Despite slower than expected growth through 2018 and a lack luster festive season, Maruti Suzuki India Limited ended the year on a positive note with over 50% market share. The company expects to enhance its reach even further in 2019 with a target of 2 million units to achieve growth rate of 6-8% in 2019.
Other ambitious plans include expansion of product lineup, introduction of innovative technologies and enhancement of plant capacity with investment to the tune of Rs.14,000 crores and 10-12 new models are lined up for launch.
Maruti Suzuki is also slated to finalize talks with the Haryana Government for the Gurugram facility to be moved to the outskirts of Manesar. New plants in Haryana and Gujarat are also on the cards along with expansion of network while the partnership between Suzuki and Toyota should also be finalized.
Upcoming models from Maruti Suzuki over the next 18 months will include the new gen Alto and Celerio. Maruti is also working on electric WagonR, its first ever electric car for India. Launch of WagonR EV will take place by April 2020. Maruti Suzuki has commenced road tests for launching its Made in India electric car. The company is currently testing Japan-spec 50 electric vehicles. These will help Maruti to gather data and purpose-built a made for India electric car.
Apart from this, Maruti will also update their entire lineup to meet the upcoming safety and emission norms. Last month, they updated the Baleno, and launched new WagonR. This month, they are planning to launch the new Ignis. New BS VI compliant engines will be introduced. The Brezza will get a petrol engine option while the Ciaz and Ertiga will receive a new diesel engine.
In 2020, Maruti Suzuki will also launch their most expensive car in India. It will be a rebadged Toyota Corolla Altis, that will be sold via NEXA outlets. It will sit above the Ciaz in company line-up. To keep costs low, it could be offered with 1.5 liter petrol and diesel engines which are BS6 compliant.
In the front, Tata Altroz features sleek headlamps with projector lamps and LED DRLs. It also gets triangular shaped fog lamp housing. ORVMs are power assisted and get integrated turn indicators. On the side you can see new 16 inch alloys with sloping roofline. There are character lines across its tailgate and swept back A Pillar.
Its interiors will have a large multi information display instrument cluster, automatic climate controls and touchscreen infotainment system with surround sound by Harman system. Seating will be done in fabric. Leather might come as option. The car can seat 5 adults.
On the safety front, it will gain dual front airbags, ABS, EBD, start stop button and park assist. In compliance with new safety regulations, it could also be get driver and co driver seatbelt reminder, ISOFIX child seat anchorage, rear parking sensors with camera.
Tata Altroz will most likely share engine options with Nexon. It could get the 1.2 liter turbo charged, 3 cylinder, petrol engine. This engine makes 110 PS power and 170 Nm torque. It could also get a 1.5 liter diesel engine offering 110 PS power and 260 Nm torque. Both engines get mated to 6 speed manual and auto gearbox. Tata 45X could be priced between Rs.5.5 to 8 lakhs
The 2019 Geneva Motor Show being held from 7-17 March 2019 will have four new cars from Tata Motors. This is the 21st Geneva Motor Show wherein Tata Motors will be in attendance and hence a wide array of products will be showcased. Tata Motors plans five cars for display, and among these, four models will be making their global debut.
Tata Hornbill micro-SUV concept has been spied on test on a number of occasions in India. It is based on Tata Motors Alfa Modular Platform. This micro SUV will be the company’s smallest offering in the SUV segment, positioned below the Nexon.
It will boast of the Tata Impact 2.0 design language and will compete with the Mahindra KUV100 and Maruti Ignis once launched in India. Engine specifications could include a 1.2 liter, 3 cylinder, Revotron petrol engine. There is no diesel engine detailed as on date since new BS VI emission norms would make its production expensive.
The 7 seater version of Tata Harrier, called the Tata H7X Concept as on date, will also be in attendance at 2019 Geneva Motor Show. H7X is being actively tested in India. This 7 seater SUV will be launching in India later this year and will be positioned above Tata Harrier and Hexa. Positioned on a platform borrowed from Land Rover, the H7X will also get 62mm longer rear overhangs as compared to the Harrier so as to include third row seats. Engine specifications could include the same Kryotec 2.0 diesel engine seen powering the Tata Harrier but tweaked for added power figures.
Tata 45X hatchback, which is christened as Altroz, is based on the Advanced Modular Platform with the brands 2.0 design philosophy. Tata Altroz is also actively being tested. It is seen with large headlamps, distinctive front grille, heavily raked C Pillar and tailgate design being among some of those features noted. It will compete with Maruti Baleno, Hyundai i20 and Honda Jazz.
There is also the Tata Altroz EV which will be displayed at Geneva. This all electric offering will get an electric powertrain seen on the E-Vision sedan concept showcased last year. The fifth offering from Tata Motors will be the Tata Harrier, which is expected to be launched in European markets. Geneva Motor Show would be a likely platform where the company can gauge viewer’s interests.
