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Carmakers line-up new launches ahead of festive season

Friday, 8 August 2014 - 7:45am IST | Agency: DNA
In a festive drive, carmakers line-up launches to boost volumes

Gearing up for the upcoming festival season, several automakers are in the process of making strategic launches in the current month in a bid to drive up volumes.

For instance, August alone will see some of the biggest launches of the year – including Tata Motors Zest, Hyundai Motor India's Elite i20 and A3 sedan from German luxury carmaker – Audi.

Fiat India, which is currently in the process of strengthening its product portfolio in order to address its declining volumes, launched its new Punto Evo on Tuesday with introductory price ranging from Rs 4.55 lakh to Rs 7.19 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). With new products and segments in pipeline this year, the company is looking at a comeback after it ended its distribution joint venture with Tata Motors last year. The company will launch Avventura – its entry into the compact sports utility vehicle segment, within 2 months and Abarth 500 by the end of this year.

Audi India launched its much awaited A3 sedan on Thursday priced between Rs 22.95 lakh – 32.66 lakh (ex showroom New Delhi).

The company is betting big on the model as it will cater to the entry-level segment. As per the industry estimates, the cheaper luxury cars (Rs 20 lakh-30 lakh) will occupy a fourth of the overall luxury car market. Carmakers are looking to add more models in this segment, making it more accessible to the consumers aspiring to buy luxury brand.

Talking about the expectations, Joe King, head, Audi India, said, "We think this is the right product for self-driven, young customers in urban environment. Besides, we are also looking to those existing Audi customers who are looking for second car with the A3. We expect 15% of our total sales to come from this model," agencies reported.

Next week will witness two other big launches – Hyundai's Elite i20 and Tata Motors compact sedan – Zest.

Hyundai will make the global launch of its all new premium hatchback Elite i20 next week. Elite i20 is built on a completely new platform and will replace the existing i20, which is expected to further add to the company's strategy of enhancing volumes.

This will be followed by the much-awaited launch by Tata Motors compact sedan – Zest. The company is banking on this model to revive its passenger vehicle volumes.

Experts believe that the new launches will help in driving volumes for automakers for the rest of the year. The industry saw a double digit growth in wholesale dispatches in the last couple months.

"Carmakers have been launching some of the key models keeping in mind the upcoming festival season. This is one of the best time for the manufacturers to launch products as the market is seeing some positive signs and there is a pent up demand.

Some of the models will definitely help in driving volumes not only for the company but also for the industry. Hence, going ahead, we expect the positive momentum to continue in the industry," said Puneet Gupta, associate director, IHS Automotive Sales Forecasting.

"We expect the this year's festive season to be better than previous few festive periods," he added.




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