Why Hyundai's ix25 compact SUV doesn't make sense for India?

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We have been hearing a lot about the ix25 - the compact crossover on which Hyundai is working currently. In the international market, the ix25 is being talked-about as a direct rival to the successful Ford EcoSport and Renault Duster. But the question here is, does launching this product in India make sense? Well, in my view, it doesn't! As a car based on the i20 platform - a car that is already on the premium end of the hatchback segment - will make the sticker price of the crossover go well above the segment norm. A compact SUV built on the Grand i10's BA platform is probably the right way to go. It'll help keep the price in check and will also give it an edge against its rivals.


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Also read: Sub-Rs 10 lakh compact SUVs coming to India by 2015

There's no denying that pricing plays a very crucial role in markets like India and a mass-segment carmaker like Hyundai will prefer a compact SUV to be built on a more economical platform like BA - on which the Grand i10 hatch and the newly launched Xcent sub-compact sedan are based. The i20's platform is already close to 4 metre (3995mm in length), and a compact SUV built around that will cost Hyundai much more than a car built on the BA platform. A case-in-point is the Ford EcoSport. It's a sub-4 metre crossover and that helped Ford price the product as low as Rs 6 lakh. So, in my opinion, Hyundai won't take the risk of going against the current trend of sub-4 metre cars which will take the price much higher.

This analysis brings me back to the claim I made in an earlier story done on Hyundai's compact SUV where I talked about the possibility of a compact SUV to be built on the Grand i10 platform. The reason why the development cost will be cheaper, if the proposed compact SUV is built around the Grand i10 platform, is because there will be sharing of components and engines along with the platform. However, for the diesel powered version, Hyundai might use the i20's 1.4-litre CRDi diesel engine, instead of Grand i10's 1.1-litre U2 diesel engine, as the later is essentially the same engine minus one cylinder, with same cast iron block and aluminium cylinder head. So, it should not be a problem for Hyundai to fit the 1.4-litre CRDi unit. Another reason, why Hyundai might choose to go with the 1.4L unit is because both of its competitors - Ford EcoSport and Duster feature 1.5-litre diesel engine.

The ix25 is expected to be unveiled at the Beijing Motor Show in April.

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