The year 2015 was a good one for the automotive industry in India. Thanks to many new models in various segments and rate cut on car loans, sales went up by more than 11% in 2015.
Every segment in 2015 had a hit car, be it the entry level Kwid or the compact SUV Creta or the compact sedan Figo Aspire or the sports hatch from Fiat, the Abarth Punto. Premium carmakers also raced ahead this year with some new attractive launches and some domestic production boost.
Here are the top 12 models that powered the auto industry in 2015:
Renault has gone places in India with the Duster and Kwid has only even given the French carmaker the power to recolonise India. Kidding!
Well, Renault boasts they made the car 100% for India and 98% in India. Well that must be true as only then you can manage to sell such a good-looking beast at under Rs 3 lakh! We’d be happier to see a 1-litre mill running this one in the new year.
Ford Figo Aspire
Figo was the “tinke ka sahara” for the “doobti naav” of Ford in India six years back. And in 2015, they’re flexing their muscles with an Aston Martin grille in the Figo facelift as well its compact sedan Figo Aspire.
A stand-out winner in the sub-4 metre category of sedans, the Figo Aspire is beautiful, refined and cleverly priced by the Ford, who now know their formula for India.
Maruti Suzuki Baleno
Maruti Suzuki had a busy year attempting to go premium through their Nexa showrooms and some “premium cars”. Baleno, a major gamble in this direction, has yet not been pathbreaking. Some didn’t like its not-so-new Swift-like looks while many others felt the 1.2L engine for such chunky machine was a bit underpowered.
Maruti Suzuki S-Cross
Maruti Suzuki’s idea of a crossover to take on a compact SUV is S-Cross! That’s the reason they failed. Because you only need an ace card to trump a king! MSIL also launched their ambitious 100-odd Nexa premium showrooms across the country with this one, and soon deployed the Ciaz into the rescue. Nevertheless, we also got an SHVS version of the good suave sedan!
We have no reason to like this car, except for the fact that it comes from a brand that made XUV500 and is coming with KUV100. Just to fill that long gap, there’s TUV300 , a subtle boxy “compact SUV” from the indigenous SUV maker. All we wanna say is, “Dear Mahindra, hope Pininfarina inspires you now!”
As its only new launch of the year Creta took home the coveted Indian Car of the year (ICOTY) award, Hyundai has more reasons to end the year on a high note than anyone else. Good looks and aggressive marketing helped this “perfect SUV” cross the disastrous name barrier that clouted over it.
Read | Hyundai Creta review
With Ertiga, Maruti Suzuki brought an MPV that’s difficult to emulate. The closest to reach was Honda’s Mobilio and Renault created some ripples with Lodgy. The car was more practical indeed, only if they had better stylists and a name and network like Maruti Suzuki in India to sell more.
Fiat Punto Abarth
Abarth shook Fiat up from its slumber in July with Abarth 595 Competizione. After the Rs 30-lakh worth “scorpion” [the logo and the identity of Abarth] didn’t bite many in India, Fiat thought to raise the mercury with Punto. The hot hatch gets an all new boosted engine and new racing decals enough to turn some heads on the roads across India.
If you have Rs 27 lakh to spend on a king size MPV, and a substantial reason to not buy the Japanese counterpart Fortuner, go for Trailblazer. It outdoes most other rivals, but not a good play for Chevrolet which has not seen sales in the green since long.
Mercedes AMG GT S
Looks like Mercedes Benz has got into an affair with India. This year, the Mercedes’ Chakan plant was expanded with an investment of Rs 150 crore to produce 20,000 more units annually. They also launched 15 new cars in 2015 which included some facelifts and comebacks.
The AMG GT S was one of the most eye-popping releases from the German automaker. The premium sports coupé is powered by a 4-litre bi-turbo engine and can be yours at Rs 2.4 crore.
Mercedes Maybach S500 and S600
Maybach is the luxury car range from Mercedes with extra comfort, extra power, extra majesty and extra price too. In September, the Mercedes launched Maybach S600 at Rs 2.6 crore and the S500 at Rs 1.67 crore which became the most expensive car assembled in India.
The luxury sub-brand of the German carmaker didn’t fare well during its stint in India some years back. This time lucky, may be!
If you’ve got Rs 2.29 crore, seek no reason to not buy this car. It’s gorgeous, powerful and most important, an electric hybrid sports-car. We know that’s too much expense to save ‘mother nature’, but then, saving environment cannot get sexier than this!
Just in case you are a Sachin fan, he bought one recently… And loves to rev it on the Bandra-Worli Sea Link.
Read | BMW i8 review
(All prices ex-showroom Delhi. All images, prices and mileage figures sourced from official websites.
Sales figures from autoportal.com as of November, 2015)
Did we miss out on any of your personal favourites of the year? Do let us know in the comments section below or tweet to the author @GulshanMWankar with #HTAuto.