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 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 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 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.
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.