IAB Picks – 7 entry-level hatchbacks coming soon to India
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In this five-part story, we put the spotlight on 7 A-Segment/entry-level hatchbacks that are approaching India in the next 18 months. These are cars which attract first time buyers, and households which need a second or a third vehicle for short drives.
The base of the pyramid was most talked about part of the auto market in the last half of the previous decade, but ambitions were thwarted by expensive petrol prices and escalating interest rates on car loans. Several manufacturers shelved product programs to focus on upper segments and utility vehicles, while some pushed their vehicles closer to the B-Segment, having more features. Companies were also cautioned by the sales failure of the Tata Nano that was launched as an upgrade for two-wheelers, but action in the 2.5-3.5 lakh rupee end of the market will resume in the coming years, as this story submits.
1. Datsun Redi-Go
Datsun India showcased the Redi-Go concept at the Auto Expo last month. To direct an attack on the Maruti Alto (India and the world’s best selling small car), Datsun will use a crossover stance and design flamboyance to get attention from the entry-level car buyer. As with the Go, we expect buying and ownership benefits like a pan-India ex-showroom price and two-year unlimited warranty to be passed on to Redi-Go customers.
Datsun haven’t disclosed the car’s specifications, but we are expecting a sub-1L petrol engine paired to a five-speed manual gearbox under the fluff. Seeing current industry trends, AMT and safety features like ABS and Airbags would complement the redi-Go well as optional fitments. It remains to be seen if Datsun offers the economizing mobile docking system and the expanded front seats on the smallest derivation of the CMF platform.
The car is currently in the engineering stage at the company’s technology center in Chennai, a few kilometers away from the Renault-Nissan alliance plant in Oragadam that will manufacture it.
Expect the Datsun redi-Go to launch in the second half of 2015.