Not so impressive stalls at the 2020 auto expo

After listing down the top 3 star brands of the 2020 Auto Expo, it’s now time we walk you through the brand stalls that could have done better. Places with carmakers that make you rethink your decision to buy the ticket to the expo. Stalls that need to give us more reasons to look forward to their cars. Let’s get counting –

1. Mahindra:
Mahindra was by far one of the biggest disappointment at the 2020 Auto Expo. The Funster was sure an eye candy but it smells like vaporware, just like the XUV Aero. Mahindra also launched eKUV100 (Rs. 8.25 lakh) with a laughably low range of 147km. For an electric car launching in 2020, 147km of claimed range is unacceptable, knowing that the real-world range is going to be worse – especially if you get stuck in traffic on a hot day. Mahindra also showcased the eXUV300 – which is not ready for launch yet. Unfortunately, neither of these cars are above 4 meters long, which means their petrol/diesel-powered rivals enjoy the small-car tax benefit. Unlike a sub-4m car, a bigger SUV, which suffers from higher taxes, is easier to compete with on the electric front. Mahindra had none of that at the auto show.

Mahindra Funster

While other carmakers are trying to hype up electric vehicles to make them desirable, we could see Mahindra attempting to capture the uninspiring end of the EV market. The idea was further reaffirmed with the showcase of the Atom at the expo. It’s their electric alternative to the auto-rickshaw, with AC, touchscreen infotainment and a phone mount. It’s clearly made for shared mobility platforms like Ola and Uber. The charging could impact its uptime as several fleet owners run their cars all day and all night with 2 drivers working in shifts. Prices aren’t out yet, but the higher cost of acquisition than a 3-wheeler could also affect its adoption. It rivals the Bajaj Qute.

The next-generation Thar and next-gen XUV500 would’ve done better as showstoppers. The bigger XUV, (a.k.a. the money maker) especially, is witnessing the ‘rise’ of new challengers every other day.

All things considered, Mahindra could’ve put up a better show with by showcasing newer models of cars that are nearing the end of their life cycle. But they didn’t.

2. Volkswagen Group (VW, Skoda):

Skoda and Volkswagen have a reputation for making reliable, refined, and punchy turbocharged diesel engines. For some reason, they’re turning their backs on diesels and moving towards the turbocharged petrol engines, which, while pretty good in their own right, aren’t heroes of reliability. When paired with a dual-clutch transmission, their poor resale value reflects our “love” for cars without a proven track record of reliability.

Moreover, the VW Group showcased T-Roc, Taigun (wonder how that name’s gonna age?), and Vision IN. All three are hoping to bite a slice out of the compact SUV pie but only the Skoda Vision IN seems to have the dimensions and stance to pull it off and please the Indian audience. The Volkswagen “SUVs” are too small and too sedate for their own good. Hell, some subcompact alternatives like the Kia Sonet and Ford EcoSport look more butch than the Taigun and T-Roc. Then there’s the question of pricing and positioning. Neither of these are less than 4 meters in length. So, VW can kiss goodbye to the tax breaks. That puts it in the race with some seriously competent, spacious, and powerful cars like the Creta, Seltos, Harrier, and Hector. Mind you, this is the segment where a lot of buyers still prefer a diesel powertrain, which VW Group has no plans to offer.


Put together the lack of diesel engines, expectedly expensive compact SUVs that are barely over 4 meters, a competent lineup of rivals, and an overlapping product portfolio, and what you get a disastrous long-term outlook. Even with 13-15% lower part costs and heavy localization. If Mahindra can find a way to fit the Tivoli under 4 meters, Volkswagen has no excuse for not having a sub-4m SUV at the 2020 Auto Expo.

Before you bring up the I.D. Crozz, let me clarify that it’s too far into the future and would be too expensive to have a measurable impact on the volumes and the bottom line.

3. Renault

At the 2020 Auto Expo, Renault pulled the wraps off a car we can walk into the showroom and drive home. They “showed off” a dual-tone Triber with AMT automatic. Then, there was the Electric Kwid (K-ZE), which will go on sale by late 2021 or early in 2022. Frankly, the Kwid electric was the only exciting and relevant car at Renault’s expo stall. There were the expensive ZOE electric hatchback and Twizy single-seater electric car also on display. But, neither of those two are slated to go on sale in India in the foreseeable future. Besides the concepts, Renault also had a Duster facelift on display, which I almost missed.

Renault Kwid Electric (K-ZE)

What Renault really needed was the second-generation Duster, which has been available internationally since 2017. And to further lift the spirits of the visitors, a production-ready version of the Triber-based subcompact SUV, along with the rumored subcompact sedan in concept form would’ve made the trip to the auto show worth it.

Winners at 2020 Auto Expo – The Motor Show

The Indian Auto Expo is conducted every 2 years and has been platform for the OEMs to showcase their portfolio that could be launched in the Indian market. The Indian Auto Expo is Asia’s biggest Automobile Show and the current edition is 15th in the series. The 2020 Auto Expo has been jointly organized by the SIAM – Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, CII – Confederation of Indian Industry and ACMA – Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India.

We have consolidated the list of Winner OEMs that will make an impact basis the concepts/upcoming vehicles shown at the expo –

  1. Kia Motors:

At the 2018 Expo, Kia was still trying to figure out what excites us (besides an SUV.) Now, they know it very well. So, the products on display were as mass-market as they get without diluting the brand.

