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Old 4th January 2021, 11:28   #16
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Maruti- They will continue selling low-cost, low-safety cars because that's what people want. There are rumors that their diesel models will return. Wonder what they will have to say about their "Petrol Sahi Hai" ads then.

Ford- They have parted ways with their swimming coach. Now they have to cross the sea that is the Indian market by themselves. Bringing in models like the Ranger Raptor via the 2500 CBU quota seems pointless. They should instead focus on refreshing their model lineup with cars such as the Puma or maybe even the Bronco Sport.

Honda- With only 4 models in their lineup (Jazz, WR-V, City, Amaze) they are looking like a very niche brand. I was really disappointed to see the Civic leave India again, with the CR-V. Hope they find a way to bring in the HR-V and enter the most competitive segment of the market.

Hyundai- They will continue to sell in good numbers. Who cares about a NCAP rating when their cars sell in 5 digits every month? 2021 could see the launch of their new AX1 micro SUV.

Kia- They are simply Hyundais with more bling. I don't think they will try their luck with the likes of the Stinger. Instead, they will focus on what the market loves: SUVs and crossovers. The Sorento seems to be a potential rival to the upcoming 7-seater version of the Creta.

Skoda- They have trademarked a lot of model names (all starting with the letter K) so those should translate into a lot of launches in the next year or two. The Vision-IN, if price aggressively, could become the Rapid Rider of its segment. The Rapid itself will get replaced by a new model by the end of 2021. The Octavia will finally return and give buyers another choice in a segment that currently has only model, the Elantra.

Volkswagen- I, for one, am eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Taigun in the Indian market. It could be a potential game changer for VW and might even make Hyundai and Kia sit up and pay attention. The Vento will finally be replaced by a newer model. I wish they would bring back the Jetta too.

Citroen- If they load their cars with lots of features and bling, then they could become the next Kia in India. I just hope they prepare their sales and service network for it.

Chinese brands- I'm surprised there hasn't been much hue and cry about their entry into India. However. given the border tensions with China, there hasn't been much movement on that front. I doubt they would find many takers here.
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Old 4th January 2021, 11:35   #17
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I don't want to get political about this, but the Chinese having teething problems to establish themselves in our country means that the Koreans have the best chance to introduce (mass-market) EVs. I hope Hyundai + Kia can capitalize on the opportunity.

Too bad Hyundai is getting bad press around the world with the Kona EVs.
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Old 4th January 2021, 11:46   #18
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I donít think Ford is in that bad shape as said above. EcoSport still sells in decent numbers and it still has 2-3 years life left in it. All they need to do is relaunch the trend AT variant of it under 10 lacs ex showroom and also include the sync 3 system in Titanium variants. If they do this, ES will continue to sell well for another 2-3 years. In the mean time, they can work on itís replacement and also bring the their version of XUV500. Figo family unfortunately have no future and thatís sad for enthusiasts. After the JTP & Abarth, Figo will be on itís way too.
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Old 4th January 2021, 12:10   #19
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With the cost of fuel touching Rs. 80 to 90, I hope more companies launch CNG variants. In Gujarat I see so many new CNG cars from Maruti. The running costs are less than that of a bike and queues are not long because there are so many pumps. I really hope other cities adopt CNG in a big way. Affordable electric cars are still a few years away. Even the affordable Nexon is above 15 lakhs and cars like the Honda E are priced in the 20+ lakh range abroad, so it is unlikely that we will see a sub 10 lakh usable EV soon.

CNG chould fill the interim needs for transport and commute. Hope we soon see good CNG cars from Tata and Hyundai.

Last edited by Cessna182 : 4th January 2021 at 12:11.
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Old 4th January 2021, 13:08   #20
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I think it's going to be the end of the road for Honda in India. They will focus on the 2 wheeler segment and gradually exit from the 4 wheeler space. I am not expecting the HRV or any crossovers to be launched here. They just don't have the will it seems. Which leaves me in a conundrum - to hold on to my City or sell it before the company calls it quits. I hope Skoda solves their issues when it comes to A.S.S in 2021. Can't see myself owning a Hyundai or a Maruti and with Toyota acting all lazy, the options are extremely limited when it comes to the winning combo of safety + reliability. Harrier is too big for my liking whereas the Thar is a bit impractical in its current form.
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Old 4th January 2021, 13:50   #21
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TATA Bring Altroz EV with 300km real world range - have DC fast chargers at every Tata 'place' and you have a sure winner.
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Old 4th January 2021, 14:49   #22
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The following are not predictions but a wishlist.

I am a fan of the Japanese cars. At a point in time I considered very strong to buy the Duster but then someone alerted me to the after sales and spare parts issues. It was then I started considering maintenance as a major factor too.

Wish the design language and safety of Maruti Suzuki improved a lot. The new gen Wagon R and Alto look dorky and really badly designed. Gone are the classy lines and all you have are clown boxes on wheels. Honda seems like a gone case. They've got all their priorities wrong. The WR-V should have ideally been offered with an automatic transmission too. There should have been a Creta competitor too but this is all hindsight analysis now.

As far as Nissan goes, wonder why they do not launch the Micra and beef up their after sales network too. I can understand that it is a significant capital investment, but it would be well worth it if they are actually serious about India as a market!
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Old 4th January 2021, 15:07   #23
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Ford really needs to up their game. What's surprising is even after staying for 25 years, they are still unable to assess the market conditions and the herd mentality. 2021 has to be the make or break year for them.

They need to launch new products and refresh the lineup. There is a big gap between the Ecosport and the Endeavour. Maybe the 'Kuga' would do some justice. They are still holding up on the next-gen Ecosport. Ford!! Please launch it already.

