That's about the wackiest title I can imagine for an article. As weird as the combination of Schezwan and Dal might sound, the Indian Car Maker scene is destined for a radical change in its recipe of making and selling cars. As we bid Addio to brands like Fiat, we say Huānyíng- Welcome in Mandarin ( thank you google translate!) to Chinese Carmakers. Like it or not, we are gonna be wading through the waves of Chinese Cars hitting our shores one after the other. The Auto expo 2020 has surely assured us of one thing- the car scene in our country is going to be interesting, to say the least. Not sure if I mean it in a good way or a bad way.
I see this in two different perspectives.
This is Pure genius from the Chinese Carmaker's point of view. Over the years, our car buying standards and criteria have seen a huge curve of change. We no longer buy cars based on how cheap they are, how reliable they will be or for their outright performance, AHEM maybe not performance ( RIP ABARTH PUNTO). We buy cars based on how well they're trending. MG Hector is living proof of why this works. While other manufacturers are busy marketing their best in class fuel efficiency figures and their proud work in adding rain-sensing wipers as a feature, MG took the route of integrating smartphone features to our cars. Bring in words like Internet and Connectivity, boy we are sold. And instead of casting the usual Ranveer or Ranbeer, they brought in Benedict- AreYouSerious- Cumberbatch! This added with the curiosity that comes in with a new brand entering our shores created a hype like no other. This Hype lasted for 10 minutes until the Seltos arrived, and boy o boy, don't even get me started on the Seltos. Every alternate person I met had made a booking for one and they would convince you to make one too! (only if they knew, Seltos was that cousin of Creta who went abroad for his masters). In the world of Marutis and Hyundai's, these brands induce a dose of Curiosity and bring in a fresh air of variety. It forces the existing players to keep up with these rookies.
The Brands in the display were Haima - Owned by First Automotive Works group and Haval - A subbrand of Great Wall Motors. Haima is planning to bring the Haima 7x which is an MPV set to compete with the likes of the Innova, Haima 8s which aims at the Hector and Seltos segment and also a tiny EV hatchback called Bird EV which is co-developed with Bird Technologies. Haval showcased their F9 ( Fortuner competitor), Haval H6, a coupe Suv looking thing called f7x and few other concept cars.
What is common between them? Well, they're all SUVs. We're gonna be hearing terms like Compact SUV, Mid Size SUV and wait for it... MICRO SUV(LOL) for a while now. Not my cup of Espresso really (pun intended).
What I fear will happen is a claustrophobic space of similar products in the same space. This is the scenario in the smartphone space right now, you could choose between 10 different phones in the same price range with all of them being identical albeit with small differences. Also, I'm sure these Suv's will be launched at an insanely low price too which will tilt the consumer base towards these Chinese offerings. This will push the market towards Quantity over Quality ideology where the brand which offers the most number of touchscreens will outsell the brand which focuses on the toughness of their build. We already bid farewell to Fiat and very soon Ford is going to make an exit. We're losing brands which gave driving dynamics and handling priority to brands which now bring in a mighty Touchscreens to their dashboards. Things are not looking good for all the Petrolheads out there. But hey! atleast your sister can now Binge all the episodes of Gossip Girls on Netflix in the Touchscreen of the car!
Don't worry my friend, you still have us. The Drivers Hub is always there for you, catering to all your High Redline and Turbo spooling fetishes. Stay tuned for more such articles!