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Compact car race hots up in India.

COMPETITION in the compact car segment is set to turn fiercer as consumers get more to choose from with new launches and showcasing of concept cars that are expected to follow in quick succession as the seven- day Delhi Auto Expo 2010 kicks off at Pragati Maidan on January 5.

While Maruti will launch its new van Eeco to replace the Versa, GM India will bring in its premium hatchback Beat in the Rs 4 lakh range just above the Spark, which will hit the market on January 4. The Beat has been unveiled at the New York motor show and will now be on display in Delhi.

The Eeco will be powered a 1,200cc petrol engine and could be priced below Versa which carried a price tag of Rs 3.5 lakh at the starting point.

Eeco, which would give a mileage of 15.1- km- per litre under standard conditions, would come with three- row and two- row seating arrangements with the capacity to accommodate five to seven passengers.

The company expects to sell 40,000 units of Eeco in the first 12 months of the launch. The current market size of this segment is estimated at about 8,000- 10,000 units a month.

The Japanese car maker Toyota Motor Corp plans to launch its compact car by December 2010 in India.

To begin with we will be manufacturing 70,000 units of the compact car and are looking at a 10 per cent market share within one year of its release, deputy managing director Sandeep Singh said.

He said the compact car would be fitted with an engine imported from Japan but would have a 70 per cent Indian content to cut costs.

Singh said both the hatchback and sedan version of the concept vehicle of the compact car will be showcased at the Auto Expo.

The Volkswagen Polo, a premium hatchback that will be manufactured from the recently inaugurated Volkswagen plant in Chakan near Pune, will also be showcased. The car is expected to hit Indian roads in the first quarter 2010.

The Polo will compete with the Hyundai i10, i20, Maruti Suzuki Swift, Ritz, Skoda Fabia, Fiat Grande Punto and Chevrolet Aveo UV- A. Honda will unveil a concept model of a new small- sized car which the Japanese car maker is currently developing for India and other emerging nations.

In addition to the Honda New Small Concept, Honda will also exhibit the CR- Z Concept 2009, a concept model for a new hybrid model, which was unveiled for the first time at the Tokyo Motor Show in October 2009.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Dec 24, 2009

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