Coming to entry segment, like Figo/Freestyle/Aspire, just give a projector setup with funky looking DRLs and a good infotainment system with AA/CarPlay. Voilŗ, they would sell like hot cakes.

On the brighter side, the Ford-Mahindra partnership has gone for a toss.

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Old 4th January 2021, 15:37   #24
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Chinese brands- I'm surprised there hasn't been much hue and cry about their entry into India. However. given the border tensions with China, there hasn't been much movement on that front. I doubt they would find many takers here.[/quote]

I doubt that. In Bangalore showrooms, MG was delivering 10-12 cars over weekends after lockdown. It was like "get the key, take a flower plant as gift and go home. Their "British" marketing is working well. Apart from auto enthusiasts, very less percentage knows that it is a Chinese car.
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Old 4th January 2021, 16:11   #25
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Default Re: Indian Automotive Predictions for 2021

Ford ecosport facelift and VW taigun/Soka VisionIN are the ones to lookout for this year.

I hope Mahindra gives the XUV300 a good boot. That should bring the sales up of this otherwise good car.

Tata Gravitas in all likelihood wont be a hit. I dont see people paying that much for a Tata. Tata should instead concentrate on giving people a worry-free experience with the Nexon and Altroz. They need to work on that 1.2L petrol engine. It just isnt good enough.

Im in the market for a <20L car and if Tata releases a better 1.2 turbo with the Nexon I might go for it. Hoping they upgrade it to a GDI.
But in all likelihood Ill end up with a new ecosport or Taigun
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Old 4th January 2021, 17:18   #26
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Wish a company would launch an analog sports car like the VRs or the Civic or the City of the old. New cars are becoming more and more full with electronic nannies and I am distressed about it. Maybe soon there will be no true proper RWD driver's car(seeing the way BMW is launching the 2 Series and other SUVs).

I can't believe Honda has almost quit by axing the Civic and CRV and Toyota has started to sell rebadged Suzukis in the form of the Urban Cruiser and Glanza. Maybe they would sell volumes but without the Fiat sourced Multijet engines, these are a no go.

This won't be a happy year for us enthusiasts except the Turbo Altroz and the Jimny(It'll be of much poorer quality than the ones sold in Europe, just like the Swift).

Mercedes are more into land yachts and Audi is going downhill too looking at the way there has been no new launches except the Q2 abomination. Volvo is once again gonna be the silent player.

VW won't be launching anything significant or huge volume sellers other than the Virtus and T-Roc(probably). The Tiguan is not a volume seller and well you see where I am going.

I don't even want to discuss Kia and Hyundai. Also Ford packing up to leave is really saddening. I wish there was something like the Ikon or the Classic which could revive it

Tata and Skoda could be the only successful ones this year with Altroz Turbo petrol and the RS245. Niche cars yes but powerful and entertaining to drive.

Overall I feel this is not going to be a happy year for us enthusiasts.
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Old 4th January 2021, 18:51   #27
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Very nice read with oodles of humor

My take :

Nissan/Renault - New found interest due to sub-4m offerings. Hope they can build on this hype with solid after sales service and support

Skoda/VW - looking forward to see the Vision IN and localized Karoq, T-Roc. Octavia/Rapid/Vento are growing too old now and dwindling sedan market. Only serious player in sedan space now.

TATA - boy oh boy, they continue to set benchmarks on safety(for the masses), cars look great and hoping the service experience improves further.

Mahindra - Scorpio/Thar/XUV500 should pretty much sum up sales for next decade.

Kia/Hyundai - year of 7 seaters ? MPVs and SUVs

Maruti-Toyota - Cross badged Ertiga, Ciaz and so on. Love to see Jimny ASAP and hopefully some news on Creta rival. I would rather want Maruti to focus on EV.

And not so good ones:

Ford - They desperately need one SUV in Creta/Seltos Price point

Honda - next Nissan with no clear strategy. They can only go down from here until we see some roadmap.

Chinese cars - expect lot of tech and gizmos and smart phone like updates (6 monthly update !!) because they hardly have R&D effort and can just re-badge a car in every segment and launch it here.

Last edited by rajshenoy : 4th January 2021 at 18:53.
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Old 4th January 2021, 19:04   #28
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Default Re: Indian Automotive Predictions for 2021

Originally Posted by ajmat View Post
Took a week off, in between intense work and sanitized reviews, some creative thoughts came out on what to expect in 2021. ..
This reads like a promiscuous Nostradamus book - good job!

I will love to see some more maturity being added to the Indian auto market: homegrown electrics that are usable and relatively affordable, more SUVs - preferably compact or mid-size crossovers, and lesser mediocrity (Maruti, Toyota; you nailed it).
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Old 4th January 2021, 20:21   #29
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Default Re: Indian Automotive Predictions for 2021

This is more of potentially unrealistic hope than prediction, but some things I would love to see happening in 2021 are:
  1. VW/Skoda's mid size SUVs become successes and raise the bar for Indians when it comes to build quality.
  2. Ford, in the light of their exit from the M&M partnership, brings new, exciting products.
  3. More EVs are launched and Tesla aggressively pushes for charging infrastructure.
  4. The CBU route for <2500 cars is used extensively and we get to see some exciting products hit Indian shores.
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Old 5th January 2021, 07:59   #30
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Default Re: Indian Automotive Predictions for 2021

Tata figure out how to do a great ASS and a really premium fit and finish. The harrier for all its dynamics has some evident gaps in the interior fit and finish.

Honda launch SUVs that are competitive.

Toyota launch their Seltos competitor

Tata Power builds their charging nw or a battery exchange system like LPG cylinders

Someone stops 'dealers only' and starts networks of authorized workshops.
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