Maruti Brezza tops UV sales for Jan 2019 – Followed by Hyundai Creta
As per data revealed by Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), passenger vehicles domestic sales dipped to 280,125 units in January 2019 from 285,467 units in January 2018; a fall of 1.87 per cent. Domestic car sales also fell 2.65 percent to 179,389 units as compared to 184,264 units in January 2018.
Taking only utility vehicles into account, a dip of 3.57 percent was noted with 82,772 units sold in January 2019 as compared to 85,840 units same month a year ago. This dip in sales could be attributed to liquidity crunch, low buyer sentiments and in view of upcoming safety standards set to come into effect later this year.
Maruti Brezza and Hyundai Creta once again claimed top spot on the list of leading 5 best selling utility vehicles in January 2019. It was these two UVs that were also at No. 1 and No 2 position respectively in January 2018. The list also includes Mahindra Bolero, Maruti Suzuki Ertiga and Toyota Innova Crysta in 2019. Brezza sales have surpassed the 4 lakh unit sales mark, reaching this milestone in just 35 months since launch in March 2016. This UV commands a market share of 28.34 percent as on date.
In January 2019, a total of 13,172 units of the Maruti Brezza were sold as against sales of 11,785 units in January 2018. This put the SUV in a No. 1 position followed by the Hyundai Creta of which 10,314 units were sold last month as compared to 9,284 units sold in January 2018. The Hyundai Creta sees increased features with a new range topping SX Executive variant launched. These additions are to counter upcoming competition from the recently launched Tata Harrier and new Nissan Kicks.
At No. 3 on the list of best selling utility vehicles in January 2019 was the Mahindra Bolero, even though its sales dipped marginally. Sales in the past month stood at 7,998 units down from 8,206 units sold in January 2018. Most demand for the Mahindra Bolero was noted from rural and Tier II markets.
Maruti Suzuki Ertiga, at No. 4 saw sales of 6,352 units in January 2019 as against 4,696 units sold in January 2018. With the Ertiga having made an entry on this list of top 5 best selling UVs, the Toyota Innova Crysta lost its No. 4 spot which it commanded in January 2018 with 7,028 units sold, with 6,283 units sold in the past month. Ford EcoSport which commanded a No.5 spot on the list in January 2018 with 6,833 units sold dropped out of the list in January 2019.
Showcased at 2018 Auto Expo, Tata 45X is all set to make global debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month. 45X is a codename. But, what is the production spec name? Well it is Altroz. Tata Altroz name has been trademarked by Tata Motors and Tata Sons.
Also confirming the name Altroz is the hint posted by Tata Motors on their social media, and their latest teaser video, which reveals that the first letter of their new car is A and third letter is T. Name Altroz has been inspired by seabird called Albatross.
Tata Altroz will feature elegant and sporty looks, thanks to design and development work done by UK-based Tata Motors European Technical Centre PLC (TMETC). It has been spotted testing in production-ready guise on multiple occasions in the past few weeks. Images reveal details about the premium hatchback’s exteriors, most of which mirror the original concept model.
Concept model of Altroz measured 4,253 mm in length, 1,850 mm in width, 1,451 mm in height and has a wheelbase of 2,630 mm. However, production-ready Altroz is smaller and does not exceed 4,000 mm. It is built on Tata Motors’ Advanced Modular Platform, also known as Alfa.
Just like the concept, production-ready Tata Altroz has a tapering roofline, which gives it a sporty, aerodynamic look and feel. Other key features include new sweptback headlamps, stylish front grille, large airdams, prominent wheel arches (with possible cladding), wraparound tail lights, alloys with multi-spoke design, and prominent ORVMs.
2019 Tata Altroz will be launched as a premium hatchback. Customers will be getting various personalization options such as colour themes. Tata Motors will be using top-quality materials and advanced components to complement the car’s stunning and powerful looks.
New Tata Altroz will be available in petrol and diesel variants. Petrol variant could have a new 1.2-litre engine, whereas diesel variant will be using Tata Nexon’s 1.5-litre turbo-diesel engine. A mild-hybrid system could also be a possibility for petrol variant. Hybrid variant will improve fuel efficiency and allow it to meet Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards in 2022.
Expected to be launched ahead of 2019 festive season, Tata Altroz will most likely be positioned as a successor to Tata Bolt. It will compete with the likes of Maruti Baleno facelift and Hyundai Elite i20. Starting price of Tata Altroz could be around Rs 5.5 lakh.
Jeep Compass recalled in India over emission update – 11k SUVs affected
Jeep Compass Diesel variants, produced during the period 18th December 2017 to 30th November 2018, have been recalled. The company noted an emission issue in these SUVs causing them to exceed the regulatory threshold for Particulate Matter Emissions.
