For market leader Maruti Suzuki these three new products made it big in 2017. The year started with Maruti Suzuki Ignis and the new Dzire is the most sold new car launched this year. On the technical side, Maruti Suzuki launched the 1.0 BoosterJet engine on the Maruti Suzuki baleno RS and marked the entry into the performance hatch segment. Other than these new launches, Maruti Suzuki brought in NEXA Service Channel for a premium servicing experience and the parent company Suzuki announced collaboration with Toyota to venture into the electric car space.
2017 has been a year of launches for Tata Motors. The company introduced three new products and different segments and this aggressive strategy has helped Tata to increase its car sales during the year. Tata Motors also unveiled its RaceMo sportscar at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show and the company also got into a strategic partnership with Skoda but things did not go as per plan and both the companies decided to part ways soon after the announcements. Tata Hexa SUV, Tata Tigor sub-compact SUV and Tata Nexon SUV are fresh new products that rolled out into the Indian market in 2017 and the sales of Tata Tiago has seen the car being among the top 10 car sold in India most of the months.
FCA India launched its most affordable SUV Jeep Compass in India in 2017 and priced it aggressively between Rs 15-20 lakh. The company invested a lot at its Ranjangaon facility and made India the only hub to Right Hand Drive Jeep Compass globally. The car is being exported from India and has had a good successful run in 2017 and is expected to continue good sales in 2018.
The next gen Hyundai Verna was the biggest launch for Hyundai Motor India in 2017 and the company also launched the facelift on its Hyundai Grand i10 and Hyundai Xcent models. Hyundai's plant in Chennai is running to its full capacity and we might soon see a ramp up in its overall production capacity. Hyundai also discontinued its Santa-Fe SUV in 2017. Hyundai Grand i10, Hyundai Elite i20 and Hyundai Creta have been company's top performing products in 2017.
2017 Ford Ecosport facelift was the biggest launch for Ford in India and has helped the company to once again dominate the sub-4-meter SUV space. New Ford Ecosport gets aggressive styling and the company has also introduced a new 1.5L petrol engine along with the existing diesel engine. Ford India has also increased its export activities from India and in 2018 the new Ford Ecosport will also be exported to the U.S market. This will be for the first time that a made-in-India car will be exported to Ford's home country.
Tata Tigor electric vehicles marks the entry of Tata Motors into the electric race as the company bid aggressively for the government's electric car procurement tender floated by EESL. The company won the majority order and started rolled out the first ever electric Tigor from its plant in Sanand. Tata Motors will also be participating in the second round of tender which is expected to be floated in April 2018. Tata Tigor EV has a range of 140 kms and is being sold to EESL at Rs 11.2 lakh. Tata Motors has not announced any plans for the market launch of its electric Tigor.
Indian-arm of Japanese automaker recently celebrated its 20th anniversary in India and the year 2017 started with the facelift of Honda City for the company. The company first commenced the production of Honda City in India 1997 and its been 20 good years for Honda since then. The company had also launched its Honda WR-V sub-compact SUV to counter Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza and Ford Ecosport.
For Mahindra & Mahindra, the year 2017 has been a year of consolidation. The company launched many new variants and facelifts on almost all its car with the most recent being the facelift on Mahindra Scorpio. On the electric front, Mahindra matched the bid price of Tata Motors and was awarded 30% of the EESL tender and the company has already supplied its Mahindra e-Verito to the government. Dr. Pawan Goenka confirmed three electric cars by 2020 with the electric avtar of its KUV100 scheduled for market debut in second half of 2018.
SKoda Auto India launched its Octavia RS and its Kodiaq SUV in India and spent the beginning of 2017 in upgrading its dealerships and service network. The Kodiaq SUV has been well received by the Indian consumer. Skoda also got into a court hustle with the Monte Carlo name on its Skoda Rapid that forced the company to change the name to Skoda Rapid Edition X.
Renault Captur SUV too debuted in India in 2017 and the crossover has been positioned above the Renault Duster SUV. The company is trying to create a niche crossover segment between Renault Duster and Hyundai Creta and it is soon to tell if the market has accepted this segment. Renault Captur is available only in diesel engine option.
Volkswagen India launched two new premium products on the MQB platform with both being locally assembled. Volkswagen Tiguan and Volkswagen Passat.
Two arch rivals BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class LWB got its new generation models in 2017.
Volvo Cars started the local assembly in India in 2017 by setting up an assembly unit in Bengaluru, Karnataka. Volvo XC90 is now being assembled in India. The company also launched the Volvo V90 Cross Country, Volvo S90 Polestar performace sedan and the new generation 2018 Volvo XC60 SUV in India. It has been a good year for the company in India and the company has confirmed the launch of its youngest SUV Volvo XC40 in 2018.
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