The year 2013 turned to be a disappointment for India's automobile industry as the market reeled under the impact of slow demand. The economic crisis, rising fuel and input costs put a halt in the domestic car market which is already faced with declined growth and a sentimental skid.
The car industry which witnessed a growth of two percent for the year 2012-13 posted a drop of seven percent in 2013. The numbers corroborated with the forecast of the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), which predicted a 0-1 percent growth rate for FY13. SIAM earlier estimated a growth rate of 10-12 percent for 2013 and later slashed it to a more pragmatic figure of 0-1 percent after seeing the market conditions. Despite this, Indians seemed to show an affinity for the compact Sport Utility vehicles (SUVs) like Ford EcoSport and Renault Duster. Auto majors like Ford and Renault grabbed a major market share in the sub-continent. The success of these brands in the domestic market seemed to be nudging other auto majors to mark their entry in this segment.
Here we list the five upcoming compact SUVs in India.
Maruti Suzuki XA Alpha
Maruti Suzuki, India's largest passenger car maker, is expected to mark its entry in the SUV segment with its highly acclaimed XA Alpha in 2014. The company, which first showcased the vehicle at the 2012 Indian Auto Expo in Delhi as a concept model, is expected to announce the debut of the XA Alpha at the same show this year. The vehicle would take on current market leaders Ford EcoSport and Renault Duster. According to earlier reports, the XA Alpha, the first offering from Maruti to the SUV segment, would be built on the Swift platform. It would pack a 1.3-litre Multijet engine and a 1.2 Litre K-Series 4-cylinder petrol engine. The vehicle is likely to carry a price tag of ₹7-₹10 lakh.
Honda Urban (CR-U)SUV
The next SUV in the list is Honda Urban SUV. According to reports, the Japanese auto major will bring Urban SUV to India as CR-U. The vehicle is expected to be based on the 2014 Honda Jazz platform, which is in the making and is likely to follow Honda's new 'Exciting H Design' philosophy. The Urban SUV would accommodate styling factors, like a sloping roofline and a broader stance. The India-bound Honda SUV is likely to feature a 1.5-litre i-VTEC engine, like Honda City, and a 1.5-litre i-DTEc diesel engine. The global version of the vehicle would pack Honda Civic's 1.6-litre diesel engine. The vehicle, which is expected to make its debut in India by mid-2014, will be pitted against Renault Duster, Mahindra XUV500, Nissan Terrano and the Ford EcoSport in the domestic market.
Hyundai Compact SUV
Hyundai is reportedly working on a new SUV based on the Grand i10 hatchback platform which would make its debt in the country in 2014. The car is likely to draw its design from the company's Santa Fe model and is expected to pack the same 1.1-litre Crde engine under the hood which powers Hyundai's Grand i10. According to a ZigWheel report, the car is codenamed iX35 and it bears the same look as Hyundai Verna.
Tata Motors Compact SUV
Tata Motors, India's fourth-largest passenger vehicle maker, is said to be making its foray in the compact SUV segment. According to a CarTrade report, the SUV is based on Sumo Grande platform and would carry the 1.3-litre Multijet engine. It is not clear by when Tata is planning to roll out the vehicle, but reports suggest that it would likely fall in the price range of ₹8-₹9 lakh.
Fiat Punto Adventure
Fiat Group Automobiles India Private Limited, a subsidiary of Italian automobile giant Fiat, is speculated to launch its Fiat Punto Adventure n India in 2014 to rival SUVS like Nissa Terrano and Renault Duster in the country. Details of the car are scarce at this point of time. But reports suggest that it would pack 1.3-litre Multijet diesel and 1.4-litre petrol engines under the hood.
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