Saturday, 12 October 2013

Rally of Compact SUVs

The concept of Compact SUVs was launched in India in auto expo 2012. Its size was under 5 meters so it was called compact SUV. Due to compactness of its size companies afford to sell it within the price band of rupees 8 to 10 lacs. So It was like a jackpot for SUV lovers that they were going getting SUVs within the price range of 8 to 10 lacs.

At that time all the big guns of automobiles came blazing with concept of their respective compact SUVs. Maruti Suzuki came up with 'XA alpha', Ford came with 'EcoSport', Renault came with 'Duster' & Mahindra came with 'Quanto'. Among these Maruti Suzuki 'XA alpha' and Ford 'EcoSport' grabbed most of eyes and were considered as big launches for both of these companies. These launches were going to affect the sale of Innova for sure as these were in the same price range as of Innova so Toyota launched new variant of Innova soon after these launches. Now let's have a look at them one by one as how they performed in the market.

Renault Duster

Renault Duster was the first compact SUV to hit Indian roads among those which had been launched at auto expo 2012. Duster got the maximum advantage of being launched earliest in its segment. Renault wouldn't have even imagined that Duster would be such a huge success. It exceeded all expectations & sales estimates of Renault. Duster put a huge dent in Innova's market as it was in the same price range as of Innova.

Mahindra Quanto

Mahindra led SUV segment of India with its products like Scorpio, Bolero & Xylo and then Duster happened. So Mahindra launched Xylo's younger brother Quanto. Quanto hit Indian roads couple of months after Duster with much lesser price but unfortunately it was overshadowed under the influence of Duster. On the other XUV 500 blossomed some good amount of profit and captured SUV (not compact SUV) segment for Mahindra.

Ford EcoSport

Ford EcoSport was launched in june or july this year; an year later than it was expected to be launched. There was a news in auto expo 2012 that EcoSport is going to be first Compact SUV to hit the Indian roads. Its launch was delayed as its price was going over than the price it was promised to customers. EcoSport's latecoming has surely hurt Ford but it has affected the market share of Duster. Its start is sluggish and that puts question mark over its ability of living upto the expectations of company and customers.

Nissan Terrano

As there is everywhere in news that its a Duster based compact SUV. I would like to add that Terrano is a Duster based compact SUV with X-Trail's looks. The best thing about Terrano is timing of its launch couple of months before diwali when people are bored of seeing Duster everywhere. Due to this Nissan has got great opening as bookings are pouring in for Terrano.

Maruti Suzuki XA alpha

It was the only compact SUV which impressed me with its looks and features both but unfortunately it is still a concept car. XA alpha had looks in it which defines SUV. It was about to hit Indian roads by the begining of 2013 & here we are at the end of 2013 but there is no sign of XA alpha yet. I don't know why it has been delayed so much. Is Maruti Suzuki afraid of launching it due to failure its other premium cars like kizashi etc.? Hope it will be launched soon.

In between Volkswagen launched Cross Polo earlier than Terrano was launched but it is not even in the picture yet. So auto expo 2012 brought great changes in the automobile sector. Now we are heading towards another auto expo in the begining of 2014 and hope it too has some good surprises in store for us.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

The Comeback King

I have seen some of the great comebacks in the world of cricket over the years. May it be Sachin Tendulkar's return from tennis elbow injury or many other such comebacks from other players as well but for me there is only one comeback king and that is Yuvraj Singh.

Everything happening in our life is destined to happen. Cancer to Yuvraj Singh is the best example of it. 2010 was not at all good for Yuvraj Singh. The talks were going on of droping him from the Indian side before the 2011 world cup. But selectors stuck with him in world cup & the rest is history.

It was all destined to happen his selection in the team, his performance in the world cup, his pain & bleeding while coughing during that world cup & India winning that world cup with Yuvraj Singh being the man of the tournament. Noone ever thought that his cough on the field during that world cup will come out as dangerous as cancer. When this news of cancer broke it was as much heartbreakning for us (fans) as it was for him. Everyone just prayed for his survival.

I saw the glimpse of what he has gone through while fighting with cancer in his documentary 'Zindagi Abhi Baaki Hai' & in each episode of it my eyes used to get wet by seeing his condition. It was his will power who told the cancer that 'boss I still have a life to live & I still have to have a got after bowlers to hit those big sixes. So I am not going to give up against you.' So with his strong will power & determination he fought with cancer with weapon called chemo therapy & kicked it out of his body. Not only that he even made a comeback on cricket field shortly after he was cured of cancer. Now that deserves a Salute & here I go Yuvi paji.

Everyone wrote him off by saying that he won't be that fit again to play cricket but he proved everyone wrong by hitting double hundered in the longest version of the game test match & then it was no stopage for him. He made it into Indian team. His start was steady as it was like he is starting his career all over again but soon he came back into his groove & started hitting the harder than he used to hit earlier. His most memorable innings was the in which he made 72 off just 36 balls here in Ahmedabad against Pakistan. After that injuries started to hit him again and these injuries were coming in between his form. In IPL 2013 his injuries made him to loose his form completely & he didn't made even a single 50 in IPL. As a result he wasn't included in Champions trophy squad.

It is going to hurt any veteran of the game & it hit Yuvraj Singh too. So during that off time he went France with Zaheer Khan to improve his fitness & he trained hard there. After one and half month of hard core training he came back 100% fit & there is noone more brutal and dangerous than fully fit Yuvraj Singh. He started the season with blistering 123 in first class cricket then it was followed by knocks of 40, 60, 52, 84 & 29. It is more than enough to get selected for Indian team. So finally he is selected in the Indian squad for the series against Australia starting from 10th of this month.

His will power, determination, skill & fighting attitude helps him to grow bigger & bigger every time he falls. Yuvraj Singh himself & his comeback stories are inspiration to me. It inspires me to comeback as hard as him every time I fall. I have always adulated him and it has just increased after his fightback with cancer. I pray to god that keep Yuvraj Singh free from injuries so that he can help India to be at top in the world of cricket with those big sixes for many more years to come. In the end I would like to give one more name to 'Prince of Sixers' & i.e. 'The Comeback King'.