Maruti and VW plan Car-Leasing services in India

As the days ahead are unsure for most car makers, OEMs are delving into new methods to boost demand and increase their sales. They are leaving no stone unturned to up consumer sentiments while also making sure not to dig deeper into their pockets. In line with this, Maruti Suzuki has reportedly planned to start car leasing services across India through their existing dealership networks. VW India has also launched their own version of car leasing services, two days ago.

What is Car Leasing?

The concept is similar to renting a house, where we pay a monthly rent for using the property while not having the burden of owning and maintaining the property. Car leasing is exactly similar, where the customer can choose the car of his choice, and then pays a monthly fee for an agreed period of months. Servicing and maintenance is also usually covered in the monthly fee, and hence is not an additional burden on the customer. Few OEMs also offer courtesy car (spare car) during longer days of service and maintenance.

Benefits of Car-Leasing:

  • Spanking new car, as you like and when you like it.
  • No down payment. Only monthly fee.
  • No risk of “Re-sale” value.
  • No additional maintenance and repair fee
  • No hassle in case of long maintenance, you may get a courtesy car
  • Upgrade to latest tech laden cars, every few years
  • “Pocket friendly”. “Risk Free.”




See how Maruti Suzuki is promoting Leasing options in India –

Benefits of opting for Leasing a Maruti vehicle
Leasing Lifecycle
Leasing v/s Loan comparison

In developed markets like the US, UK and Europe, car leasing is a very popular strategy. Though it is not new in India, this is yet to pick up steam. Many OEMs in India are already providing such services to their customers. Few OEMs feel the current situation may favor car leasing in India and increase demand substantially.

OEMs currently offering car leasing services in India are Hyundai, M&M (through zoomcar), Mercedes Benz and BMW. Maruti and VW are now getting added to the list.

What would you prefer? Owning or leasing? Throw in your comments —

(The article is written by Karthick. He is an auto enthusiast, and an engineer by profession, currently employed in an auto MNC at Chennai; has a craving on new tech and a particular interest on the Indian automotive market.)

Hyundai India exports 5000 vehicles in May 2020

Hyundai India has announced that it has exported around 5000 vehicles in the month of May, after resuming production in its Chennai facility on May 8th. Hyundai is the nation’s leading exporter, and has achieved the feat of becoming the first company to cross 3 Million exports to 88 global markets.  The company has reportedly exported around 1.7 Lakh units in 2019 alone, which includes 792 variants of cars customized for various markets as per the requirements.

Hyundai thus underlines its key commitment – “Make in India – Make for the World”. “This is a testimony of Hyundai’s resilient efforts towards localization and to accentuate economic recovery. Drawing strength from Hyundai’s vision of ‘Progress for Humanity’ we will continue to offer all-round premium experience to our customers through our quality products, both in India and global markets” – quoted Mr. S S Kim, MD & CEO, Hyundai Motors India Ltd.

The company currently exports around 10 models from its Indian plant to various markets across the globe, that includes – Atos (Santro), Grand i10, Xcent, Grand i10 (Nios) & Grand i10 (Aura), Elite i20, i20 Active, Accent (Verna), Venue and all new Creta.

(The article is written by Karthick. He is an auto enthusiast, and an engineer by profession, currently employed in an auto MNC at Chennai; has a craving on new tech and a particular interest on the Indian automotive market.)

Gone but not Forgotten Series – Fiat Punto

Do read our earlier articles in the ‘Gone but not Forgotten’ series – Toyota Qualis, Ford Fusion, Tata Nano, Skoda Octavia Mk1 and Chevrolet Tavera.

The Punto was actually the worldwide successor of the Uno in Fiat’s portfolio. Fiat had launched the Punto nameplate globally in the year 1993. Internally code-named Project 176, the Punto was announced in September 1993 as a replacement for the ageing Fiat Uno and was finally launched in the end of 1993 in the global markets. The Fiat Punto was voted European Car of the Year for 1995, defeating rival Volkswagen Polo! Punto was designed by one of the world’s most iconic car designer Giorgetto Giugiaro – He had designed models in brands like Alpha Romeo, Maserati, VW, Lamborghini & even Ferrari. Giugiaro is widely famous for designing the DMC DeLorean which was notable in its own time for its unique design and was also featured in the Hollywood Blockbuster Series Back to the Future.

