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Global Car Makers Eye Indian Small Car Market

By Motortrend India Staff   |   27 August,2009

Global car leaders like the Volkswagen, Toyota, Nissan and Ford venturing into the small car segment in India recently. These car companies want to secure their presence in India, which is widely considered to be the world’ s fastest-growing automobile market after China.

The compact car segment in India accounts for more than three-fourths of India’ s total car sales and is the fastest-growing segment at 20-25 per cent annually.

The new entrants will now compete with Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors, Hyundai, Fiat, Skoda, Honda and General Motors for a share of the compact car market.

These global firms are anticipating to highlight their products through competitive pricing and additional features like added space, fuel efficiency and better performance. The popularity of compact cars in India is evident from the high sales seen in most quarters.

In the April-July period, all the seven companies sold 3.35 Lakh compact cars, of the total car sales of 4.38 Lakh units. Maruti Suzuki, the country’ s largest car maker, accounts for the biggest share of the compact segment at 1.94 Lakh units, followed by Hyundai at 81,843 units and Tata Motors at 37,412 units for the same period.

While Volkswagen and Nissan plan to launch the Polo and Micra, respectively, Toyota and Ford are launching all new compact models for the Indian market. The India-specific cars are likely to be launched in 2010 and the companies are currently working on the pricing and product mix.

German luxury car maker Volkswagen has plans to launch several other models including the Golf compact car. Besides, Nissan plans to export large units of Nissan Micra to the overseas market. The small car from Ford will be a four-door hatchback, powered by an indigenous diesel engine. Toyota also believes that a small car would promote its presence in the Indian market.

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