The Kia Carnival looks like another brilliant shot at a segment, left unattended by any carmaker in India. It starts where the Innova Crysta tops out. Even if you are considering the Rs. 20.0 lakh version of the Crysta, there’s no reason for not considering one of the lower variants of the Carnival. And, if you want luxury, there’s the Limo variant with ottoman for second-row occupants. This is a car that’ll easily do 500 units every month for the next 2 years or so. Kia needs to be ready to do 1000 units a month should the demand to improve.

Kia Sonet
Kia Sonet

The other car worth noting is the Sonet. It will be the first car capable of receiving over-the-air software updates thus eliminating the need to visit the service centre for software tweaks. It saves time and money for both, the dealers and the customers.

There were also 2 electric cars – Soul and Niro. Both had stickers advertising their driving range of 450km on a single charge. It’s difficult to understand how the Soul with a 30kWh battery can match the 450km range of the Niro, which has a 64kWh battery pack. They’re both decent-looking, nonetheless. The boxy Soul has a stronger SUV vibe than the Niro, but it could do better with slightly higher ground clearance. What’s nice is that it’s based on the Kona’s platform. So, bringing it to market should not take a long time if the segment shows signs of picking up speed.
The Xceed and Stonic crossovers will allow Kia to see how the potential buyers react to these cars at the auto show.

2. Tata Motors 

Unlike the other Indian carmaker, Tata has evolved significantly in recent years and their ability to go-to-market on short notice is commendable. Tata moved quickly to bring a sub-compact SUV Nexon to the market, they soon followed it up with the Harrier to capture the upper end of the SUV market, they updated the Nexon and have a well-priced electric version too to capture the electric SUV trend and now they intend to capture a substantial share of the premium hatchback segment ruled entirely by just 2 cars. The Altroz Electric showcased at the Expo keeps the doors open for a (slightly) affordable electric car from Tata if the Nexon EV and Altroz gain momentum.

Tata HBX
Tata HBX

The rugged HBX concept aims to bring the SUV form factor to the masses with an even more affordable price tag. Tata just took a page out of the 2-wheeler industry by bringing nostalgia to the Expo in the form of Sierra concept. It features an edge-to-edge glass pane and covers its futuristic footprint with an electric powertrain. With such an exciting lineup, there’s a lot to gaze at at the expo and a lot to look forward to from Tata in the coming years.

3. Morris Garage (MG)

MG also put up a fantastic show with a ton of cars to engage the expo visitors. Besides the Hector and ZS, MG had ZS petrol to soon compete with the Creta and Seltos and the Gloster to challenge the Fortuner and Endeavour.
MG also had the micro electric E200, Marvel X SUV concept, eMG6 mid-size plug-in hybrid sedan and the MG3 premium hatchback.


The outrageous (or exciting, depending on how you see it) but very practical and stylish RC 6 sedan/crossover/SUV/coupe/fastback was also present at the Auto Expo. It’s as big as a Toyota Camry and Skoda Superb but stands out more than either of those two cars with an almost 200mm ground clearance. Along with cars like the MG3, eMG6 plug-in hybrid, 360M, G10 and E200, MG covered all the bases in body styles, price points and powertrains.

While it’s certainly exciting to have such a wide variety of cars at the expo for the visitors, it conveys that MG is yet to outline its long-term roadmap. They’re still figuring out what to do next and are not as focussed as Kia.

Indian Car Sales Figures – January 2020

OEM-wise Sales Snapshot –

Modelwise Car Sales Figures for Jan’20 –

Top 25 Selling Cars of January 2020 –

Segment Wise Sales Data – 

1. Entry Hatchback Segment:

2. Compact Hatchback Segment:

3. Premium Hatchback Segment:

4. Compact Sedan Segment:

5. Executive Sedan Segment:

6. Premium Sedan Segment:

7. Luxury Sedan Segment:

8. Compact SUV Segment:

9. Mid-SUV Segment:

10. Premium SUV Segment:

11. MUV Segment:

12. Van Segment:

450 units of Kia Carnival shipped in January 2020

Kia shall place Carnival as the flagship model in its portfolio and today announced the prices as well where the model has been priced between Rs.24.95L to Rs.33.95L (ex-showroom). While the model was touted as Innova rival – but the prices of Carnival Base Variant is near to the Top-End Spec Innova Crysta price. Carnival is primarily hitting the premium-MUV customer base which wasn’t exactly catered to till date. It’ll be a great achievement for the Korean automaker even if they hit 2k sales figure / month average.

MUV Sales Figures for Jan’20 –

Kia Seltos – The best selling SUV for January 2020

Kia Seltos has set the sales chart on fire since launch and has become a Case Study for OEMs on having a successful product launch. Seltos has clicked all the right boxes in terms of looks, features, value and pricing. The model is still commanding a waiting period of almost 3 months and is going strong in the segment. It has sold over 60,000 units in the last months and registered its all time highest sale in January 2020. Seltos sold 15k units in Jan’20 and overtook the likes of Brezza & Creta.

SUV Sales Figures for Jan’20 –

  • Seltos touched 15k for the first time!
  • Brezza came second and managed to cross 10k sales in Jan’20
  • Creta oversold Venue in Jan’20! The discounts running on the Creta has made it an attractive proposition for buyers.
  • MG’s Hector as usual sold higher than the likes of XUV500, Harrier & Compass.

Seltos Sales Trend since Inception –