So many limited edition models have been launched in the recent months. Did you know that? Hardly anyone must have noticed the new cars, because they came with very minor changes in the appearance. By now every other car maker must have realized, as Maruti Suzuki conveys in its ads, India is a country obsessed with mileage. In the present scenario where fuel prices are never missing an opportunity to climb higher, car makers have to be extremely careful while introducing their offerings to the Indian roads.
Every drop of fuel does count in India, and the success of every new car in the market is gauged by the definitive fuel efficiency rating. Cars like the Hyundai i10 and Ford Figo are selling like hot cakes, thanks to the phenomenal mileage numbers they offer. The newly launched Volkswagen Polo and Nissan Micra too deliver over 18 kmpl of fuel compared to rivals Maruti Ritz that offers 17.7 kmpl and Tata Indica Xeta that delivers 16.8 kmpl. The fuel-efficient models sell much better than the fuel guzzling ones.
The Maruti Alto is India’s best seller. Why? It is priced low, made for the Indian roads, and last but not the least, the Alto offers 19.7 kmpl. Maruti knew what exactly had to be done to lure more Indian buyers, and it launched the Alto K10; an Alto with new looks and the advanced fuel-efficient K-Series engine. The new Alto K10 offers 20.2 kmpl.
Meanwhile, Hyundai refreshed its i10 by planting a 1.2 litre motor delivering 20.36 kmpl. India’s most fuel-efficient petrol hatch, the Hyundai i10, became even better. The best got better with the launch of the Hyundai Next Gen i10.
“The new engine is extremely frugal in fuel consumption and has been tweaked to maintain a fine-balance of economy, power and performance,” Hyundai Motor’s director (marketing & sales) Arvind Saxena had said.
China, Japan and Australia already have a mileage requirement of over 15 kmpl for every car sold, with Japan and Australia planning to raise the figures to 18.5 kmpl by 2012. It now seems like India too has discovered what needed to know, with the country making it mandatory for new cars to wear fuel efficiency labels.
Better the fuel efficiency, lower will be the cost of operation. So, we now see new cars being loaded with smaller engines that drink lesser petrol or diesel without compromising on power. “We had the fuel tag consumption in mind when we were testing the Polo in India. So we chose one of the most fuel efficient engines from Volkswagen stable that we tweaked to minimize fuel consumption,” a senior executive of Volkswagen said preferring anonymity.
Tata Motor’s has been banking on the success of the Nano that delivers 23.7 kmpl. It looks like people are not even bothered about the fire incidents related to the world’s cheapest car, or, everyone must be thinking ‘it’s gonna be somebody else’s Nano catching fire, not mine’.
Tata Motors has to its credit even the Indigo CS which apparently is India’s most fuel efficient sedan. The Indigo CS delivers fuel economy of 23 kmpl. Its punch line of 23km to a litre of fuel and “most fuel efficient sedan in the country” was enough to grab maximum customer eyeballs as its sedan sales doubled to 34,988 cars in April-August this year from 15,078 cars sold last year.