Over the next few months, Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors, Ford, General Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra will launch new sports utility vehicles (SUVs). That's because the market for SUVs is booming. Sales have grown 57 per cent in the first five months of this financial year (to 207,000 units), while passenger car and van sales have fallen 0.33 per cent, according to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers.
SUV sales were 15.6 per cent of car (and van) sales in April-August 2011-12; in April-August 2012-13, they became 24.6 per cent, or almost a quarter, of car sales.
Other car makers, like Hyundai, Nissan and Toyota, are studying the market to launch low-cost mini SUVs - a clear signal that the market is ready to attain critical mass.
Simultaneously, many argue SUVs should be taxed higher than cars because these are fuel guzzlers and the unintended beneficiaries of the subsidy on diesel.
Image: The Tata Safari Storme.
Text: Business Standard