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Chevrolet Sail to spearhead General Motors’ campaign against Maruti Suzuki Swift

Published: October 4, 2012 | 7:41 am
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Chevrolet Sales India Private Limited (CSIPL), a subdivision of General Motors of USA, is currently working towards the launch of its brand new Sail hatchback in Indian car market. The company is also expected to bring a sedan variant of the Sail, much on the lines of the Japanese auto major Toyota, which markets its Etios model in India in both the guises. Industry experts believe that Chevrolet may introduce the much awaited Sail any time soon on the Indian turf.

The American auto maker is anticipated to set ablaze the small car segment of the country by pitching its upcoming Sail directly against the likes of Maruti Suzuki Swift, which is currently the champion of the segment.

The yet-to-be launched 2012 Chevrolet Sail is expected to hold a 1.2 litre powertrain, under its hood, which churns out a decent peak power output of 82 bhp. Interestingly, the overall design implementation in the Chevy Sail hatch appears to have been devised for capitalising on the cut in excise duty offered on small compacts with sub 1,200 cc petrol engine by the government. The Sail will also be launched in a diesel avatar in the Indian passenger car market and its diesel motor is expected to be GM’s implementation of the Fiat 1.3 litre Multi-jet engine. The company is anticipated to incorporate top-class design features, so as to ensure that the Sail models compete confidently against Maruti Suzuki Swift and Fiat Grande Punto.

Coming to the specifications of Maruti Suzuki Swift, it is powered by a 1.2-litre K-Series petrol power-mill that delivers a maximum power of 86 bhp, enabling it to have a slight upper hand against Sail. The diesel variant of the Swift has been assimilated with a 1.3-litre DDiS powertrain, which puts out a 74 bhp of maximum power. A lot of credit for the Maruti Suzuki Swift’s immense popularity can be attributed to its impressive and consistent engine performance. The car has been an Indian favourite since its launch in May 2005 and the arrival of the K-Series engines have further boosted its fan following in both metro and emerging small cities.

The upcoming Sail is believed to be filling in the shoes of Chevrolet Aveo UV-A hatch and was unveiled at the Auto Expo held in New Delhi in January 2012. The Sail received thunderous response from the Indian audience at the expo and since then, the company has pinned great hopes with its yet-to-be launched new product.

Considering the interior and exterior attributes of both Chevy Sail and Maruti Suzuki Swift, the overall designing of the cars are diverse and will cater to different Indian passenger car buyers. The Sail looks modern and features the familiar lines and curves of the Ford Figo, besides the car also comes laced with the trademark Chevrolet bowtie front grille. The upcoming car looks mature than it’s phased out elder brother Chevrolet UV-A hatchback and scores maximum points from the practical point of view. The Maruti Suzuki Swift on the other hand smoothly follows the tried-and-tested sporty exterior finishes of its predecessors and has been continuously enticing Indian buyers towards Maruti Suzuki stores. The Swift hatchback’s sporty looks and sophisticated interior finishes has revolutionised the small car segment in the country.

The hatchback segment is arguably one of the most aggressive sectors of the automobile market in the country, with many different players trying their best to consolidate their position at the topmost level. Chevrolet is currently the fifth largest passenger car maker in the country and is looking to spearhead its campaign with the yet-to-be launched Sail. However, the country’s leading car maker Maruti Suzuki may not be much apprehensive about the Sail, as despite of the Manesar instability in July 2012, the company still notched up 10 per cent growth in September 2012. It is going to be extremely hard for the American auto major to challenge Maruti Suzuki’s dominance on the Indian turf with the upcoming Sail.


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