Industry pundits and market-watchers alike have long since been critical of, and been puzzled by, GM's determined non-participation in the high-volume compact car segment in India. Save for a rather lacklustre showing in the hatchback segment in the form of the Opel Corsa Sail, the world's largest carmaker has had us believe that the lack of its presence in the entry, B and premium-B segments has been part of a well thought-out strategy.
I'm whack in the middle of a 'Blog Mela' hangover, thanks to an utterly enjoyable post from over at Yazad's. That being the case, I thought I'd fashion this post of mine on similar lines. What follows therefore, is an attempt to bring you the best of the web from over the past few days on what's been happening on the Indian car scene. So belt up, tilt that seat back, play your current favourite road-tune over in your head, stretch those legs deep into that footwell and enjoy the ride.
The folks at Autocar India have traded in their old Palio 1.6 GTX for a newer 1.2 nv which they'll be putting through their long-termer test in the months to come. Though they do miss their old, bigger-hearted buddy, it's smaller cousin hasn't done much to disappoint so far.
Ford India rolled out their 100000th unit of the Ikon sedan earlier this month. And as it is their wont to do everytime they reach a landmark of this kind, Ford's celebrating with a limited period, limited edition offer. This time it's called the 'Josh100' series. For me, Ford sets the bar when it comes to staying top of mind through consumer-driven promos and special offers. Remember the 'Ikon Anniversary' and 'March Masti'?
"If there is one example where competition and opening up have benefited industry, economy and the consumer, it is the Indian passenger car sector. Yet, the more things have changed, the more they retain the flavours of the past."
Coming back to post on your blog after a long break feels somewhat like driving your car for the the first time after a long holiday. Starts are iffy, it takes a while to stay on a straight line and you sometimes get into the whole thing with absolutely no idea of where you're headed. So, in the blogging equivalent of driving your down a quiet, uncrowded street just so you can 'get the feel back', here are some quick and easies:
Closing out last year on 1 million units, motown's still walkin' on sunshine as it finished January 2005 with a sale of 1 lakh units, also a first. As expected, Maruti, Tata and Hyundai lead the pack.
Small things are now beginning to come in much safer packages. Though it's never been too high on the average Indian carbuyer's priority list, carmakers are starting to take safety very seriously. And they're starting right at the bottom.