The Indian car market is ever expanding. The Indian customers’ preferences are changing and growing. The Indian market is not only the most diverse but also one of the most challenging. While the demand for features and comfort grows, the concern for mileage and value for money remains consistent. In spite of the challenges, the Indian car market is a very attractive destination for the desi and global car makers. The global giants have customized their most attractive models for the Indian roads; the Indian makers have improved theirs.
The Indian customer retains faith for the tried and tested but is also all eyes for the newer options. The race for the Indian auto turf is rough and rocky but the rewards are sweet enough to go all the way. No wonder everybody wants a piece of the cake i.e. the Indian automobile market which is really huge. Therefore, it is fast emerging as a favorite destination of every car maker. Right from innovations, discounts and benefits, car makers have played Santa Claus with a heavy goodie bag to attract customers.
Below is the list of best car brands in India which have been able to unravel the complexities of Indian market and able to secure a parking spot in the Indian consumers’ hearts.
The German automobile giant is still adapting to the Indian market. With refreshed and updated versions of Polo and Vento, Volkswagen manages to register its presence at the 10th position. It is all set to reintroduce Beetle and Passat along with 3 new models – Volkswagen Tiguan SUV, Volkswagen sub-compact sedan, Volkswagen compact SUV. It is aimed at increasing Volkswagen’s presence in more segments. The upcoming Volkswagen models are modified to suit the Indian buyer’s need and all set to make the competition hotter.
- Presence across most of the segments
- World class German engineering
- No frills looks
- Decent mileage
- No model in the widest base segment
- Service network insufficient
- Short supply of spare parts
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One of the first car makers to manufacture SUVs, General Motors’ Chevrolet has come a long way in India. It first came to India between 1918 -1928. General Motors opened the first assembly plant in India. Now, 16 years after its re-launch in the Indian market.
Chevrolet is one of the fastest growing names on Indian roads. It has realized the growth potential of Indian market and wants to capture it. It is now eyeing a major share in the multipurpose vehicle (MPV) segment. Although its entry level MPV- Chevrolet Enjoy didn’t make happy sales figures, it is all set to replace Enjoy with another MPV-Chevrolet Spin.
- Robust built
- Decent mileage
- Wide presence across all segments
- Average looks
- No brand image
- Weak after sales
The first vehicle design studio set up by a foreign car manufacturer in India is the Renault Design India in Mumbai. Currently, Renault makes its presence on the Indian roads through its six models – premium sedans Scala and the Fluence, the SUV Koleos and Duster, MPV Lodgy and the compact car, Pulse. Apart from Pulse, one can easily spot Renault Duster quite frequently on the Indian roads. With Duster doing well, Renault has managed to be the 8th favorite car brand of India.
The Duster is all set to get another row of seats in its next gen model so it may cut across segments. Recently launched KWID has received a really good response and is expected to join hands with Duster to extend Renault’s success. Renault has also joined hands with Nissan to develop engine for its upcoming small cars which reinforces Renault’s resolve to capture major market share in the small car market.
Renault is also strengthening its products and service network to make it more accessible to the consumers. Within 4 years, the no of service facilities has gone up from 14 to 190. The French car maker has already launched its MPV – LODGY and its eyes are firmly set on cashing on the widest car segment i.e small cars in the existing and emerging markets of urban, semi urban and rural India.
- Good mileage
- Increased reliability quotient
- Better on road performance
- Borrowed looks in some models
- Low availability of spare parts
The much awaited launch of Ford Mustang has turned up the heat, but right now one will have to do with the next gen model of Ford Endeavour and affordable Figo. Also, Ford is expecting to double its production in India. Along with increasing production, Ford India is now focusing on an important facet of car ownership – after sales service. Ford is working on a strong service network to enhance the Ford ownership experience. With its ‘happy pocket service’ initiative, global auto giant wants to make ford –affordable. Right now, all we could afford is to place it at the 7th position.
- Fuel efficient diesel engine
- Competitive pricing
- Good interior space
- Power steering issues
- Less back interior space in some models
- Expensive service charges.
The small car segment in India may be attracting the attention of many but definitely not Toyota’s. The Japanese brand is quite clear about its Indian interest which is bigger cars. Although the brand tried its luck with Etios Sedan and Etios Liva, it couldn’t repeat the magic numbers of Innova and Fortuner. Toyota has perhaps realized that it is ‘bigger the better’ is more to their liking. Although it may stay away from the small car segment, Toyota is going to test the waters with its midsized sedan VIOS.
