India as an automobile market has matured a lot over the past couple of years. But the extent of maturity is still questionable and one of the parameters to judge is how well the premium or luxury hatchbacks are taken in the country. India is the largest consumer of the hatchbacks in the world when compared to the other body types.
And that's evident by the fact that Maruti Suzuki has garnered a market share of approximately 40% by selling hatchbacks alone. But none of the hatchback is priced above Rs. 6 Lakhs as the base price. The Honda Jazz is a prime example, which failed drastically in the local market given the price it was offered at. And that's the reason manufacturers think twice before selling a car in that price bracket.
Honda Jazz was a competent product by all means. Brand name of Honda that brings reliability along with it, spacious like none other and good looks. The only negative point was the price, which eventually Honda has to slash by Rs 1.5 Lakhs per piece to sell the remaining units. Skoda Fabia followed the same footsteps and failed.
But, Honda is about to launch the Jazz in the country again with the same hope we are writing this article - Indian automobile market has matured. Though, we will consider luxury hatchbacks and not the premium hatchbacks for our article. We will be talking about luxury hatchbacks above Rs 20 Lakhs and considering that premium hatchbacks are tough to sell, how hard it will be for manufacturers to sell these luxury cars.
Still, vehicles like Mini Cooper have been doing well for some time now. Also, some of the upcoming cars are sure to incite desirability among the vehicles. So we have compiled a list of 5 such hatchbacks, either already on sale or are going to be in a couple of months, that are priced above Rs 20 Lakhs, yet have a demand among the consumers.
Mercedes-Benz was among one of the few manufactures who launched a luxury hatchback in the country early. Mercedes offered the B-class hatchback in the country first, followed by their most budget oriented A-class hatchback. With stunning looks and a price range of Rs 25 Lakhs, people started taking the product seriously an it outsold the B-class in no time. Reason being - the B-class was priced over and above the A-class. The German autogiant also offers an AMG version of the A-Class. Mercedes has already started testing the next-generation A-class globally and will launch in India as soon as launch happens outside the country. We hope that the car will get good response considering the past sales.
BMW offers its most budget friendly car in the form of the 1-series hatchback in India. The 1-series hatchback starts as low as Rs 22 Lakh, bridging the gap between the premium luxury cars and luxury cars and the customers are lured to own a BMW if they were willing to spend some 20 Lakhs on a sedan. While BMW is testing a 1-series sedan, they have already revealed the next-generation 1-series hatchback in the foreign markets. BMW might launch the new 1-series hatch somewhere around 2015 end or early 2016. While the current generation 1-series hatchback didn't gelled well with the customers dues to odd looks, the new 1-series looks more in line with current design language of the BMW cars and gets many engine options to choose from.
Volvo is said to be the safest automobile manufacturer across the globe and any car coming from the Swedish manufacturer automatically becomes one of the safest in its segment. As of now, technically speaking, Volvo has not entered the hatchback segment in the country. Though they are offering the V40 Cross Country, which is based on the V40 hatchback. The V40 Cross Country is more of a crossover rather than a proper hatchback. We have learnt through our sources that Volvo India will launch the V40 hatchback in coming June at a price bracket of Rs 22-25 Lakh. Considering the fact that it will come from the house of Volvo, one can be sure that it will the safest hatchback in the country. Moreover, with an attractive pricing and striking looks, it can gather a lot of attention from the prospective buyers. Volvo is yet to make a big name in India and we hope that the V40 will push the company in that direction.
When it comes to sales of the luxury hatchbacks, none could match the sheer desirability of the Mini brand. Owned by the BMW, Mini was initially skeptical about offering many options in India as the price of the cars were too high and in a country like India, nobody pays Rs 35 Lakhs for a small car. But Mini got tremendous response, so much so that the iconic British brand decided to launch the 5-door version of the popular hatchback for the very first in India this year. Mini Cooper comes with an S and D version - petrol and diesel with 3-door and 5-door body types. The tacky blue, red colors and the chic look, makes it one of the best looking cars not only in India but the whole world. Add to that the circular interior theme, the car is a class apart.
Fiat Abarth 595 Competizione
We bet only a handful number of people must have heard about the Fiat Abarth 595 Competizione for the car has not been launched in the country yet. The performance division owned by Fiat is known to take Fiat hatchbacks and convert them to something extraordinary and the 595 is no different. Its been long since Fiat is contemplating an option to launch the car in the country, but it has been constantly delayed. Fiat finally showcased the Abarth at the Autocar performance show in December, and trade pundits speculated that the company will finally launch the car in January 2015. But the Italian conglomerate has again pushed the launch of the car to an indefinite time. The performance hatchback will be launched in a price bracket upwards of Rs 25 Lakhs.