New Delhi, May 8: Mazda Motor Corporation, the fifth largest Japanese car maker, is set to enter India with its compact hatchback and sedan vehicles.
Sources told The Telegraph that Mazda was likely to enter India with its highly popular Mazda 2 — a premium hatchback — to compete with Maruti Swift, Volkswagen Polo, Skoda Fabia, Ford Figo and Hyundai i20.
At present, the company is studying various options, including a joint venture. It could also enter India as a fully owned subsidiary, sources said.
The Mazda 2 hatchback is based on the Ford Fiesta platform and could be priced between Rs 8 lakh and Rs 9 lakh. The 2011 model, which was introduced in the US recently, sells at the dollar equivalent of Rs 6.4 lakh.
Industry experts believe hatchbacks are the most mature and fastest-growing market. Rising disposable income, easy availability of loans, a robust economy and a slew of launches helped the domestic car market to grow at 30 per cent in the last two years.
Fourteen players in the industry together sold 19.83 lakh cars in 2010-11, 30 per cent more than 15.28 lakh cars sold in the previous financial year.
The last eighteen months have witnessed a number of announcements from the three other Japanese car companies.
While Renault-Nissan inaugurated its $1-billion Chennai facility, Toyota Kirloskar has introduced its Etios low-cost car and promised to introduce the even cheaper hatchback Liva by June. Honda plans to cash in on the festive season spirit with its pint-size Brio city hatch.
Known for its famed Wankel Rotary engine and the iconic Miata, Mazda plans to sell roughly 3,00,000 cars per annum in emerging countries such as India, Brazil, and Russia.
Mazda also has set a target of increasing its global sales to 1.7 million cars by March 2016.
At present, the auto maker sells 1.2 million cars per year globally.