- Premium edge
- Superior quality products
- Provides financial services for its cars
- No diesel variant
- Limited product line up
- Lack of indianised models
It is india’s largest automotive giant with global presence and a list of subsidiaries and associates including Jaguar Land Rover and Tata Daewoo. Tata entered the passenger vehicle market with Tata Sierra. Then it introduced Indica and later its improved version Tata Indica V2 became a mass favorite. Tata also gave India its first SUV- Tata safari. Tata is the pioneer of making the least expensive production car in the world – Tata Nano.
With a completely new product line up, the brand is currently looking at reinventing itself. The first in this series was Tata Zest which did well. Now Tata is vying for a greater market share of Indian small car segment.
- Very good front and rear space
- Robust build
- Models for every segment
- Poor service quality
- Reliability issues
- Poor quality control
The success run of Honda cars in India continues. With its ever increasing production output, Honda cars have managed to keep the buyers interested with their sharp looks and luxurious feel. While most of the models performed fairly, Honda City and Amaze have proved to come out on the top. Quite a favorite on the Indian roads, Honda cars have always managed to create quite a buzz.
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Honda has managed to expand its service network along with the growing sales numbers. Honda Motor India has stuck to the 3S – sales, service, and spare parts.
- Sharp looks
- Competitive pricing
- Fuel efficient
- Expensive spare parts
- No discounts
- Diesel technology is not their own
Think rough and tough; rugged and rustic – this is what Mahindra vehicles are. Strong and sturdy, Mahindra Utility vehicles have enjoyed the alpha male image on road. Mahindra Scorpio was the first Indian SUV for the urban India. Proud to be the Indian pioneer of the electric car, Mahindra stands for reliability. Now a global brand, the reliable Mahindra has enjoyed Indian trust for more than 7 decades now. In a reality show, two men take a car too far on impossible terrains and the car that they choose to do the impossible is a Mahindra!
- Leader in rural transport
- Strong, muscular looks
- Plain interiors
- Seats are not comfortable
- Noisy engine
Hyundai motor India limited is the 2nd largest car manufacturer in India. It is the subsidiary of Hyundai motor company, South Korea. Largely an unrecognized name in India at the time of launch, Hyundai motors’ rise has been phenomenal. Its first passenger vehicle- Hyundai Santro was a runaway success. Its success can also be attributed to lack of options in the then Indian market. Well begun, Hyundai has not lost momentum since. It has a service network of over 1000 service outlets. It is still going strong. With an impressive lineup of 10 models on Indian roads – CRETA, Grand i10, Eon, i10, Elite i20, Xcent, Verna, Active i20, Elantra and Santa Fe, Hyundai’s India story is a huge success.
- Sharp looks
- Good mileage
- Preferred by the youth
- Unimpressive interiors
- Engine needs improvement
- Cost cutting measures compromising safety
Every time you stop at a signal – there’s more than one Maruti around. The people’s car-Maruti 800 was the best selling car right from the start. It continued to be the best seller until 2004 – when it was discontinued. The trust and bonding that people shared with the name Maruti – their own Indian car- has not faded. With a car every 12 seconds, Maruti Suzuki makes 1.5 milion cars every year. With 14 cars, 150 variants, nearly 1500 service network, more than a 1000 dealerships, Maruti stays on top.
As today is just an extension of yesterday, the history of maruti has its place in understanding its present performance. It has always retained its top position in the mind of Indian Car buyer which is still too way up to feel threatened.
With its newer models gaining the extended faith, Maruti is still the king of Indian passenger Vehicle market. No matter where you are on an Indian road, an Alto or a Swift Dzire is never far off.
- Fuel efficiency
- Extensive service network
- Cost effective
- Lack of adequate safety features
- Lightweight body endangering high impact collision
- Average comfort features
Maruti Suzuki India Limited holds nearly 50% of the Indian car market share. Together Maruti and Hyundai together hold nearly 67%-70% share and the rest is shared by 8 brands.
India’s growth potential has been judged as tremendous by the global automotive names. Everybody’s trying to get a better piece of pie. Competition among sellers – always create a favorable market for the consumers.
The market places are ever changing, and tomorrow the changing dynamics of the Indian car market might just create new champions!
We promise to keep you posted.