India actually received the third generation Punto; also known as the Grande Punto. The car was based from the GM Fiat Small platform – Developed from 2002 in Italy, by Ulrich Schmalohr the engineer head of Opel (subsidiary of General Motors) and Giorgio Cornacchia head-project of Fiat Auto the Small platform was designed to be adaptable for Fiat Group and General Motors small cars. Even the Opel Corsa D was developed from the same platform. The Grande Punto was launched in India during the Delhi Auto Expo in January 2008, with sales starting in June 2009. The Punto was manufactured by the Fiat Tata Motors joint venture Fiat India Automobiles Ltd (FIAL) in a new plant in Ranjangaon, Maharashtra.

We present the reasons why the Fiat Punto makes an entry in the ‘Gone but not Forgotten’ series –

  • Punto was the best selling model in the Fiat India’s Lineup. Fiat had sold 72,235 units in the 10 years of the lifecycle of the model.
  • Timeless Design – Even as on date Punto stands out as one of the best looking hatchback on the road! No wonder it was designed by the legendary Giugiaro. The car’s nose, headlights and front grill look reminiscent of the Maserati Coupé (both were designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro of ItalDesign).
  • Solid Build Quality – The car at its time had received 5 star safety ratings in the Euro NCAP and felt the sturdiest vehicle in its category. Still the Punto customers go gaga about Punto’s solid build and paint quality levels.
  • Calibrated Handling – The car had set new benchmarks in terms of ride quality, high speed dynamics and overall handling. It was nothing but an enthusiasts dream!
  • Excellent Steering Feedback – The Punto was one of last small cars to be equipped with a hydraulic power steering. The steering was brilliant to use and gel well with the ride and handling prowess that the car possessed.
  • Came with National Diesel Engine of India – Fiat was the pioneer of 1.3L Multijet diesel engine and the one in Punto developed 74 bhp Power and 197 Nm of Torque.
  • An Enthusiasts first choice – Punto was one of the first cars to give importance on the overall driving pleasure and ride quality. Even Fiat marketed the Punto to be crafted for a True Fan!

  • The model was surely a savior for Fiat India – The car contributed to 51% of Fiat’s sales in India during its timeline!
  • Fiat later launched various iterations/updates – namely the Punto Evo and the Avventura –

  • The Punto + Evo + Avventura’s combined sales was 72,235 units
  • Even the Abarth version of the Punto was launched in Jan 2016 and it could sell 357 units in its lifetime.
  • Also though Linea was launched before Punto in India; It was developed from the Punto platform!




Let us look at the Punto’s Sales Trend through its years of existence in the Indian market –

  • The Punto had a promising start and sold 9,674 units in the first year of its launch.
  • Punto’s sales increased in the second year and crossed 10k sales mark in 2010. It continued to cross 10k sales in 2011; but post that could never achieve the feat.
  • Do note that Punto was sold in Tata showrooms in its initial days. The showroom staff always had a dilemma to pitch Fiat’s Punto or Tata’s Vista! The inhouse clash actually affected both the brands.
  • The sales did improve in 2014 when the Evo was launched and this time in a dedicated Fiat Showroom.
  • However; the sales couldn’t stabilize and the volumes fell owing to :
    • Low Resale Value
    • Poor Service Experience
    • Higher Cost of Maintenance & Reliability Concerns
    • Lower Network Availability
  • Anyhow with the death of Punto; Fiat brand too takes an exit from the Indian Market. All efforts from FCA is to focus on Jeep marque for India.

Punto made an impact for pioneering the ‘hot hatch’ culture in India. The Indian consumer was traditionally devoid of performance oriented, good looking and capable hatches – Fiat broke the mould and launched the Punto in the Indian market. Punto was always an enthusiasts car and shall always be remembered as one!

See how Wishbox 2.0 will make Mercedes Benz cars more affordable!

