Auto makers to introduce new models in entry-level segments
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In a desperate leap towards recuperating the lost sales due the recent market gloom, the country's big auto players are targeting the entry-level segment by launching aggressively priced and competitive products, in order to stir up the vehicle sales in the domestic market during the festive season. The decision by the car makers operating in the country is replete with positives ahead of the festive season during October-November months of 2012.
Leading the charge is Mercedes-Benz, which launched its much awaited B-Class Sports Tourer in the Indian market on September 18, 2012 and tagged the car with a price of Rs. 21.5 lacs (ex-showroom Mumbai). Reportedly, some 3,000 units of the latest addition to the German auto maker's portfolio were pre-booked prior to its launch.
Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) Limited, the country's leading Utility Vehicle (UV) maker is gearing up towards the launch of its aggressively priced compact Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV), called 'Quanto', exclusively for the Indian SUV enthusiasts. The compact SUV segment has shown the most potential during the depression in the Indian car market, when the French auto maker, Renault chalked up the majority of sales after some 15,000 units of its Duster compact SUV were booked on domestic turf.
According to the senior executives of M&M, the upcoming Quanto will flaunt an alluring price and will prove decisive in cutting off the sales of premium hatchbacks and entry-level sedans in the country. The yet-to-be launched Quanto SUV is believed to become the cheapest SUV in the domestic market and its pricing is anticipated to be start around Rs. 6 lacs. M&M has meticulously designed the Quanto and with its sub-4 metre length along with a 1,500 cc powertrain, the car is absolved of the excise duties levied on the bigger cars.
Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL), the country's largest passenger car maker, is also working towards the launch of its Alto 800 vehicle, which is expected to fill-in the boots of the iconic Maruti Suzuki 800 car. The company has been working tirelessly towards the development of the car and has ensured the upcoming car will deliver a mileage of a whopping 19 km per litre. The launch of the 2012 Alto 800 is believed to be take place around the auspicious ten day Navratra period during the October month and the car may carry initial pricing of Rs. 2.4 lacs in the Indian market.
The Indian auto industry has taken a beating due to the sluggish sales and the slackening demand for automotives among the vehicle buyers of the country. The major car companies are appealing the Central Government to lower the vehicle finance rates, so that Indian buyers don't find it hard to enter their stores. The decision by Indian auto makers of targeting the bottom of the pyramid entry-level cars appears sane and may prove handy in luring the domestic car enthusiasts.
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