Launch frenzy awaits car buyers this festive season


Launch frenzy awaits car buyers this festive season

  Over the next ten weeks, car buyers will have the option of choosing from nearly two dozen new models, set to make their way into showrooms. From mass market hatchbacks to sports utility vehicles (SUVs) to luxury saloons. 


Good rains, the pay commission and new military pensions implementation and lifting of the ban on sale of bigger diesel vehicles in the region around Delhi will give automobile demand a boost this festive season. Navratri begins the first week of October. 

Launches lined up over the next few weeks far exceed the number in the previous festive season, when the industry saw 16 of new or facelifted models. 

One of the most awaited this year is Maruti Suzuki's Ignis, a premium hatchback whose styling appears a fusion between a compact SUV and a hatchback. To be retailed from Maruti's premium chain of outlets called Nexa, it is expected launch before Diwali.

The Baleno RS, also from Maruti Suzuki, will make its way to all Nexa outlets over the coming weeks. Powered by a 1-litre BoosterJet engine, it will be the one of the most powerful hatchbacks on sale, targeting the performance-seeking buyer.   

Other mass market models include the Renault Kwid automated manual transmission (AMT), Tata Tiago AMT, Tata Hexa, Fiat Avventura Urban Cross, Volkswagen Polo GTI, Ameo diesel and the Hyundai Eon facelift.  

Pravin Shah, chief of the automotive division at Mahindra & Mahindra, said: "Improved spread of the monsoon and new product launches have helped the industry perform positively. The uncertainty surrounding diesel vehicles has been lifted by the Supreme Court. At Mahindra, we are happy to have garnered an overall growth of 14 per cent and of 29 per cent in utility vehicles last month. We hope the festive season will give us a further boost.”

New product action will be higher in the luxury car segment. Market leader Mercedes-Benz, followed by Audi, BMW, Jaguar and Volvo, have readied for nearly 10 new launches between now and the end of November.  

German giant Mercedes will launch the S-Class Cabriolet (retractable roof), its most awaited product of the year. A C-Class Cabriolet is under discussion but hasn't been finalised. A locally assembled GLC-Class SUV is to be launched on September 29. 

Swedish car maker Volvo will bring in four new and facelifted models before end-November. The company will launch the S90, V40, V40 Cross Country and XC90 R-Design over the next few months. Another model, the S60, will probably debut in January.    

The trend of new launches has been upbeat since the start of the year itself, with the Tata Tiago, Toyota Innova Crysta, Hyundai Elantra, Maruti Vitara Brezza, Jaguar XE and Skoda Superb. 

“Volume growth on a year-on-year basis would likely remain strong over the next two months, due to the early festival season,” say analysts at Kotak institutional Equities.