Hyundai India has been around quite some time now. Precisely 15 years and counting… In all these years the South Korean auto major has seen tremendous success for its cars in India. Hyundai India, for every right reason has been crowned as the second largest car maker in India and in an attempt to hold on to the title, Hyundai has come out with some outrageous products recently to reaffirm the trust the people have kept in the brand.
The product portfolio of Hyundai India includes entry-level small compact cars, premium hatchbacks, sedans and SUVs. But Hyundai India probably is not very satisfied with this product line up and wants to have a compact SUV in its lineup. By the way the Compact SUV market is the IN-thing now in India and we can see that every other automobile major wants a piece of the cake and are all in the process of launching their own versions of compact SUVs.
Hyundai probably sees that the time is right now to launch a compact SUV and it is all set to unveil its concept version of the compact SUV during the 11th Auto Expo to be held at New Delhi next month. Of course, there certainly is a catch here. It is very likely that Hyundai India will take advantage of the lower tax rates on models that are shorter than 4 meters and in the process launch a compact SUV. But mind you, the details of the compact SUV from Hyundai at the moment is very sketchy and nothing is concrete.
Now back to Hyundai India’s Compact SUV story, the Korean major also will be showcasing its crossover utility vehicle, the Velostar at the expo. The Hyundai Velostar was a runaway hit in the U.S. and Hyundai wants to recreate the same magic here but it would wait to see people’s reaction towards the vehicle at the Expo.
Coming to story behind the models that shorter than 4 meters rule, Back in 2006, when the Union Budget was tabled, the then Finance Minister P.Chidambaram had doled out special benefits to small cars to boost the local production and promote India as a global small-car manufacturing hub. In the process, it was proposed that an 8 percentage point excise duty reduction of 16 percent for cars shorter than 4m and with petrol engines displaying less than 1,200 CC or diesel engines smaller than 1,500 CC.
Like we had mentioned earlier, there are many players looking to exploit this loophole. Premier Automobiles, last year came out with Premier RIO petrol and this year introduced the diesel version of the compact SUV. Following them are Mahindra and Mahindra who are all set to launch their Mini Xylo sometime next year. The development stage is over and test mules have been spotted more than a few times by eagle-eyed auto aficionados.
Renault India and Nissan India have also confirmed their plans to launch their respective versions of compact SUV (Renault Duster) which likely is to be priced at Rs. 8-10 lakh bracket. Ford India is all set to come out with Ford EcoSport compact SUV soon. What’s more? Even passenger car market leader Maruti Suzuki has jumped in the bandwagon and will launch its own compact SUV in a couple of years span. This domino effect started after the fast growing SUV segment began eating into the small car market share in India.
As far as the compact SUV segment is concerned, this is fast growing in India and if MUVs, MPVs, SUVs are all added up, the segment accounts for almost 18 percent of the total market, which again is a considerable sum and every auto maker would drool to have a piece of it. The changing mindset of customers is to be blamed for this as the demand for SUVs is more and people aspire to own one.