The Pre-Budget month grew a healthy 14% in Jan’17 vis-a-vis Jan’16. The growth was attributed by the factors of heavy discounting of 2016 models by the OEMs and was particularly led by Maruti Suzuki. The Indo-Japanese car maker crossed the 50% Market Share in Jan’17 and started the year with a bang. Also Jan’17 marked the launch of 2 crucial products to their respective OEMs – Ignis for Nexa & Hexa for Tata.
Hyundai too registered a steady growth of over 10% but was way lower than that of the market leader. However, Feb’17 can bring more excitement to the Korean MNC – the new Grand i10 launch is slated this month.
Honda however recovered the Fourth Spot in the rankings table. Though the OEM has de-grown 9% YoY; it has grown ~55% when compared to Dec’16! The upcoming City facelift in Feb’17 can improve the game for Honda.
Hexa dispatches would have started in Jan’17 and the same is clearly seen in Tata’s numbers. The company has seen steady numbers now and Hexa’s success will define Tata’s 2017!
Luxury Brands have now encountered their worst phase in India. The effects of Demonetization seems to have lingered and not a single luxury brand registered growth in Jan.
Hexa is one of the most ambitious project of Tata Motors and a lot is at stake for the Indian Automaker with its launch. Let’s see how the product’s success will be significant for Tata –
It will be Tata’s second attempt to step in the premium vehicle space. Earlier Tata’s have burnt their fingers with the Aria and would want to ensure that they leave no stone unturned for Hexa’s success. Also note that Hexa will be the costliest Tata vehicle to be displayed in the showroom as on date.
Tata Brand Repositioning – With Hexa, Tata would want to go away with the badge of manufacturing ‘unreliable’, ‘cheap’ and ‘low quality’ cars. Tata’s have invested a lot of time and money in terms of making Hexa niggle-free, premium and feature laden car.
Cater to a unrepresented market – MUV space in the Rs.12-18 Lakhs is empty as of now (earlier catered by the previous-gen Innova). Literally Hexa got to fill Innova’s shoes; which is not an easy task at all! The customers in this segment have already got habituated with Innova’s quality and reliability – it’ll be a big feat for Tata if they are able to successfully lure these customers to their fold.
Will ensure sustainability – After a lot of turmoil, Tata’s saw growth in the Indian operations last year due to the success of Tiago. They’d want to continue this momentum with Hexa and enhance their overall volumes.
Before talking about the specs, lets look on how Tata has worked to improve Hexa’s quality aspect. Some of the components were sourced internationally. For Ex –
LED tail lamps from South Korea
Brushed Aluminum surrounds on air vents from Germany
Soft touch plastics from USA
Seat covers from Germany Benecke-kaliko
Tata claims to have put the Hexa through 8 lakh km of road testing (cumulative). The Hexa was tested across three continents – Asia, Australia and Europe, in temperatures ranging from – 20 C to 50 C. Detailed Supplier list here for reference:
Hexa was launched on 18th Jan 2017 amongst much fanfare. It is currently available with a 2.2L Diesel engine and offers a fuel efficiency of 14.4 kmpl. The price (ex-showroom Delhi) for the variants are:
Also let’s have a look at the specifications of Hexa:
We decided to announce the Car of the Year 2016 basis the sales statistics of the Calendar Year. 2016 was an interesting year with many new launches holding the flag for the respective OEMs and NEWER segments were created. Indian love for SUVs was showcased in the overall design of the manufacturers and products like Kwid (hatchback with a SUV look), KUV100 (bigger hatck with SUV inspired design) sold in good numbers. This also heralded the birth of recently launched Ignis. Let us see who wins the race to become the Car of the Year 2016 –
*The rows highlighted in Yellow are the cars which were launched in the Indian soil in the past 18 months. Also these cars would be in the race of the Car of the Year award.
Top selling Hatchbacks of 2016 –
Top selling Sedans of 2016 –
Top selling UVs (MUVs/SUVs) of 2016 –
And the Auto Punditz car of the year award goes to – MARUTI NEXA BALENO!!! Baleno was instrumental in establishing Nexa network in India post the dismal sales of S-Cross. It sold over a lakh units in past 12 months and gave a really tough competition to the segment leader i20 (it even outsold i20 if you remove the i20 active numbers!). The product even as of date commands a waiting period of over 3 months and is still sold without any discounts! It created a benchmark in terms of features that a Maruti car can offer and stood the test of time. See how crucial Baleno was for Nexa’s success in India –
We have made a comparison of how valuable a product had been to the overall OEM’s sales numbers and Baleno topped the list – with over 66% contribution to Nexa’s volumes in India it in a way ensured that the viability of Nexa showrooms in India. Though the car was launched in the last quarter of 2015; we would name it Car of the Year 2016 because the sales assessment for the model was not done in 2015 CY (also unfortunately missed by major Auto Journalists/TV Shows).
With this feature, we will start covering all New Product Launches by highlighting the product offering in detail.
The Suzuki Ignis internationally is a subcompact car that was produced by Suzuki between 2000 and 2008, replacing the Suzuki Cultus, and subsequently as a small crossover from 2016. The first gen Ignis looked something like this –
The Ignis version launched in India was codenamed as FF21S and was initially shown as a concept in Geneva Motorshow on 3rd Mar’15 by the name iM-4. However, the production version was launched in Japan a year back itself (on 21 Jan’16). The Indian spec Ignis has got the same engine like the Swift, however the body weight of the Ignis is lesser. This is due to the use of an all new platform. The company has confirmed that it is a modular platform and more engines shall be made on it. There will be other new vehicles that will be made on this platform.
Suzuki has developed the Ignis by taking inspiration from a lot of its existing/previous models. See the Trivia here:
Maruti is terming the Ignis as a Premium Urban Compact Vehicle. To be honest, the first vehicle to explore this category (ultra compact SUV hatchback) was the Mahindra’s KUV. Seeing Indian love for the SUV design; Maruti thought of leveraging the space with Ignis. KUV100 has got decent response in the Indian market and has sold over 40k units in past 1 year (avg of 3346/month). We are sure Ignis should easily register twice the sales of that of KUV’s.
Ignis has been launched in 1.2L Petrol MT/AMT & 1.3L Diesel MT/AMT variant in India. It will be sold through Nexa Dealership Network in India. The petrol variant of the vehicle has been introduced at an ex-showroom price (New Delhi) of Rs 4.59 lakh and the diesel variant from Rs 6.39 lakh onwards. The other category — automated manual transmission — for the petrol powered model starts at a price of Rs 5.74 lakh while the diesel fuelled car comes with at a starting price tage of Rs 6.94 lakh. Price Table: