Time and again, we’ve seen car makers in India launch next generation versions of their cars while continuing to sell the older generation models as repositioned variants. A few instances of this practice: Ford India launched the new Fiesta sedan and repositioned the older version as the Classic. Maruti Suzuki launched the new Swift Dzire and repositioned the older model as the Dzire Tour. Tata Motors, a past master in repositioning has a wide range of cars, like the Indica-Indica Vista, the Indigo-Indigo Manza and the Safari-Safari Storme to name just a few models.
So, it doesn’t come as too much of a surprise when a report has emerged about Hyundai India also following a similar strategy with its upcoming global small car, the next generation 2014 i10. Hyundai India plans to position the next gen i10 in the yawning gap that exists between the current i10 and i20 hatchbacks. The next generation i10 is expected to take on the Maruti Suzuki Swift and the Ford Figo given the fact that the Hyundai i20 is much pricier than these car models. So, it seems like the next generation 2014 Hyundai i10’s main purpose is to give the prospective Hyundai small car buyer a surfeit of choice.
Hyundai is no stranger to selling next generation cars with current models. It adopted this strategy briefly when the Santro Xing arrived into India, to replace the older Santro. The Hyundai Verna(a replacement to the Accent sedan) sells as an upmarket C-Segment sedan while the Accent continues to do duty in India as an entry level C-segmenter. So, the current i10 selling alongside the next generation model is something that is a high possibility gauging by history. So, by the end of 2014, we will have no less than five hatchbacks in Hyundai India’s portfolio(Eon-Santro Xing-i10-next gen i10 and i20), all vying for the small car buyer’s attention.
This strategy has been used with great success with Maruti Suzuki, which has a range of small cars with price differences as low as INR 30,000 in its portfolio. Despite this crowded cluster of cars that Maruti Suzuki sells, India’s largest car maker has managed to keep customers within its fold, contrary to many theories of Maruti Suzuki confusing car buyers with the plethora of choices. The next generation 2o14 Hyundai i10(Codenamed the BA project) is expected to be launched during the Indian festive season of Dusshera-Diwali.
The car will be powered by a 1.2 Liter petrol engine and the 1.1 Liter CRDI turbo diesel engine. The 1.1 Liter CRDI turbo diesel engine pumps out 75 Bhp-150 Nm and is known to be a highly fuel efficient and responsive unit what with the engine featuring a variable geometry turbocharger, a best in class feature for such a small capacity diesel engine. The next gen i10 hatchback is expected to be more spacious than the current model. With the arrival of the next generation 2014 i10, expect Hyundai to reposition the current i10 by dropping prices by quite a bit. The current i10 has been regarded as a hatchback that’s been priced at a premium or sorts. The advent of the next generation 2014 Hyundai i10 could very well change all that.