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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.

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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

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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.

Kia Seltos

25k Bookings For Brezza, Kia Home Deliveries, Poll Hints At 83% Drop

Kia Commences Home Delivery Of Cars

After Maruti Suzuki, Kia have also started delivering cars to their customers. Taking the hassle of visiting the dealership out of the equation is one way to help car buyers follow through with their purchase.

The carmaker currently sells 2 vehicles in India – Seltos and Carnival. They have plans to bring their sub-4m SUV, Sonet, by the festive season but the launch date could move further depending on the pandemic.

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Also Read: Maruti Re-Opens 600 Dealerships And Begins Home Deliveries

25,000 Bookings For 2020 Maruti Suzuki Vitara Facelift Before Lockdown

While speaking with CarAndBike, Maruti Suzuki’s executive director of sales and marketing, Shashank Srivastava announced that they received 25,000 bookings. These figures are from the date the bookings for the refreshed subcompact SUV opened until the government issued the shelter-in-place order.

2020 Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza Petrol Facelift BS6
2020 Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza Petrol Facelift BS6

Opinion

While these are inspiring numbers, it’s worth noting that customers across all segments have either already pulled out or could cancel their purchase soon. The number of current bookings could be lower than this or at least not that high. There are 2 reasons for this:

  1. The financial stress on buyers is increasing. The pandemic is far from over. As businesses continue to feel the brunt, the employees will have to settle for lower salaries (best case) or no job (worst case). Maintaining a financial cushion to fall back on is becoming a priority.
  2. The need to commute and travel itself is going down. Many businesses have found ways to enable their employees to work from home. This will most likely continue even after we get the shots for COVID. It allows companies to save on office space and other fixed costs. It saves employees plenty of time and fuel costs. Win-win!

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Team-BHP Poll Hints At 83% Drop In New Car Sales

A recent poll on India’s largest automotive forum hints at a potential 83% drop in new car sales. There were a total of more than 500 participants in the poll, which is a good number to draw a meaningful insight into what’s coming. According to the poll, about 56% of buyers are putting their car-buying plans on hold. About 20% are not proceeding with their purchase. Only 10% intend to continue with their planned purchase. Almost 2% are picking up a cheaper model or variant. About 7% are considering used cars.

Poll - New Car Buying Trend Post Covid Outbreak
Poll – New Car Buying Trend Post Covid Outbreak

Opinion

Those who dropped their plans to buy a new car, pushed it further or are considering a used car instead make up a little over 83%. This is a shocking number for the new car business. A positive conclusion out of this is that almost 7% of buyers are going with a used car. Some of them will experience the hassle and huge financial savings that come with it for the first time.

So, the used car businesses will see some new customers. And depending on their experience, their word of mouth will help solidify or shatter the used-car-buying plans of their acquaintances. The organized sector, though is a fairly safe, mostly surprise-free route. Cars lately are generally very reliable and sorted in all respects. Your chances of ending up with a lemon or something you absolutely hate are incredibly low.

Plus, since many businesses are looking to cut costs, there will be plenty of cars coming off lease, which can offer some good value. When you’re looking to cut costs, a pre-depreciated asset is one good way to do it.

In fact, the entire buying process – from doorstep test drives, booking a car online, getting home delivery, to pick and drop for service and, on top of that, the need to have a personal vehicle, combined, are commoditizing what has been considered a luxury for half-a-century in India. Getting emotions out of the way while shopping for a vehicle can greatly help you boil down your options to the one that offers the most value for your money. And, it’s easier to do that when you start to think of a car as an appliance that helps to go from point A to B in reasonable comfort.

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