CHOICE APLENTY

The new year promises to cheer up those scouting for their dream car.

With scores of new cars heading our way, buyers will be spoilt for choices.

A conservative estimate puts the number of new launches and upgrades to over 50 during 2013. These include some cosmetic changes, upgrades — exterior and engine — and more than a dozen new launches and possibly segment definers such as Ecosport.

Will it be a stormy affair? After a tough year, automotive companies look at the new year with new models. For the time being, discounts may be off as manufacturers hint at hiking prices. If all the launches happen as planned, we are in for more than one launch a week during 2013.

Tata Motors is all set to roll out their Safari Storme, a totally redone sports utility vehicle, pitting it against M&M’s Scorpio, Bolero, XUV 500 and the game changer, Renault Duster.

The automotive market will see all the top carmakers coming up with new models, cutting across segments. While General Motors will set the tempo with the roll out Sail Sedan and their multi-purpose vehicle Enjoy pitting the latter against Maruti Suzuki’s runaway hit Ertiga, its American rival will unveil Ecosport, also seen as a segment breaker.

SUV/MPV/UV

In the sports utility vehicle and multi-purpose vehicle segment, a lot of action is in the offing. While GM will launch Enjoy, Ashok Leyland Ltd plans to roll out MPV Stile, a vehicle built on the lines of Nissan’s SUV Evalia. Ford is set to roll out Ecosport, Force Motors plans to roll out at least two vehicles from its stable — Gurkha Trax and Force MPV — the latter in the Toyota Innova and Tata Aria league.

In the small car segment, Tata Motors plans to bring out a diesel version of its small car Nano. Maruti is set to upgrade its A-Star, Fiat is set to bring a new Punto, and Hyundai gearing up to come out with an all new I-10, which includes a car with a diesel heart. Nissan is also gearing up for Duster type UV.

‘BOOT-CUT’

In the sedan segment, Mahindra & Mahindra will come out with the new sub four-meter Verito before March, to take advantage of the tax structure helping them bring down the cost. Tata Motors is expected to launch a ‘boot-cut’ version of Tata Manza, seeking to replicate the success it had with Indigo CS.

Honda will come out with it’s much talked about Amaze powered by petrol and diesel engines and is also working on bringing out a diesel-powered upgraded popular City sedan.

While the European carmaker Skoda which hit the Indian roads last decade with Octavia, is all set to bring back another new car with the same name into the Indian market, Fiat plans an upgraded Linea and the American carmaker Ford is set to line up a new version of Fiesta.

In the luxury automart, Mercedes Benz, BMW, Volvo, Audi, are all seeking to roll out new models in various segments they operate — SUV/Sedan and large hatch/MUV segment.

rishikumar.vundi@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on December 31, 2012)
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