Indian car market is all set to witness a rush of sports utility vehicles (SUV) at a time when Americans, traditionally the largest buyers of these fuel-guzzlers, are shunning them for smaller fuel-efficient cars.
World’s top carmakers such as BMW, Audi, Land Rover, Toyota and Volkswagen are launching over half-a-dozen SUVs in the next six months in the world’s fastest growing auto market after China.
Priced much higher than an average passenger car sold in the country, SUVs comprise a niche segment in the Indian automart. But as SUV sales are shrinking in the developed economies, automakers are looking to sell these products in markets such as China and India where high economic growth rates have resulted in high disposable incomes in the hands of a large middle class population.
BMW has launched its flagship SUV model X6M with a price tag of Rs. 1.3 crore (ex-showroom Delhi) and has drawn big plans to capture market share in the segment. The company will start assembling the X1, priced more competitively at around Rs. 25 lakh making it the cheapest SUV from BMW, at its Chennai plant in the next few months. Soon it will follow its launch in the India Market
Fellow German car maker Audi has reported 58% rise in SUV sales in 2009 and would commence local production of compact Q5 soon. It will also bring its most powerful SUV, the V8 4.2 Litre Q7, in limited numbers.
Europe’s largest carmaker Volkswagen has brought its flagship Toureg SUV into India at the price of Rs. 60 lakh to India and plans to bring its smaller version Tiguan soon.