The crossover craze isn’t limited to just North America.
Once in a while, we here at TTAC cast our gaze outward, beyond our shores. A quick cruise of global automotive news shows that Maruti Suzuki helped drive big growth in the multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) segment in India in 2019. Yep, people on the other side of the world like crossovers just as much as we do.
While much of the Indian automotive market saw contraction, with some segments in the double digits, MPVs saw a segment growth of 35 percent. The market share of these vehicles has risen from 5 percent to 8 percent. At its peak, the MPV’s market share was 10 percent.
How automakers address the sedan question in India is particularly interesting. It doesn’t involve increasing legroom or wheelbase. It doesn’t involve creating a reason to increase the average transaction price of those cars. And despite India having some of the deadliest roads in the world, it doesn’t involve safety.
In India, most automakers go in the exact opposite direction with their sedans — by building them shorter and cheaper, but no more safer — yet they remain just as comfortable inside as the models on which they’re based.
Production on the all new seventh generation 2014 Corvette Stingray has begun, though they haven’t officially gone on sale yet while the inventory pipeline fills. It’s the first time in decades that the Stingray name has been used by the Corvette. However, it turns out that you can buy a brand new Stingray right now, and for only about $7,000. There’s just one catch. It’s not a Corvette, made by Chevy or even sold in the United States.
Rundown of Indian Press Coverage of Maruti Suzuki Riot & Lockdown: Talk of Conspiracies and Outside Influences
The major Indian news operations are pretty much flooding the zone in covering the riot and lockdown at Maruti Suzuki’s Manesar plant. Besides whatever labor unrest there was at play in the Manesar factory riot, internal politics within the state of Haryana or competition with Gujurat state may have had something to do with it, with accusations of conspiracies and outside influences. Here is a rundown of the news.
When the question of whether a Death Watch should be started for Suzuki was first posed here at TTAC in April, there was a lot going on behind the scenes at the stylized “S” brand but not many facts filtering out to the public.
As of today, TTAC’s Death Watch starts for Suzuki’s North American operations. And if you haven’t been following the drama, here’s some background for you…
Last November, Suzuki received a fuel leakage complaint on three cars in Europe and one in India. Suzuki did what Suzuki was required to do: Send owners of the “A-Star” (A.K.A, Suzuki Alto, Nissan Pixo) an invitation to go to their dealer and have the fuel pump fixed. As usual, this story received next to no media attention. In the years BT (before Toyota,) who cared about a yet another recall?
That was then, this is AT. Today, someone said “Suzuki has a recall” on the floor of the New Delhi stock exchange. Holy cow!
With Tata unable to produce enough Nanos to keep up with demand, more automakers are gunning for its entry-level segment. Renault-Nissan is teaming up with its Indian-market partner Bajaj to produce a car that’s even cheaper to produce than the Nano. “I can tell you the cost of this car would be lower than any car today made in India,” Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn tells Gasgoo, adding that a lower production cost wouldn’t guarantee that the new car would be priced lower than Nano. The Renault ULC, as the low-cost car is being called during development, will be available in India in 2012, by which time GM and Toyota could have competing models on the market. Ford’s recently-announced Indian market low-cost car, based on the discontinued previous-generation European Fiesta, will be positioned above the Nano. And that strategy also appeals to Honda. The Motor Company tells the WSJ that rather than competing directly with the lowest-cost segment, a sub-Fit (Jazz, as it’s known globally) hatchback will be introduced around 2012 to compete with Ford’s model. The Jazz/Fit currently sells for about $15,000 in India, leaving a huge window between there and the Nano’s approximately $3,000 price price tag.
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