New car launches in 2014
The passenger car market has had a rough 2013, with consecutive months of negative growth. The market is unlikely to improve dramatically in 2014 and the industry is keeping its fingers crossed, hoping for a revival which will at least keep its numbers clicking at the same level if not lower than the year gone by.
But, that is not going to deter manufacturers from launching new models and facelifts for their existing models during 2014. This year could also be the year of consolidation for the industry and most, if not all, car makers will tend to be cautious in committing additional funds into capacity expansion.
The performance of the industry could also be affected positively in 2014 due to the general elections. That one event this year could lead to an improvement in passenger car sales due to the possibility of sops that the Government might extend to buyers through a cut in duties in the forthcoming union budget. And an election year always tends to witness an increase in sales of utility vehicles and SUVs.
Despite all the signs of a potential stagnation in sales, there is still going to be considerable action with quite a few mass market and luxury car manufacturers planning new launches and facelifts during 2014. Here is a brand-wise break up of what to expect in the year of the horse.
One of the companies that will be most busy in 2014 is likely to be Hyundai Motor India. On the anvil could be at least three new cars. One of them will likely be the sedan variant of the Hyundai Grand. The Grand has been built on a whole new platform with a longer wheelbase and that could well lend itself to be used for building a compact, sub-4-metre sedan. The ingredients, including the engines, are all already there. We think Hyundai changed the name to just ‘Grand’ (after dropping the i10 suffix) keeping in mind the sedan.
The other vehicles from Hyundai that could make it to showrooms this year are the proposed multipurpose vehicle (MPV) and the replacement or refreshed new Santro. The MPV from Hyundai, which it showcased in as the HND-7 concept at the last Auto Expo in 2012, is said to be undergoing final stages of testing. The family van will be good competition in this currently emerging class of vehicles where the Toyota Innova and the Maruti Ertiga rule the road.