We are just three months into 2013-14 fiscal and the Indian auto industry has already witnessed several car launches across various segments, from entry level compact hatchbacks to exotic luxury models. The slew of new model arrivals began in April with the year's biggest launch in the form of Honda Amaze range.
The much hyped Honda Amaze entry level sedan made its Indian debut on April 11 right after the Central Government announced its Union Budget for the 2013-14 financial year. The Japanese auto maker made a stunning statement with Amaze, which became the first car available in both petrol and diesel guises from the house of Honda. The Amaze broke the Swift DZire booking record by wrapping up sales over 6,000 units in just five days of its launch in the country. At present, Honda Amaze entry level sedan is available within a price band of Rs. 5 to 7.6 lakh in the domestic passenger car market.
The next big launches during April 2013 came in the form of Audi A6 special edition luxury saloon and automatic Nissan Sunny CVT. The special edition Audi A6 arrived at Indian shores on April 16, 2013 at an introductory price tag of Rs. 46.33 lakh (ex-showroom, New Delhi). The stunning model came trimmed with several class leading features like adaptive air suspension system, superior air conditioner with automatic climate control, rear side airbags and a cutting edge Bose Surround sound system. The special edition version was launched to celebrate sales of 6,000 Audi A6 units in the country. The automatic version of mid-size sedan, Nissan Sunny CVT entered Indian market on April 18, 2013. The automatic Sunny comes with X-Tronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) gearbox and carries a price tag of Rs. 8.5 lakh.
The Volkswagen Polo GT power hatch was another exciting model that was launched on April 29 this year. The Polo GT is powered by a 1.2 TSI petrol power-mill that generates a segment defining power output of 103 bhp. This 1.2 litre engine is mated to Volkswagen's DQ200 7-speed DSG transmission system and boasts of a mean combination of turbocharging and direct fuel injection technologies. The Polo GT was launched at a price of Rs. 7.99 lakh (ex-showroom, New Delhi).
Following an extremely eventful April as many as 4 new models, namely Chevrolet Enjoy, Mahindra Xylo H Series, Mercedes-Benz GL-Class and A-Class marked their presence in India in May 2013. The Chevy Enjoy and Xylo H Series were the new Multi Purpose Vehicles (MPV) to arrive in domestic car market on April 9 and April 10, respectively. The Enjoy range was launched with price tags falling in the range Rs. 5.49 lakh to Rs. 7.99 lakh (ex-showroom New Delhi). The Xylo H-series is available in three trim levels- H4 (base), H8 and H9 (top-end) and carried a launch price starting from Rs. 8.23 lakh.
Mercedes-Benz India has announced 2013 to be the 'Year of Offensive' and rolled out its GL-Class Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) and A-Class luxury hatchback in May 2013. The new Merc GL350 CDI is considered the S-Class of SUVs and was launched with an introductory price tag of Rs. 77.5 lakh. Further, the German car maker introduced 100 special Launch Edition units of the new GL350 CDI that came with AMG Body Kit, temperature controlled cup holders, designer upholstery and 21-inch AMG alloy wheels. However, the biggest launch from Mercedes-Benz came in the form of A-Class premium hatchback. With a starting price around Rs. 22 lakh, A-Class became the cheapest 'Three Pointed Star' model available in the country. The A-Class was a runaway success in India as Mercedes-Benz clocked around 400 bookings within 10 days of its launch.
Speaking on the success of A-Class, Eberhard Kern, Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mercedes-Benz India, was quoted as saying, “Already a global sensation, the success of the A-Class in India reiterates Mercedes-Benz’s stand that young India has now come of age and Indians who lead a global lifestyle today, value trendy design, dynamic driving and quality when it comes to their personal mobility preferences. The overwhelming success of the A-Class inspires us to push ahead even more aggressively with our new generation cars for the Indian market.”
Continuing on the similar lines of April and May, the June 2013 month had its share of some exciting new models arriving in the domestic car market. The Mahindra Verito compact sedan was launched on June 5, whereas the much awaited Fiat Linea T-Jet made its Indian debut on June 10, 2013. Three models of the new Mahindra sedan have been introduced in the market, namely Verito Vibe D2 at Rs. 5.63 lakh, Verito Vibe D4 at Rs. 5.89 lakh and Verito Vibe D6 at Rs. 6.49 lakh (ex-showroom Mumbai). The Fiat Linea T-Jet mid-size sedan range was launched within an introductory price band of Rs. 7.6 to 8.88 lakh in the Indian auto market.
Maruti Suzuki India Limited, the country's largest passenger car maker, rolled out a new top-end trim of its best selling Alto 800 model in the domestic market on June 17, 2013. The Alto 800 VXi is priced at Rs. 3,17,080 (ex-showroom New Delhi), which makes it just Rs. 13,581 more expensive than the LXi trim. The Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 VXi comes equipped with several additional standard features, such as central locking, USB compatible stereo system coupled to a 4-speaker system, left side Outside Rear View Mirror (ORVM) and a driver’s side airbag.
The other big car launches during June 2013 include Volvo V40 Cross Country luxury hatchback and the Ford EcoSport. The Volvo V40 entered Indian shores on June 14 with a launch price tag of Rs. 28.5 lakh. The Ford EcoSport, considered this year's biggest new model launch after the Honda Amaze entry level sedan, entered Indian auto market on June 26, 2013. Pegged as a game changing product for Ford India, the EcoSport comes with some highly competitive introductory price tags- Rs. 5.59 lakh for the base petrol and Rs. 6.69 lakh for the base diesel variant.