What we understand is that Wishbox 1.0 was a massive success in 2019. This has led to Mercedes Benz bring out a more aggressive Wishbox 2.0 now. A lot of OEMs are focusing on announcing smart financing schemes to support customer purchases in the Covid era. While Mass Market OEMs like Hyundai, Mahindra, Maruti, etc have already announced similar schemes; Mercedes Benz takes the initiative in the Luxury OEMs.

Wishbox 1.0 actually helped Mercedes strengthen the leadership position in 2019. We believe that Wishbox 2.0 is way upgraded from Wishbox 1.0.

What was Wishbox 1.0?

  • Key-to-Key Change : The plan allowed the customer own two Mercedes-Benz cars in a span of four years. It allows for two upgrades for no extra cost. And package was offered on the Mercedes-Benz GLE, GLS and S-Class.
  • 25-25-25-25 : The scheme allowed the buyer to purchase the Mercedes-Benz product in four installments. The first installment was 25 per cent the price of the car and then pay three annual payments of 25 per cent each. The cars included in the offer were Mercedes-Benz GLC, GLE, GLS.
  • Zero Down payment : The regular downpayment of the Mercedes-Benz is at 40 per cent of the price. This scheme took off that hassle and the customer only paid the road-tax to purchase the car/SUV and then the rest of the amount was converted to EMIs for the next 60 months.
  • Star Agility+ and Comprehensive insurance : The package provided new customers with 40 per cent lesser EMIs which are inclusive of the maintenance, warranty and assured buyback. Also complimentary insurance program was offered for two years from purchase.

Our Views: It was majorly focused on getting more customers know the Brand.

What is Wishbox 2.0?

  • EMI free period – no EMI for first three months
  • Step up 2020 – lesser EMIs for the first six months with regular EMIs starting from 7th month of purchase
  • 10 year loan – 10-year extended loan

Hence what ‘Wishbox 2.0’, primarily offers is customized financial solutions including no EMI for first three months, lesser EMIs for the first six months with regular EMIs starting from 7th month of purchase and 10-year extended loan.

Our Views: We believe that the scheme is aligned towards the current Market situation where customers are scared. Hope the demand picks up basis easy and comfortable finance options.

Venue Sketch

Hyundai Turbo, S-Cross Petrol, Edelweiss Switch Insurance And More

Hyundai’s Tiny Turbo Petrol Engine Is Winning

The Venue was the first car in India to bring Hyundai’s 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine. Among Venue buyers, this engine accounts for a 47% share. Now this engine is available in the Aura sub-compact sedan, Grand i10 Nios hatchback and Verna compact sedan. Soon, this engine will power the Kia Sonet and the next-gen Hyundai Elite i20. It comes with 100PS and 120PS power ratings. The 100PS version is available in the Nios and Aura with a 5-speed MT. The 120PS version is available in the Venue and Verna. Transmission options for the 120PS variant are a 7-speed DCT automatic and a 6-speed MT.

The Aura turbo’s only rival was the Tigor JTP as it had a 3-digit power figure. Now, there’s none. A year ago, Nios turbo would have rivalled the Baleno RS, Tiago JTP and Polo GT. Now, only the Polo has comparable performance from its new 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine.

Also Read: Volkswagen Polo And Vento TSI Edition

Opinion

The Nios turbo’s torque-to-weight ratio puts it in the league with of Abarth Punto. So, its acceleration should be the best you will ever experience for a sub-Rs. 10 lakh car.

Hyundai and Kia are going against the tide and winning customers over. Almost all of their cars come with a diesel and a small turbo petrol engine. In times when everyone else is going lean, these South Korean sister companies are expanding like there’s no tomorrow.

Also Read: 2020 Hyundai Verna Facelift Relaunch With 3 Engines

It’s worth noting though, that the 1.0-litre turbo petrol is the only engine option in the reasonably equipped variants of the Venue. Naturally, it has an upper hand over the 1.2-litre normal petrol engine.

