Come 2009, and we could be in for continuous rain,lasting till 2010!Its going to be caused by none other than small hatchbacks from Suzuki,Hyundai,Tata,Honda,Volkswagen,Fiat,Ford,Toyota and even Bajaj.It all started with the launch of the i10 and the Skoda Fabia this year.Then we have the world premiere of the Suzuki A Star in November this year.Also expected are the Tata Nano,new Indica and the Hyundai i20 (which also makes its world debut) within this year itself.Also coming are the Suzuki Splash,Fiat Grande Punto,Honda JAZZ,refreshed Fiat Palio and the refreshed Chevrolet Aveo UV-A in 2009.Come 2010 and we may pretty much have reached the peak with the arrival of the new made for India Ford hatchback (based on the European Fiesta),the new Toyota small car,Volkswagen's Indian hatchback(based on the UP!),BAJAJ-NISSAN low cost car and the VW Polo.All these cars come in an already crowded small car segment dominated by Suzuki and Hyundai.By 2010,India might have one of the widest range in the hatchback segment,which comes as no doubt as this segment accounts for 75% market share.So every manufacturer wants a piece of the cake.
Its also interesting to note that the small cars cover all ranges from the 1lac Tata Nano to the premium Honda Jazz which might cost upwards of 5lacs.The cars come cheap because of the reduction in duties for cars under the 4000mm mark in length and having a displacement of less than 1200cc (for petrol) and 1500cc (for diesel).Also expected to push sales are the congestion problem in metros (so more would supplement their large cars with small ones for that city dash) and the fact that small cars also come with panache and quality normally found in bigger cars.These cars are also expected with state of the art features like ABS,Airbags,EBD,Auto tranny,Climate control etc... which are found in only a handfull of hatchbacks these days.
So it 2010,you might just end up asking someone "hey man,which hatchback do you drive"? IAB