The recall notice has been released and company dealerships have been instructed to rectify the issue free of cost to the customer. Jeep will be reprogramming the ECU with latest software update which will also be done on current unsold stocks in company showrooms prior to sale while all vehicles coming in for service will also be inspected.
The error was detected during a periodic check and company dealers will be contacting owners to bring in their vehicles for rectification. However, the affected Jeep Compass’ do not pose any threat either to the users or to the environment.
This is not the first recall issued for the Jeep Compass. It was 1,200 units of the Compass which were also recalled over loose fasteners in passenger airbag modules which could cause a threat if the airbag inflated.
Jeep Compass, launched in India in 2017, is produced at the company’s plant in Ranjangaon. Sales of the SUV have been averaging at around 1,150 units per month. Jeep Compass is powered by a 1.4 liter petrol engine offering 160 bhp power and 250 Nm torque mated to a 6 speed manual or 7 speed dual clutch gearbox. It also gets its power via a 2.0 liter diesel engine offering 170 bhp power and 350 Nm torque mated to a 6 speed transmission.
The new Jeep Compass Trailhawk is also poised for launch and has been spied on test. This range topping variant of the Compass lineup, will boast of high ground clearance, additional off roading equipment and a two tone color scheme along with new alloy wheel design to set it apart from standard models. It will be offered exclusively with a 9 speed automatic gearbox as standard. It will get two additional drive modes of Sand and Rock. In terms of pricing, the Jeep Compass Trailhawk will be priced Rs.2-3 lakhs over the price of the top of the line Jeep Compass.
2020 Mahindra Thar spied at a workshop – Close up photos reveal new details
Mahindra has been actively testing the new Thar off-roader. The same has now been spotted parked at a workshop, somewhere in North of India. Spyshots of the next generation Thar shows off increased dimensions. The new Thar is clearly wider than its current version.
2020 Mahindra Thar is built on a new architecture which provides more safety than before. It will ensure that the new Thar complies with upcoming Bharat New Vehicle Safety Assessment Program (BNVSAP). Production version of new Thar will feature styling inputs from Pininfarina. The new Mahindra Thar on test, appears to be a prototype, in early stages of development, with the production model set for sometime in 2020.
Mahindra Thar gets several exterior updates among which is a 7 slot grille, circular headlamps though the tarpaulin roof has been retained. The body gets wider while suspension gets a coil spring set up in the front and suspension to the rear has also been modified. The new Thar gets on flared wheel arches, with front wheel arches mounted higher than that seen on its current counterpart. Ground clearance also appears to be increased.
Interiors of the new Mahindra Thar could also get some improvements in features, though these were not revealed in the model on test. Its dashboard could sport a new design, seat could get new fabric, etc. There could also be a touchscreen infotainment system on offer. Dual airbags and ABS will be standard safety features.
No engine specifications have been detailed as on date, but to comply with new BS VI emission norms coming in force from April 2020, a new diesel engine could be making its way to the new Mahindra Thar. The current Thar is powered by a 2.5 CRDi diesel engine offering 105 bhp power at 3,800 rpm and 274 Nm torque at 1,800-2,000 rpm with a standard 4WD system. There is some talk of the 1.5 liter turbo diesel engine from the Mahindra XUV300 and Marazzo making its way onto the new Thar, but that has yet to be confirmed.
The increased features and updated safety equipment along with a new BS VI compliant engine will also result in price hike of the new Mahindra Thar. It could come in priced from Rs.8 for the base model, going up to Rs.12 lakhs for its top end variant. Once launched, it could take on the upcoming Maruti Jimny in India.
Yesterday as Tata Motors got folks online to inadvertently participate in a non-competitive guessing game revolving around the hint – ‘The name of 45X is inspired from an agile seabird that soars over miles with minimal efforts. Can you guess its name?’, the guesswork was in fact abundant.
And as the guessing game continues, Tata Motors is likely to reveal another letter of the name today, having revealed the first character as ‘A’ yesterday. So name of the 45X production variant is a 6 letter word, with first letter being A; and the name is inspired by a seabird, which flies miles and miles at a stretch.
The post received a lot of guesses. Of course, the range of guesses was exhaustive, and not all of them played by the hint given by Tata. So while they were interesting sounding names, the connection to an ‘agile seabird that soars over miles with minimum effort’ was most missing. Well played though.
Following the call of the bird, while plenty of the guessing game pointed to ‘Auklet’ of the ‘Aethia’ genus, the little seabird isn’t known for long haul, hence, soaring miles with minimal efforts is out of the question.
One name that popped the most was – Aquila. It can be a name inspired by Auklet bird. It is a small seabird. But Aquila doesn’t fit in as it is not known to soar miles at a stretch. Neither Avocet, who are known as waders and forage for food along water bodies rather than fly a great distance over vast expanses of open sea. Also, the name Aquila is not patented by Tata Motors. It is registered by a company called Tri Electric, as an EV. On further check, it is revealed that there is already an EV on offer by the name of Aquila by Tri Electric.