Source

Maruti Suzuki S-Cross Petrol Hybrid Launch Soon

Multiple reports are pointing towards the imminent launch of Maruti S-Cross petrol. The exact launch date is still under covers but dealers are unofficially accepting bookings for the car.

Maruti Suzuki S-Cross
Maruti Suzuki S-Cross

The Brezza went from diesel-only to petrol-only while transitioning to BS6. The S-Cross is also doing the same thing. It’s unclear if the S-Cross will offer the hybrid engine with the manual transmission or reserve it for the automatic. Their 4-speed torque converter is a vintage piece of tech with gas-guzzling characteristics. The hybrid part boost helps it negate the fuel efficiency disadvantage to a great extent.

Opinion

After dominating the diesel passenger vehicle segment for over a decade, Maruti Suzuki suddenly dropped diesel engines entirely from their portfolio. VW/Skoda and Renault – Nissan are also on the petrol-only path. Honda are also dropping the diesel option from a few vehicles but retaining it in others. This is leaving the playing field open for Hyundai and Kia to scoop it up. Kia was reporting a 50-50 split between petrol and diesel engine options for the Seltos. That suggests a strong demand for diesel engines. After the COVID dust settles, things could go in any direction. For now, Hyundai and Kia are ready to grab the entire diesel passenger car market as they have a diesel engine in almost all of their cars.

Also Read: No Diesel For Honda Jazz And CR-V

Source

Maruti’s 2-Month EMI Holiday With Little Details

After Renault, Maruti Suzuki are also offering a 2-month EMI holiday option with the purchase of their cars. It’s available from their partner, Cholamandalam Investment and Finance. Under the offer, you can opt to start your payments 2 months after the purchase of the vehicle.

Opinion

Renault also announced a similar offer with a 3-month EMI break. However, unlike Renault, Maruti Suzuki haven’t clarified the maximum principle, rate of interest and the loan tenure to benefit from this offer. Renault’s offer has a loan amount cap depending on which vehicle you buy.

Also Read: Renault’s 3-Month EMI Holiday

Edelweiss Usage-Based Vehicle Insurance

Edelweiss Switch - Usage Based Vehicle Insurance
Edelweiss Switch – Usage-Based Vehicle Insurance

Update May 24: We spoke with an Edelweiss representative and found out that only fire and theft are included for the entire year even when you turn off the cover through the app. This is a first-party cover only and you’ll have to separately buy a third-party add-on, which is required by law. This is a zero-dep cover by default and also includes cover for consumables and road-side assistance. You have to maintain a 60-day balance in the account. The first payment includes that 2-month balance. For a total insured sum of Rs. 5.0 lakh for 2 cars and 2 drivers in the house, a typical initial payment will be a little over Rs. 5,000. The monthly payments will be around Rs. 1,000 – IF – you use your vehicle every day of the month. Otherwise, the amount payable will reduce depending on the number of days you enable the cover as the premium is applicable on a daily basis. So, the maximum yearly payment will come to about Rs. 15,000. Considering that I have only used my vehicles about 10 times in the last 2 months, I would have to pay about Rs. 350 for this duration instead of Rs. 2,000 under this plan.

General insurance provider, Edelweiss, have announced a usage-based insurance plan. Under this, you can have up to 3 vehicles and up to 3 drivers insured under 1 plan. You can then enable or disable the plan depending on your usage. Some protections from natural calamities, theft, fire, etc. are covered even when you have paused protection. There’s a yearly payment involved and after that, you pay a monthly payment, which varies depending on your usage.

Overall, this should help you cut down on insurance costs if your usage is limited. Unfortunately, there is no option for a 0-depreciation cover under the Switch plan. So, if you have a new vehicle and you like to keep it as protected as possible, then this is not for you.

For more information, head to their official website: Edelweiss Switch – Driver Based Insurance

Click here to download the product brochure.

Opinion

For most vehicle owners, this could help them save some cash if their vehicle usage is minimal or seasonal. This plan also changes how we use vehicle insurance as it brings customers into a subscription world. Just like a Spotify or Netflix subscription, your vehicle insurance premium could become part of your monthly bills. This option could improve customer retention for Edelweiss.