTM Duke 390 was recently chosen as the 2018 ‘Indian Motorcycle of The Year’ by a jury of 16 eminent automotive journalists.

Speaking on the occasion Mr. Amit Nandi President (Probiking) said “KTM has been amongst the fastest
growing motorcycle brands in the country. The new generation of KTM Dukes launched last year have
been extremely well received and with this new color variant we have broadened the choices available
for our customers.” Bookings for the white color variant of the KTM 390 Duke have begun across the 400+ exclusive KTM showrooms in the country.

30 Slow Moving Models of 2017

Let us have a look at the 30 slow moving models of 2017. Models which got discontinued in 2017 and those launched in H2 of 2017 are excluded.

  • Tata Motors is slowly and silently phasing out old workhorse with capable new product range
  • Despite being 32 year old Maruti Suzuki Gypsy is still doing decent numbers
  • Nissan-Datsun-Fiat are in existential crisis mode

(The article is written by the Newest Pundit on the team – Rohan Rishi. You can connect with him at emailrohanrishi@gmail.com)

Bajaj Auto launches new Discover 110 & 125

(L-R) – Mr. Eric Vas, President – Motorcycle Business & Mr Sumeet Narang, VP, Marketing, Bajaj Auto, at the launch of new Discovers 110 & 125

Bajaj Auto today announced the launch of new executive Discover 110 and Discover 125.  With new looks, enhanced performance and a double LED DRLs (Day Running Lights) headlamps. Commenting on the launch Mr Eric Vas, President (Motorcycles), Bajaj Auto Ltd., said, “Bajaj has made a significant impact in the 100 cc segment with the Platina Comfortech & CT 100. The new Discover 110 and 125 bring first time ever features to customers in the 100-125cc segment for a premium experience. The Discovers shall attract a whole new set of customers who desire the benefits of modern technology.”

The new Discovers comes with an unique LED DRL headlamps which is a category first in the executive segment.  The Discovers also carry an all new digital speedometer seen so far only in premium segment bikes. Both Discovers come with new long stroke engines that pack in better torque and power. The newly launched Discover 110 is equipped with advance 4 stroke, air-cooled, single cylinder 115.5cc DTS-I engine which delivers 8.6 Ps power and 9.81 NM torque. On the other hand, Discover 125 is geared with advance 4 stroke, air-cooled, single cylinder 124.5cc DTS-I engine which delivers 11 Ps power and 11 NM torque. The Discover duo are also fitted with 16% longer suspensions and extra cushioned seats for better rides.

Discover 110 will be available at a price of Rs 50,496 (Ex-showroom Maharashtra) while the Discover 125 will be available at a price of Rs 53,491 and Rs 56,314 for drum and disc version respectively (Ex-showroom Maharashtra).

Both the options will be available in three colours – Black, Red and Blue.

With the launch of the new Discovers, Bajaj Auto also showcased the new 2018 version of its performance motorcycles:

  • The 2018 Dominars now come in 3 new vibrant colors inspired by the terrains conquered and the golden alloy wheels.
  • The new Avenger Cruise 220 and Street 220 now come with a more contemporary look while retaining it definitive classical family silhouette.
  • The special Pulsar Black Pack edition in 150, 180 and 220 cc with an all new mean black look and sporty white alloys.
  • Bajaj V with a stylish backrest that adds to the pillion comfort of this solid motorcycle