Indian automobile sector witnessed ‘revolutionary’ changes across automakers in past 5 years or so. Every year a new product emerges that changes the course of this constantly varying industry. We chart here the new trends.
Take a look:
Comeback of the Midsized Cars
Last year, Hyundai Verna was selling in very good numbers, as it was the best pick for the buyers. However, the year 2014 was completely dominated by the all new Honda City which changed the fortunes of midsized car segment. As Honda City was doing pretty good job, introduction of Maruti Suzuki Ciaz further increased the number of sales for this particular class of cars. A clear growth can be observed as C+ or C2 segment contributed a sale of near about 30,000 units as compared to previous year numbers that stood at 20,000 units.
Emergence of Crossovers
In India, crossover segment have not been able to demonstrate much of the magic so far, but the year 2014 gave two new crossovers to the market – The Etios Cross and The Fiat Avventura. Both the crossovers witnessed a good initial response from the masses and they are expected to execute much better performance in the coming future. The advantageous factor which is making these crossover cars more popular is that one gets more power, additional rugged feature and superior handling in a compact size. The cars that make this segment more popular are Renault Duster, VW Cross Polo, Fiat Avventura, Ford EcoSport, Mercedes GLA and Toyota Etios Cross.
Much Safer Cars
The year 2014 began with safety concerns as Global NCAP released the crash test results for much popular Indian cars like Alto 800, Tata Nano, Ford Figo and Volkswagen Polo. These cars received zero ratings that raised the eyebrows of many, after the test results went viral. However, taking safety aspect into consideration, car manufacturers such as Volkswagen and Toyota made standardization for ABS and airbags for their cars. Other auto manufacturers also followed the suite and offered the same safety features in their new cars. Later, Global NCAP also assessed Maruti Swift and Datsun Go on the safety grounds; they too disappointed as their results came out with the same zero ratings.
Moreover, the demand for safer cars got stronger as Indian Government announced that the frontal crash test will be mandatory for all the new cars from October, 2015. And the facilities to perform these tests will be made possible within the country itself. According to a survey, Indian consumers are now becoming more inclined towards safety and gives priority to these aspects.
New Car Designs
Moreover, the year 2014 also witnessed design of cars reaching the ‘next level’. Fluidic V2.0 launched by Hyundai along with Santa Fe and Elite i20 displayed some aggressiveness with balanced stylishness unlike Fluidic 1.0. The Japanese automaker Honda too presented its all new ‘Exciting H Design’ philosophy in its newly introduced Honda City and Mobilio. Moreover, the same philosophy will also be shared with the next generation Honda Jazz and Honda Accord. The Kinetic 2.0 design introduced by Ford in Fiesta provided a dynamic look to it. The next vehicles to receive this Kinetic treatment will be siblings of Figo, both hatchback and sedan. Maruti Suzuki also launched Celerio and Ciaz that received quite a different look from previous models.
Upgrade of Equipments in Cars
The vehicles also got advanced in terms of technological aspect for the year 2014. The foremost advancement was seen in lighting technology as LED lamps and Halogen headlamps became very much popular. Manufacturers such as Audi, Mercedes and BMW have already employed such LED headlamps in their cars whereas budget oriented cars are receiving projector lamps and DRLs, as saying goodbye to traditional old halogen lamps. With technological advancements, cars are gradually becoming smarter like we are seeing in the form of In-car Infotainment systems. Some examples for these are SYNC 2.0 from Ford and Smart Play from Maruti Suzuki.