The popularity of microcars is increasing as both big and small players alike in India’s automotive industry work to develop innovative solutions for consumers in high-traffic, population-dense areas. Microcars require less fuel, take up less road and parking space, and can more easily navigate highly-populated cities than full-sized vehicles, making them a hit with consumers in many of India’s urban areas.
Though the definition of what a microcar is varies based on country and manufacturer, in the Indian market, a microcar is typically considered to be an extremely compact car with an engine that is 800 cc or less in size (or, for electric microcars, a small electric battery). Many microcars made by the automotive industry in India are three-wheeled, but four-wheeled microcars are becoming extremely common in the country. Microcars are more fuel efficient than conventional vehicles, are easier to handle on busy city streets, and are lightweight. They also usually lack advanced infotainment systems, though many are equipped with GPS and diagnostic systems. More sophisticated technological features are expected to come to microcars in this market as research and development continues and consumer demand increases.
India is one of the main markets for microcars in APAC, and major innovations for microcars are currently developing in this country. Most notably, major players in India’s automotive industry are developing less expensive microcars to cater to many price-sensitive consumer demographics. To address environmental concerns and work towards combating India’s growing pollution issues, manufacturers have begun to offer microcars that offer reduced emissions and better fuel efficiency. Additionally, microcars with hybrid or electric engines have entered the market recently and have become extremely popular with higher-income urban consumers in India. Many of these Indian-made microcars are also exported to the US and Europe, where their low cost compared to full-sized hybrid vehicles has increased consumer demand.
Mahindra & Mahindra’s e2o Plus is an example of a hybrid microcar that is experiencing popularity in the domestic and international markets. Other top selling microcars in the automotive industry in India include the Maruti Suzuki Alto K10, Maruti Suzuki Wagon R, and Maruti Suzuki Alto 800, produced by Maruti Suzuki India Limited. The Hyundai Eon and Tata Nano (which is to be re-launched as the Tata Pelican) are also popular.
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