New Delhi: The recent launches of automobiles at the ongoing Auto Expo 2012 have marked the changing trends of the market. The shift in focus from small cars towards SUVs/MPVs can be very easily spotted.

The Indian and foreign companies are seen pressing for the introduction of the Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) and Multi Purpose Vehicles (MVPs) in the Indian market.

The Indian automobile manufacturers have invested about Rs 10,000 crores in the production of the SUVs and MPVs. Companies are now looking forward to grasp the market of these cars.

Arvind Saxena of Hyundai Motors said, “The market trend hints at the growth of the Indian market. The present youth generation has been travelling in the small cars since their childhood, with the changing trends their desires have transformed too. Youths want more stylish cars and their wishes could be fulfilled with the arrival of SUVs. Therefore, to be in sync with the demand patterns of the market,companies have geared up to supply what is most in demand.”

The sales figures of SUVs in the financial year 2011-12 are surprising. During the first eight months in 2011, the car sales were recorded at 4 percent whereas the SUVs sales scaled upto 11 percent.

Maruti, which has no SUV to offer, is facing terrible low sale figures. According to company’s MD and CEO Shinzo Nakanishi, SUVs hold a share of 14 percent in the Indian automobile market. The company’s absence in the market of SUV range has lowered its standing in the automobile market. With a launch of an MPV in April and a SUV by next year, Maruti can hope to bounce back in the Indian automobile market.

Though the market trend is changing and the demand has risen for SUVs and MPVs, Indian manufacturers are bound to go slow as the Indian customer is still very critical of the price range. Maruti, Mahindra, Nissan, Renault has indicated that the price of their new SUVs will be very competitive.

Foreign automobile manufacturers are planning to base manufacturing plants in India so that SUVs could be out in stores at lower prices. Broadly, companies have planned to invest Rs 10,000 crores in the SUV and MPV market.

With the investment of Rs 14.2 crores in manufacturing SUVs at its Chennai plant, Ford company will be soon launching SUV ‘Ecosport’ in the Indian market.

JPN/Bureau