The Indian automobile market is going through a very confused state. In spite of reduction in excise duties, sales continue to stagnate but among this slow selling trend, luxury car and bike manufacturers are literally laughing to the bank. Main stream automakers like Maruti Suzuki and Tata Motors are facing the heat as buyers postpone purchases or opt for other alternatives in the market. It’s only the new government which is driving up hope for most automakers. Innovation continues to be the key as so evident with companies investing heavily on new products.
If sales are slow, then highly expensive niche cars storming in the market show that the rich don’t mind spending. Mercedes is betting heavily on its AMG cars, launching a multitude of those in the market while BMW and Audi aren’t holding back, bringing in the M and RS range without a second thought. The same scenario can be seen with bike manufacturers as well, Kawasaki is going all out with its CBU range of super bikes while Indian has finally brought their Chief cruiser range to the country. But the most eyes are prying in on the 200-400cc space where action is about to begin with high intensity.
Perhaps the meat of the market is in the sub 4-metre space. Compact sedans are getting ever so popular. What started with the Tata Indigo eCS, was taken forward by the Maruti Swift DZire, only to be joined by the Honda Amaze, Mahindra Verito Vibe and Hyundai Xcent recently. But that’s not the end, it’s just the beginning, this segment is going to see fierce rivalry with Tata Motors’ Zest and Ford’s Figo Sedan joining in the battle, while Volkswagen and Skoda are also working on their own compact sedans. The same cut throat rivalry will be seen in the compact SUV space in the years to come.