This more or less ends the proposition of Aquila. Other name that matches, is Albatross. But it misses the 6 letter/character naming requirement. But Albatross matched the specification of the hint given by Tata Motors. Albatross large seabirds known for its wingspan, which help them fly over oceans (miles at a stretch). As per scientists, Albatross can fly 10,000 miles (16,000 kms) in a single journey, and can circumvent the globe in 46 days. Helping them in covering such enormous lengths are their wings, which are among the biggest seen on any bird in the world. Albatross wingspan ranges from 8 feet to 12 feet.
Checking publicly available documents of India’s recently registered patents, reveals Tata Motors and Tata Sons have registered a new name earlier this month. And it is Altroz. This one seems inspired by the Albatross, right? So is it going to be Tata Altroz? We will know for sure, if it indeed is Altroz or not, when Tata Motors reveals the second letter later today.
New Ford Endeavour vs Toyota Fortuner vs Mahindra Alturas vs Isuzu MUX
2019 Ford Endeavour facelift has just been launched with some new features that make the complete package a lot more attractive. However, there are no mechanical changes, except the addition of manual option in Titanium variant. To understand its potential market response, here’s a quick comparison between 2019 Ford Endeavour and primary rivals Toyota Fortuner, Mahindra Alturas G4, and Isuzu MU-X.
Dimensions – At 4903 mm, new Ford Endeavour is the longest in the group. However, it’s Alturas G4 that leads in width, height and wheelbase. 2019 Ford Endeavour comes second in terms of width and wheelbase and third in terms of height. In one on one comparison, 2019 Endeavour beats Fortuner in all dimensional aspects.
Engine (Diesel) – 2019 Ford Endeavour comes in two engine options, 2.2-litre and 3.2-litre engine. The former delivers 160 PS / 385 Nm, whereas the latter makes 200 PS / 470 Nm. Alturas G4 also has 2.2-litre engine, but Fortuner and MU-X have 2.8-litre and 3.0-litre capacity engine, respectively.
In terms of power output and torque, new Ford Endeavour is at number one position if we consider only the 3.2-litre engine. Isuzu MU-X is second in terms of engine capacity, but its power and torque is lowest in the group. Alturas G4 is second in terms of power output, whereas Fortuner automatic variant delivers the second-best torque output. All four SUVs offer 4×2 and 4×4 variants.
Safety features – 2019 Endeavour base variant has six airbags whereas top-spec variant comes with seven airbags. Fortuner and MU-X have a similar setup with seven and six airbags, respectively. Alturas G4 leads in this space by offering segment-first nine airbags. Safety features common to all four SUVs include ABS with EBD, electronic stability control, traction control, hill start assist, hill descent control, etc.
Common features – Features that are common to all four SUVs include touchscreen infotainment system, automatic climate control, electrically foldable and adjustable ORVMs, steering mounted controls, cruise control, and power adjustable driver seat.
Price – New Endeavour has the highest starting price of Rs 28.19 lakh. However, if we consider top-spec variants, the costliest is Fortuner at Rs 33.28 lakh. Lowest starting price is that of Alturas G4 at Rs 26.95 lakh, whereas cheapest top-spec variant is MU-X at Rs 29.32 lakh.
2019 Ford Endeavour has added some advanced features such as multiple off-road modes, one-touch engine start-stop button and leg-swipe boot opening system, all of which are really useful. Ford Endeavour has remained a popular choice in this segment and with the new updates, it has become even more tempting for potential customers.
2020 Volvo XC90 facelift debuts – Gets KERS and minor styling changes
Volvo XC90 SUV marked the start of a new era for the Swedish automaker. It has now received a mid-life refresh. Volvo has announced that it will not be attending the 2019 Geneva Motor Show that is set to open its doors on 5th March but has taken advantage of the timing to get good visibility.
Under the ‘B’ badge, Volvo has paired the XC90’s existing 2.0-liter engine lineup with Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) which is claimed to improve fuel efficiency by up to 15%. The KERS converts the kinetic energy lost during braking into useful electric energy which is then used for torque assistance. The system would also lead to considerable reduction in emissions. The T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid powertrain has been retained as well.
Visually, the changes to the 2020 Volvo XC90 are subtle. The alloy wheels embrace a new design and the famous Volvo radiator grille now has a more sophisticated appeal. The headlamp too seems to have had a minor revision in the background detailing.
Volvo has made further improvements to the already impressive interior. The materials have been upgraded and the XC90 can now be specified with 6-seat configuration in addition to the existing 4- (Excellence variant) and 7-seat layouts. The upgraded Sensus touchscreen infotainment system incorporates Spotify audio steaming service and Android Auto in addition to the already available Apple CarPlay.