AutoQ: Falling Car Sales, MG Hector SUV, Hero Xpulse & More

AutoQ is our weekly round up of the automotive stories.

1. Five Reasons Why Indians Aren’t Buying Enough Cars

Changing market conditions and the rising cost of raw materials, as well as compliance with new safety norms are pushing up car prices

It is a pretty gloomy time for the automotive industry in India. The new financial year has gotten off to a dismal start, with overall passenger car sales declining 19.93 percent in April 2019 compared to the same month a year ago, according to data from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).

The reasons for the sharp decline in car sales is multi-fold. From uncertainty in the political climate to oil prices, there are many reasons people have been deferring or avoiding buying cars.

Read here to know the reasons for this decline.

2. Sachin Tendulkar Launches 2019 BMW X5, Prices Start at Rs 73 Lakh

The 2019 BMW X5 with brand ambassador Sachin Tendulkar. 

The 2019 BMW X5 is here, and it’s bigger and loaded with more gadgetry. Of course, BMW India had to have ace cricketer and brand ambassador Sachin Tendulkar do the honours of launching the 2019 BMW X5 SUV (or SAV as BMW calls it) in India.

Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar is the brand ambassador for BMW and has owned a few models as well such as the 7 Series, the i8 Roadster and the X5 SUV. The BMW X5 is a fairly popular SUV globally, with over 2.5 million having been sold since its launch in 1999. It has gone through four generations since then.

The X5 comes to India as a completely knocked down unit (CKD) and will be assembled at the company’s plant in Chennai.

Read the story here.

3. Hero Xpulse vs Royal Enfield Himalayan: Which Off-Road Bike to Buy

Royal Enfield Himalayan vs Hero Xpulse Comparison

Over the past few years, Indian bike enthusiasts have become off-road savvy. And they have good reasons for that, after all, with bikes like the Royal Enfield Himalayan igniting the segment, adventure bikes are finally accessible to a lot more buyers.

Now in 2019, you’ve got another addition, and this time Hero’s much awaited Xpulse takes the off-road bets to under Rs 1.10 lakh in the country. This bike has opened up the gates for buyers with small budgets, but offering them a chance to venture into the gravel without feeling bad about scuffing their bikes.

Both the Himalayan and Xpulse are different in a lot of ways, especially the engines they carry, but with the option of a sub Rs 2-lakh bikes in the market, which one of these should you pick and why. Read here to know the answer.

4. MG Hector SUV Officially Unveiled in India, Comes in Four Variants

The MG Hector has finally been unveiled. Prices will be announced in June. 

The MG Hector has finally been unveiled. It will come in four trim levels, with three power-train choices, for a total of 13 variants, in petrol, diesel and hybrid options. Bookings for the MG Hector will begin shortly and the price announcement will happen in June 2019. Deliveries will start only by July.

It has a wheelbase of 2,750 mm and its boot is huge at 587 litres of space. But it’s not as wide as the Harrier or XUV500, given its width of 1,835 mm. It has a ground clearance of 192 mm, about at a par with its rivals.

MG Motor is setting up 120 dealer outlets across the country. The Hector is a five-seater SUV, which is pretty large. It measures 4,655 mm in length, making it bigger than the Tata Harrier and Mahindra XUV500.

Read here to know more about the latest SUV in India.

5. Five Reasons Why India Won’t See Many Electric Cars Until 2025

Electric cars anyone? 

If you think that your next vehicle could be an electric one, think again. India is not ready for electric vehicles and electric vehicles are not ready for India yet. A recent Bloomberg NEF report states that only about 6.6 percent of the total vehicles sold in the country would be electric by 2030.

While there have been multiple debates over charging infrastructure and subsidies under the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid & Electric Vehicles (FAME-II) scheme, the thing is as long as affordable petrol and diesel vehicles continue to roll out, electric vehicles will have to wait. However, some segments are already moving - like the three-wheeler segment.

There’s plenty to debate on. But here are five primary reasons why electric vehicles won’t take off at least until 2025.

Read the story here.

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