Indian sedans: The hatchbacks with boots

VW Ameo.JPG

Ankit Berry

The Indian consumer seems to be a funny lot. We like cars which are not in vogue anywhere else in the world. Let’s take the example of our new age sedans. Only in India does one find sedans which are less than four metre in length. The Tata Indigo CS started the trend back in 2008.

At the time of the launch the car was the shortest sedan in the world. That started a revolution, which now sees top manufacturers like Honda and even Volkswagen (one would have thought they would not have joined this bandwagon) build a sub four metre sedan.

This is not without logic. The sub four metre sedan helps car manufacturers in India avail

2010 Infiniti G Sedan

excise-duty incentives targeted at cars with a length of less than four metre. It also helps the marketing team to push a car which should have been a hatchback as a sedan and tell people that see, you get a boot and a small car, a win-win situation for everyone.

It sure maybe a win-win for the average consumer but from the designing point of view, most of these cars do not tick all the boxes. For all these cars, life starts as a hatchback and then a boot is attached to them.

Another craze in the Indian car market is an SUV-ish feel, the fact that it is not even remotely an SUV be damned. Driving down in Faridabad on a rainy afternoon, I saw proof of this. A lucky chap had just got his Renault Kwid delivered and was taking on the crater-sized potholes of Faridabad at speeds and angles which would put a Land Rover to shame. Unfortunately, I was driving a normal hatchback (just like him), could not keep up with him to see if he made it to his destination in one piece or not. I doubt he could not!

Coming back to my point, Indians buy cars based on the fact that it looks like an SUV or a sedan and is priced competitively, in the range of three to five lakh. The Mahindra KUV 100 is another such example.

The car is compact, has a decent ground clearance and a tall boy design, which the best package. Given that Mahindra is well-known for Scorpio, Bolero and XUV500, cars which are actually MUVs and SUVs, gives Mahindra an even better tata-indigo-e-cs-photoadvantage when it comes to selling these cars.

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