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It is raining small cars in India!

Last updated on: November 24, 2009 13:18 IST

It is raining small cars in India!

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Rediff Business Desk


Small is beautiful. . . Car manufacturers have realised this and are going all out to woo customers with the small cars. India has become the world's second-largest maker of small cars, overtaking Brazil. Japan remains the world's biggest small car manufacturer.

Small cars account for 80 per cent of the Indian domestic market and exports are growing at a fast pace.

According to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, small car exports rose 53 per cent between April and September to 197,249 units against 129,090 units a year ago. Here's a look at the new small cars that will hit the Indian roads...

Honda 2CV

Honda Motor's small car called 2CV is another car being made for India. This car will be launched by 2011-12. Honda is looking at new models to further accelerate its market share in India.

The 2CV may come with a 1.1 litre petrol engine.  The car is likely to be built at the company's Rajasthan plant. The new car will be much smaller than Honda Jazz.


Image: The Honda Jazz. Honda will soon launch a small car, 2CV, in India.

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Hyundai plans smaller-than-Santro car 

Hyundai will invest around Rs 800 crore (Rs 8 billion) to develop a small car for the Indian market that will be launched by 2012. The car will be smaller than the Santro will be manufactured at its Chennai plant.

The car which is in the design stage will also be exported. This car is likely to boost Hyundai's sales further in India. In October, the company sold a total of 51,736 units, an 11 per cent growth compared with same month last year.


Image: Hyundai Santro.

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Fiat planning new small cars, too

Fiat plans to cash in on the rising demand for small cars in India to generate more sales. The prototypes of the car, which is bring designed in Turin, will hit the roads in an year.

Fiat India plans to will manufacture the small car at its Ranjangaon facility. The car which will be launched in 2011 would have an engine capacity of 700-1,000 cc. The company is conducting trials to make sure that the cars suits Indian requirements and offers a good mileage.


Image: Fiat Linea.

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Toyota iQ

Toyota Kirloskar Motor will launch its small car by the end of 2010 from its Bangalore plant. The Toyota iQ is in the concept stage. The car's length is below 3 metres and its height is 1.48 metres.

The new plant will be ready by that time. The company is investing about Rs 3,000 crore (Rs 30 billion) for its small car plant in Bangalore. The company will manufacture 70,000 units of the car, the price of which is not decided yet.

About 70 per cent of the inputs for the small car would be sourced from within India to make it cost-effective. The company also plans to increase the number of dealer to 95 by the end of this calendar year. By the end-2010, it would be raised to 150.


Image: The Toyota iQ.

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General Motors' Chevrolet Beat 

It parent company in the US could not weather the storm but General Motors India seems to be making all the right moves. GM Motors Chevrolet plans to launch a stylish small car called Chevrolet Beat soon.

It is slated to be a high-end small car above the Spark. The car is said to have attractive features and spacious interiors.


Image: Chevrolet Beat.

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Nissan, along with Bajaj Auto, will unveil a small car soon

Renault-Nissan is building a passenger car plant in Chennai with a capacity to make 400,000 units a year. Renault, Nissan Motor Co and Bajaj will launch a low-cost car in India in 2012, which is likely to be cheaper than the Tata Nano.

While Bajaj will take over the design and manufacturing, Renault and Nissan would take care of marketing in India and overseas.


Image: Nissan Pino.

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Volkswagen Up!

The Volkswagen Up! promises to be an attractive hatchback, which can accommodate four people.  The car with an innovative design will have a rear engine. It is 3.45m in length and stands 1.63m wide.

The interiors are designed to offer maximum space. All the seats can be folded and removed except the driver's.  Inside the car, there is a touchscreen with sensor technology for controlling the navigation, radio, trip computer and climate control systems.


Image: Volkswagen Up!

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