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Crystal ball gazing: Cars of 2015

S. Muralidhar V Rishi Kumar | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on January 01, 2015

Honda Jazz

Datsun Redi Go

Maruti Suzuki S-Cross

Mercedes-Benz CLA

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There is a whole bunch of new cars headed to your neighbourhood showrooms this year



Last year’s wasn’t exactly the best performance for the passenger car industry in India. But, there was renewed hope from the new government at the Centre and the prospect of a revival close at hand kept the industry on its toes. The number of cars launched was quite a record and spread across the entire range of segments.

2015 is looking pretty similar and though the industry’s overall growth may still be moderate at best, there will be specific segments that will outperform. The hatchback segment will again be in the limelight with a slew of new launches. There will be another booster dose of compact sedans that will be introduced. The compact sports utility vehicle segment (SUV), with a special focus on the sub-4-metre segment, will again see a lot of action. And 2014’s market discovery – the automated manual transmission – will find a lot many more manufacturers joining in to woo the fast emerging class of buyers for this very aptly Indian innovation.

Here are some of the most important car launches for the next 12 months and some other expectations from the respective brands.

Tata Bolt

The Zest has managed to stir up interest again in Tata Motors. Not since the original Indica was launched has the company been watched with so much interest. The Bolt, which will be launched a couple of weeks from now will be the car that could really turn the company around in 2015. As a package, we like the Bolt more than the Zest and though the hatch (unlike the compact sedan) may not sport an AMT at the time of launch, it should make it later into the year.

Tata Motors will also be looking to replace the current Indica and the Indigo CS with the new Kite variants.

Datsun GO+

We reviewed the Datsun GO+ here last week and the car will be the next launch from the brand. The GO+ might actually end up garnering some of the volumes that might have otherwise gone to the GO hatch.

With many buyers living in joint family situations or having more than five members in the family, the GO+ might just be the primary car they were looking for. Towards the end of the year or by early 2016, Datsun might also be launching the RediGO compact crossover.

Honda Jazz

In the B plus segment, Honda, which was set to launch its new generation Jazz late in 2014, had decided to postpone its introduction to this year. The Jazz could make a big comeback in its second innings after surrendering the race to the Hyundai i20 in the first. This time, it will be armed with the 1.5-litre diesel engine, in addition to a 1.2-litre petrol powertrain. With the promise of big cabin space and Honda’s legendary build quality, the Jazz will be the premium hatch to look out for this year.

Honda will be launching new variants of all its cars spread over the first half of this year. Towards the end of the year, the Japanese car maker could also be looking to launch the compact SUV it is said to be developing for emerging markets like India.

Maruti Suzuki S-Cross

The country’s largest car maker, Maruti Suzuki will also see a lot of new additions to its portfolio this year.

One of the significant new models would be the S-Cross (also the new SX4 in other markets). Based on the SX4 sedan, the crossover-like new car will help Maruti edge up to higher price segments. Maruti will also be launching the AMT gearbox in a couple of its other cars. The Celerio will get a diesel burner this year and the Ciaz might also be launched in a souped up RS avatar.

Maruti is also testing a compact SUV (could be sub-4-metre) code named YBA. Sharing a few design elements and possibly even parts with the Swift, the new compact SUV may be sold with the spare wheel as an optional fitment on the tail-gate making it eligible for excise benefits.

Renault / Nissan

Renault has been missing amongst the new car launches list for sometime. 2015 will see it bringing in at least two new models. First off will be the Lodgy – its MPV competitor built on a versatile platform. The next could be the entry small car, which it is rumoured to be developing especially for this market. The same small car platform and the 800cc petrol engine will also be used by its partner Nissan for its own version of the entry hatch. But, this time around, the rumour mills say that the two models will sport distinct identities and not look like clones.

Ford Figo+

Ford has now stabilised its operations and commissioned its second plant. The Figo has faded a bit from public memory, but the new, replacement model to be launched later this year will be the new generation Ka, which has already made its debut in Latin American markets. Ford will also be launching a three-box, compact sedan version of the car possibly called the Figo+.

Mercedes-Benz CLA

The German luxury car brand has had a busy last few months in 2014, and the action promises to continue into this year. The CLA, its compact entry-luxury sedan will be the most important launch for Mercedes-Benz this year.

With the promise of a tempting price, the CLA will fight the Audi A3 for space and will possibly expand the ₹30-35 lakh price segment into the most important luxury car segment there is, at least in terms of volumes.

Amongst the other brands that will also be looking to make major additions to their portfolios will be Hyundai, which will look to launch the new ix25 compact SUV here. The car was showcased as a concept at the China Auto show last year. The new, facelifted Verna will also make it here.

Toyota may bring in the Vios sedan later in the year. Volkswagen is expected to launch a sub-4-metre Vento and late in the year may finally reveal the production version of the Taigun SUV. New 2015-model year versions of the Maruti Swift Honda Accord and the Toyota Innova will also be launched.

Fiat will be looking to launch the Punto Abarth and the Fiat 500 Abarth variants. In the luxury segment, BMW, Audi and Jaguar will also be adding new models to their portfolios.

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Published on January 01, 2015
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