Popular models of 2013 - Ford EcoSport, Nissan Terrano and Honda City diesel
As 2013 is coming to an end, many car makers would want to forget the dismal performance of this year in terms of sales and profit levels. In the passenger car segment, many companies failed to register good growth as the negative consumer sentiment marred demand of new cars. However, the downturn did not have its effect on some of the car manufacturers like Ford, Honda and Nissan. In order to counter declining demand, these companies introduced new models, which have led to a considerable change in the consumer sentiment. Cars like EcoSport, Terrano and City have been touted as game changing cars for their respective companies in 2013. It is an undeniable fact that these cars have impacted the Indian car market in a positive way despite the negative sentiment. So here is an assessment of the kind of impact, all the three cars have made in India.
Talking about each company individually, Ford has been among the biggest gainers in 2013 as it introduced the compact Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV), EcoSport in India. The initial response meted out to the car was immense as Ford received 30000 bookings in a space of 17 days. The demand was so high that it prompted the car maker to ask several dealers to stop taking bookings of some variants. Till now, the car is on waiting period that stretches to a couple of months. EcoSport has changed fortunes of Ford in India as the company managed to register a significant growth despite sluggish market conditions. As the sales of EcoSport have been quite good, it has outperformed Renault Duster in the compact SUV segment and is further expected to increase its market share. The main reason attributed to the success of Ford EcoSport in India is its aggressive price tag. It is available at an introductory price of Rs. 5.82 lakh for the base trim whereas the top-specification variant is available from Rs. 9.37 lakh (all figures are ex-showroom). Furthermore, the fuel efficiency of EcoSport is a thing worth boasting for. As claimed by the company, the EcoBoost variant renders a class-leading mileage of 18.9 kmpl.
During the second half of 2013, Nissan took off the curtains from its compact SUV, Terrano, to rival Ford EcoSport and Renault Duster. After its unveiling, Terrano caught the attention of many people in India owing to an aggressive body structure that was quite distinct as compared to its sibling, Duster. Slowly and steadily, Nissan divulged almost all of the information regarding Terrano without specifying the price of the vehicle. This generated a lot of interest among the car buyers in India, which helped in raking in good pre-booking numbers of Terrano. The company followed a smart strategy, wherein it first unveiled the product to create a buzz in the market and subsequently, launched the car.
As soon as the car made inroads in India, Nissan told that its had registered 6000 pre-bookings for Terrano. Although, the compact SUV was not able to replicate the demand generated by EcoSport and Duster but it has certainly performed as per expectations of the company. Setting an example of how to market a new product despite the stagnant market conditions, Nissan clearly showcased its talent in making Terrano a hit among the Indian buyers. Presently, Terrano has been raking in good amount of sales and is expected to carry the same performance in 2014.
The best development in Indian car market for 2013 came from Honda, which announced the inclusion of diesel technology in City. Before the official unveiling, rumours were rife that Honda is planning to introduce the diesel version of its popular City but the expected launch date was ascertained for mid-2014. However, against all odds, Honda surprisingly unveiled the next-generation Honda City model and told that the deliveries of the same shall start by early 2014. The Japanese car maker has even initiated the pre-booking procedure of the car and industry experts are predicting a huge figure. The upcoming Honda City has already created a lot of hype surrounding its launch date and is expected to take the mid-size segment by storm.