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Old 29th July 2010, 12:12   #1
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Default Suzuki Jimny in India?

There are two proven mantras in the booming Indian car market—the love of cars small; and the aspiration for monstrous, I’ve-made-it sports utility vehicles (SUVs). Automobile makers are seeking to mix these two and serve up truncated, mini-SUVs that look posh, but can be bought for the price of a top-end Swift, i20 or Ikon. If it works, this exclusive gambit will open up a new segment for notoriously fickle car consumers.

With the most popular compact car segment (800-1200 cc) getting crowded, auto companies—like Maruti Suzuki, m&m, Toyota, Mitsubishi and Premier —are betting that mini-SUVs priced in the Rs 4-8 lakh range will strike a chord with consumers. The USP lies in the specifications. The mini-SUVs are designed like their bigger cousins but have a length similar to a small car. Because their specifications fit the ‘small’ category, these offerings will get tax concessions, making them affordable for India’s growing small car-owning population.

Needless to say, there is enough demand in the SUV segment. This is evident from the success of Maruti Gypsy and the response to vehicles like Mahindra Scorpio, Bolero, Tata Sumo, Toyota Qualis and Chevy Tavera. If a similar, more compact option was available at a lower price, it could be a winner, feel experts.

“In India, it is the SUV aspiration that is driving this niche. Initially, this market may be in the range of 25,000 vehicles per annum and is expected to grow at 10-15 per cent on a year-on-year basis,” says Rakesh Mehta, vice-president, Premier Ltd, which is the first company to launch its mini-SUV in India. Named Rio, the 1.5-litre 65 bhp diesel engine mini-SUV starts at a little above Rs 5 lakh. Many others are in the queue, with offerings in the same price range. Fresh from the success of its new off-road vehicle, Xylo, Mahindra & Mahindra is readying its mini Xylo, a small, four-metre-long, 1490 cc diesel vehicle, which is expected to be launched sometime next year.

Then, say sources, there’s market leader Maruti, which has a mini-SUV launch planned sometime in the next financial year. While the offering could most likely be the Jimny, already popular in markets abroad, Maruti also has the Vitara platform to fill the spot. It also showcased the RIII concept vehicle in this year’s Auto Expo.

It’s a compact multi-activity vehicle (MAV), similar in format to the Toyota Innova, but smaller in size and conceivably much cheaper, with features like doors that open from the centre, a concept not available in India.

Some other likely contenders include Mitsubishi’s Colt and Toyota’s Avanza. Ford, whose Fusion roughly fell into the same category and had limited response in India, is also learned to be working on a mini-SUV for the Indian market based on its new platform, codenamed B515. Finally, the Tata Group, which has a vast experience in off-road vehicles, is also working on a crossover vehicle.

Obviously, these cars would have to prove themselves in a market where options are in abundance in every price band. “This segment is being created in India. Globally, we have SUVs and muvs but the mini-SUV is not an established segment. It is untested,” warns Yezdi Nagporewalla, auto analyst with kpmg. Remember, these would largely be glorified normal cars, only looking like the rugged vehicles but functionally distant from actual ones. So forget the usual frills of a four-wheel drive, high engine power and other features associated with the real thing. Of course, as the market grows, keeping the pricing in the range may become a big challenge.

But companies are betting on aspirations. “SUVs are extremely aspirational and it is not a small market. The hatchback segment is also saturated and has too many players,” says Hormazd Sorabjee, editor, Autocar India. And that is where these cars could find their niche as buyers graduate from tallboys and coupes to these mini-SUVs. If successful, it could well define a brand new segment in global automotive history.

Maruti Jimny, 1.3 litre
Expected price: Rs 5 lakh app
Likely launch: 2011-12


www.outlookindia.com | Lads After The Tallboys
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Old 29th July 2010, 12:32   #2
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Thumbs up Jimny, Jimny, yes Papa ...Drinking petrol, no Papa !!!

Wow ! This segment of the market is hotting up indeed . Needless to say, pricing is going to be the key factor, as always.

Last edited by Blue Thunder : 29th July 2010 at 12:36.
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Old 29th July 2010, 12:45   #3
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Jimny = The ideal mom's car to drop kids off at school.

Thar = The ideal car to drop .............. everything that wasn't meant to be on a true 4x4 .

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Old 29th July 2010, 12:47   #4
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Would it not be Jimny, Jimny, yes Papa ...Drinking diesel, no Papa !!!

Anyway.. I think the Thar beats the Jimny in looks, ruggedness and should be a better offroader (?).

Last edited by IronWolf : 29th July 2010 at 12:48. Reason: Removing Bold text
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Old 29th July 2010, 12:56   #5
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This is something I would buy not because its an SUV or a 4x4 but purely for the fact that its got a good ground clearance (to drive on the poorly paved roads in our country) and it's SMALL!
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Old 29th July 2010, 12:59   #6
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Just curious ..

Is Jimny the present day Gypsy/Samurai .... or is it a whole different model?
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Old 29th July 2010, 13:02   #7
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Sounds good. Loots of youngsters are waiting for a segment like this. My brother doesn't like a jeep But ok with something smaller then a Scorpio. Hope this segment will Hit the Market.
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Any Chance for a Diesel Option ?
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Old 29th July 2010, 13:22   #8
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Ready to put my money down on the Jimny!!!

I think even the armed forces will place HUGE orders for this car to replace the ageing Gypsy troop.
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Old 29th July 2010, 13:22   #9
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This is super drool-stuff. I guess the launch of Rio sparked the idea in a few Auo-makers in India. Suzuki has a model ready we have been yearning for.

Of course, the Rio cannot hold a candle against the Jimny/Gypsy but they dared to realize the dreams of a few thousand who yearned for this class of vehicle.

And yes, I would not compare the Thar and Jimny simply because they cater to different target groups (Thar for the true-blue off-roader and Jimny for the urban bad road user - unlike the current Gypsy).

Last edited by wanderlust : 29th July 2010 at 13:32.
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Old 29th July 2010, 13:28   #10
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5 Lakh!! Its cheaper than Gypsy that too with A/C and HT.

There is competition for THAR . Any guess on what will be the price of HT Thar with A/C ?

Krishna Thanthri

Last edited by krishnathanthri : 29th July 2010 at 13:31.
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Old 29th July 2010, 13:31   #11
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The SUV seems somewhat similar to Wagon-R, especially due to the roof-rails.

Also, the interiors [Dashboard] also looks similar to that of Wagon-R.
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Old 29th July 2010, 13:40   #12
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no chance in hell its going to be cheaper than a gypsy, 1.3 lt 4wd and 5l ? nope; can bet on it
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Old 29th July 2010, 13:49   #13
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5lacs,no way!! Thats going to be priced anywhere between 7-8lac.
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Old 29th July 2010, 13:53   #14
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what the birdie told me was that she was to be oriced at 6.25L
but i dont see her as a thar challenger at all,
she'd be more of the teenage boys evening chilling car types
id pick it up as a daily car if she could accomadate little larger tyres
but again a welcome launch
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Old 29th July 2010, 14:01   #15
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it can be converted in to 100% offroader .
JIMNY is nothing but new gen GYPSY.

pros
  • box chassis
  • swb
  • no independent front suspension here
  • better NVH
cons
  • price
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EDIT: xtreme power see pictures.

Last edited by jeepster : 29th July 2010 at 14:03.
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