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On Wednesday, India's second-largest car maker Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) entered the hotly contested sub-4 metre sedan category with its compact sedan, the Xcent. Based on the Grand i10 platform, the Xcent comes for a starting price of Rs 4.66 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) and will take on the Maruti Suzuki Dzire and the Honda Amaze. “The Xcent is a world-class product developed for Indian families and will create a new benchmark in terms of quality, design, space, features and driving pleasure in its segment. We have invested extensive effort in competitively pricing the Xcent,” said BS Seo, MD & CEO, HMIL. The Xcent also completes HMIL's portfolio in the sedan segment from entry level to premium.
“While the Indian auto sector saw negative growth in 2013, the compact sedan segment grew at 28.5% and has seen consistent sales of 24,000 units a month. We believe the segment will continue to grow and Xcent will further increase that growth,” added HMIL senior vice-president Rakesh Srivastava. With the Xcent, HMIL is hoping for a positive sales growth this year after witnessing a decline of 1.2% in 2013. “The recent excise duty cut is welcome and this year the sector will hopefully grow but only in single digits,” Srivastava said.
The Xcent is available in two engine options – 1.2 litre petrol and 1.1 litre diesel. The company says that while the petrol has a mileage of 19.1 kmpl, the diesel returns 24.4 kmpl. “The Xcent further redefines Hyundai’s automotive excellence as it gets various segment-first features such as glove box cooling, rear parking camera and sensors, auto folding mirrors, dual airbags, rear AC vents and more,” said Srivastava.
When asked if the Xcent will eat into slightly higher priced i20's sales, Srivastava added, “The i20 always had the Dzire and the Amaze as competitors, still it has been selling about 5,000 units a month. So there is no reason that Xcent will dent into i20's sales.”
At present, Maruti's Dzire is the segment leader and is priced from Rs 4.85 lakh, followed by Honda's Amaze that is priced from Rs 4.99 lakh. The other two cars in the segment are Tata Indigo and Mahindra Verito Vibe. Tata will launch its new compact sedan, the Zest, by mid-2014.