Mazda CX-3 and Nissan Qashqai to compete with Ford EcoSport and Renault Duster

Saturday 26 October 2013, 11:12 AM by

No one can stop talking about compact Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) in the Indian car market at the moment. This segment, literally, has taken the market by storm as these models have registered tremendous sales figures. The most surprising part about the success of compact SUVs is that they have performed exceptionally well despite unfavourable market conditions and slowdown in demand. At the forefront of this success are Renault Duster and Ford EcoSport, which are the top models in this segment. Renault must be lauded for timing the launch of Duster in India, something that turned out to be a master stroke. Seeing the success of Renault Duster, Ford introduced EcoSport in India somewhere in June, 2013. Since then, it has been EcoSport all the way as the model has been registering excellent sales figures, month after month.

Mazda CX-3 and Nissan Qashqai to compete with Ford EcoSport and Renault Duster |
Mazda CX-3 and Nissan Qashqai to compete with Ford EcoSport and Renault Duster

The success of both these models has triggered a trend in Indian market, wherein more and more players are entering the segment. And it is not just brands that are trying to make a mark in India, big names like Maruti Suzuki and Honda are planning to launch their compact SUVs. While Nissan has already launched Terrano, Maruti Suzuki is gearing up to launch XA Alpha in early 2014. Analysts, in the past few months, have tried to figure out which models can compete with these two in the near future.

Reports have emerged, stating that Mazda, the Japanese car maker, is going to launch its compact SUV, CX-3, in India. Notably, Mazda is hoping to capitalise on the increasing demand in this segment and would launch this model to compete with EcoSport and Duster. Industry experts feel that it would be slightly difficult for Mazda to register sales figures like Duster and EcoSport in India. This is due to the fact that Mazda has no marketable brand value in India and most buyers are unaware about its models. However, experts feel that given Mazda's pedigree in the international market and application of right strategies, it would be able to create a niche for itself. Reports suggest that this car is based on the SKYACTIV platform, which has earned a lot of recognition across the globe.

Another model that could soon make its way to Indian market is Nissan Qashqai, which, as per reports, would be launched in early 2014. Notably, Nissan has already entered the compact SUV segment by introducing Terrano model, which is also the sibling of Renault Duster. In order to strengthen its portfolio, Nissan is likely to bring in Qashqai in India. Industry experts feel that the Japanese car maker is going to bring this SUV via the Completely Knocked Down (CKD) route to keep the price in check. However, experts say that Nissan will take time and see how Terrano performs before launching Qashqai. Rise in the demand of utility vehicles has given a lot of hope to several new car makers, who want to make inroads in the country's market.