Automobiles News

With slew of new launches, Auto Inc set for a happy new year

Mumbai: More than two dozen new car models will be unveiled or go on sale in 2024 as automakers ride on the momentum of the past two years and launch new battery-run vehicles as part of the transition to electric. This will be the highest number of new model introductions in the non-luxury segment in the last few years. Besides electric vehicles (EVs), they will include facelifts of existing models.

New launches typically add 8-10% of total volume growth for automakers, potentially translating into 250,000-300,000 units of incremental volume, taking the domestic aggregate to a record 4.3-4.4 million units next year. That would make it the third straight year of record annual sales volume for passenger vehicles.

India’s passenger vehicle market, valued at ₹4.5 lakh crore, has been outpacing volume growth and the trend is likely to continue with the spate of new models led by EVs, which enjoy a superior realisation. Carmakers will likely clock ₹25,000-30,000 crore of incremental revenue from new model sales, according to analyst estimates. In addition to internal combustion engine (ICE) driven sport utility vehicles (SUVs), the top five carmakers by sales will introduce at least one electric car model each in the next 12 to 16 months. That will expand the EV market, giving buyers more options, challenging the dominance of Tata Motors. The company controls more than 65% of India’s nascent EV market.

Continuing with the pace of new model launches in 2022 and 2023, market leader Maruti Suzuki India will introduce the new generation Swift, showcased at the Tokyo Mobility Show earlier this year, and a new Dzire. The most significant launch by the Japanese carmaker, however, will be the EvX, its first EV offering. To be positioned at the premium end of the market (Rs 20 lakh plus), Maruti will sell the model through its Nexa dealerships. It’s likely to go on sale in the second half of 2024 or early 2025.

On a fiscal year to date basis, new models have contributed 287,000 units, helped by Hyundai’s Exter, and Maruti’s Fronx, Jimny and Grand Vitara. The highest addition to volume from new models took place in FY17 when they contributed 586,000 units of incremental volume. Their share of total volume rose to a multi-year high of 19.8% that year, mainly propelled by the launch of Maruti’s Brezza and Baleno models.

Hyundai Motor India, which already sells the Ioniq EV in the super-premium segment, will enter the affordable part of the market with the electric version of the Creta in the first half of next year. In addition, Hyundai will introduce facelifted versions of the Creta, Tucson and Alcazar SUVs. Kia will launch the EV9 in addition to the new generation Carnival.

Seeking to cement its position further, Tata Motors will introduce electric versions of the Punch and Safari in 2024. Additionally, it will also launch the new Curvv – the ICE version in 2024 and the EV in 2025.

Mahindra and Mahindra is set to launch the XUV e.8 – the electric version of the XUV 700. It will also launch an updated XUV400 and a new-generation XUV300 in addition to a five-door Thar.

Skoda Volkswagen Auto India will enter the EV segment with its Enyaq iV next year. The company has been testing the model for the Indian market for a few months. The local Nissan and Renault units, which haven’t seen much product action in the past few years, will introduce mid-size SUV offerings in response to heightening competition in the segment.

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