The Telegraph
Monday , May 19 , 2014
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Car makers line up more models

New Delhi, May 18: Car makers are planning a slew of launches to beat the slowdown that has gripped the industry in the last two years.

Honda Cars India Ltd is expected to unveil its multi-utility passenger vehicle (MPV) Mobilio in July.

This will be the first MPV of the company’s. Moreover, there have not been any new MPV launches in the last few months after the Chevrolet Enjoy.

The new MPV will compete with the Maruti Ertiga and the Toyota Innova — the market leaders in the segment.

The company is also planning to bring back one of its bestsellers, the Jazz hatchback, in a new avatar.

“The Mobilio will be launched in the next quarter,” Jnaneswar Sen, senior vice-president (marketing and sales), said. He, however, declined to comment on the price.

Honda has done quite well on the back of the Amaze compact sedan and the new Honda City. It reported a 30 per cent increase in domestic sales at 11,040 units in April from 8,488 units in the same month of the previous year.

After a hiatus of four years, Tata Motors will launch two new cars to combat the 37 per cent drop in sales in the first nine months of 2013-14.

The Tatas will roll out the Zest compact sedan and the Bolt hatchback, which will be powered by the company’s new Revotron engine.

Though the launch date has been kept under wraps, industry insiders believe that the cars are likely to be available in the market by August.

The company is trying to get back on track after losing out to other players, including Ford, Renault and Nissan.

According to Tata officials, they will come out with a number of small cars, B-segment sedans and possibly a sub-four metre sports utility vehicle in the coming months.

In April, the company’s sales in the domestic market slipped 36.61 per cent to 5,653 units from 8,918 units in the year-ago period.

Maruti Suzuki India is all set to launch its sedan Ciaz in the second half of this year. The car, which was recently unveiled at the auto expo, will be launched by August, company sources said.

It has been a while since the company has come out with a car in this segment and the Ciaz will fill up the vacuum.

The launch date and the price of the vehicle have not been disclosed but sources said it would be priced between Rs 8 lakh and Rs 12 lakh.

Even after car makers slashed prices, sales dipped 10 per cent in April, the biggest monthly fall in a year. The decline was the steepest since a 12 per cent drop in May last year.

According to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, sales stood at 135,433 units in April compared with 150,737 units in the year-ago month.Ten out of 14 car makers reported lower sales.