Small Cars are the big thing at India’s Auto Expo

India’s auto sales are on the rise, making it increasingly important for manufacturers to consider the Indian market. This year at the Indian Auto Expo in New Delhi, automakers will unveil a number of inexpensive small cars meant for the Indian market.

“The Indian auto industry and the Indian auto market have become internationally very important and therefore, no one can ignore this market,” said Pawan Goenka, CEO of Mahindra & Mahindra and president of the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers. “Even though the Detroit auto show immediately follows the Delhi auto show, there is full participation from all international companies and they are bringing in concept vehicles as well as launching brand new products.”

The New Dehli auto show first made a splash in 2008 when Tata debuted its $2500 Nano. This year, companies from General Motors to Toyota will introduce small cars in hopes of increasing their presence in one of the world’s few healthy markets. Inexpensive small cars are key to gaining a foothold in India, where space is at a premium and the majority of people cannot afford larger vehicles.

“In any country, the base of the [income] pyramid is the biggest group,” said Osamu Suzuki, CEO of Suzuki, parent company of Maruti Suzuki India, the top-selling brand in the country. “Starting at the entry-price-point level was a successful strategy for us.”

Some of the small cars that will be introduced at the New Dehli auto show this year are Honda’s “New Small Concept,” which will slot in below the Fit; Toyota’s “Entry Family Car,” which will be priced well under $10,000; Volkswagen’s Polo; and Ford’s Figo. Meanwhile, Maruti Suzuki is working its way up the product chain and will introduce a smaller multi-purpose vehicle dubbed the Concept R3.

Source: Automotive News