Around 20 new cars and about 12 facelifts are expected around the Auto Expo in February as carmakers look to whip up some excitement in the domestic market. Big new launches include the new Honda City, a segment leader that will feature a diesel engine for the first time. Honda, which is expected to have among the largest range of new models on display, will also showcase the Mobilio compact MPV, the new Jazz and the 'Vezel' compact SUV that goes on sale in Japan next month.
Market leader Maruti Suzuki India will also launch and unveil around three new models after a a year — new models include a small car replacing the A-Star, a new SX4 crossover and a new sedan replacing the current SX4, which will be launched in the later part of 2014.
Gaurav Vangaal, automotive analyst for light vehicle forecasting at IHS, told FE, “The Auto Expo excites everyone from manufacturer to consumer and it is always a place of new launches, unveiling and showing brand strength though futuristic concepts.” New launches are expected to pull customers to showrooms since passenger vehicle sales are down 4.6% at 14.4 lakh units in April-October FY14.
Hyundai is expected to have a global unveiling of its new compact SUV at the Expo, while showcasing a compact sedan version of its newly launched Grand i10 hatch. Toyota is likely to showcase the new Corolla, while Nissan sub-brand Datsun will launch its first model, the Go hatch and showcase the Go+ MPV. Tata Motors, which has seen sales take a sharp dip in the last two years, will also unveil its first new small car after the Nano and the Indica Vista debuted in the 2008 edition of the Auto Expo. Tata will show case the Falcon 4 small car and Falcon 5 compact sedan, which will feature an all-new turbocharged 1.2-litre petrol engine. Ford will also showcase the Figo concept that debuted in Brazil recently —