In a recent conversation with Press Trust of India, Shailesh Chandra, President of passenger vehicles at Tata Motor’s, confirmed that the HBX will be called Hornbill. He also said that the new and affordable sub-4m compact SUV from Tata will go on sale in the coming months.
Asserting Tata Motors’ position in the passenger vehicle market, Chandra said, “Already four months are over and we are at a market share of 10.3 per cent. Still, we have two big launches lined up, including the Hornbill, so that is still to come.”
Tata showcased the Hornbill as HBX concept at the 2020 Auto Expo. It’s Tata’s affordable sub-4m SUV that will go up against similarly priced non-turbo versions of other sub-4m SUVs. The list of competitors for the Hornbill includes the Hyundai Venue 1.2L normal petrol, Nissan Magnite 1.0L normal petrol and the Renault Kiger 1.0L normal petrol.
The Hornbill is not likely to get the turbo petrol engine any time soon. To keep the prices in check, it will only come with the same 1.2-litre normal petrol engine, which is also available in the Tiago, Tigor, Tiago NRG and Altroz. The Hornbill will also get a 5-speed AMT automatic just like the Renault Kiger.
Maruti Suzuki also hoped to capture some of the buyers looking for SUV-like rugged styling at a lower cost with the Ignis, which is doing reasonably well but not setting the sales charts on fire. Hyundai also have something in the pipeline for India called the Casper. The AX1 concept is about to enter production soon in South Korea. We expect it to arrive in India as well to take on the emerging sub-segment of affordable compact SUVs.
Moreover, MG Motor and Citroen are also cooking up something to enter the crowded sub-compact SUV space. Both of these brands are likely to target the budget end of the SUV market. Citroen will reveal their SUV in just a few weeks time but MG Motor’s sub-4m SUV is still a few years away. Meanwhile, the Tata Nexon, Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Hyundai Venue turbo, Kia Sonet turbo and Ford EcoSport will continue to address the premium sub-4m SUV buyers’ needs.