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Car makers optimistic of SUV sales

Car makers are going ahead with their SUV plans despite a surge in interest in small cars. Maruti Suzuki India (MSIL) rolled out its BS-VI S-Cross, while Kia unveiled the Sonet and Toyota its Urban Cruiser as the car makers are optimistic that SUVs will continue to have a good spell. The launches come at a time hatchbacks Alto and Wagon R topped the July sales charts.

Commenting on the renewed interest in hatchbacks post lockdown, MSIL chairman R. C. Bhargava said, “The market, at present, seems to favour smaller hatchbacks and petrol and CNG cars. Fortunately, we are well placed for such products.”

Maruti’s “refined SUV” S-Cross will have the 1.5-litre K series BS-VI petrol engine and will retail at a price range of Rs 8.39 lakh to Rs 12.39 lakh.

South Korean manufacturer Kia will start retail sales of the Sonet during the festive season in India. The Anantapur plant in Andhra Pradesh set up by Kia Motors India will be the company’s global export base for markets in West Asia, Africa, Latin America and Asia, according to Ho Sung Song, president and CEO, Kia Motors Corporation,-.

“We have set up a manufacturing facility in Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh, with an investment of $2 billion.

Our ambitions in India are not just to satisfy the local market. Our plant will be the global export base to 70 countries. In India, we started our journey with the online booking of our mid-SUV Seltos exactly a year ago. We had a six per cent market share in the first half of this year,” said Song.

Toyota is all set to launch the Urban Cruiser, its youngest SUV, which is a crossbadge of Maruti’s Vitara Brezza. The company showcased the car and will launch it in the festive season.