Competition can bring a lot of benefits to the industry as well as the consumers. It critically drives performance and encourages the adoption of innovation as companies evolve and new ideas flourish in the market.
Fair trade and open competition in the market enables manufacturers to deliver a greater variety of competitive products to their customers. And it benefits everyone by enabling to choose from an array of excellent products at affordable prices.
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Although we do witness and experience an oligopolized automobile market here in Pakistan, where only 3 players have a complete grip on the sector and they never offer a product that rivals another in terms of price or segment. The same companies however, behave a lot differently when it comes to operating their businesses across the border, all thanks to competition.
There is some fierce competition in every automotive segment in India, be it SUVs, MPVs, hatchbacks, saloons or subcompact sedans. The subcompact sedan (sub 4 meters) market is battled between the likes of Ford Aspire, Hyundai Xcent, VW Ameo, Honda Amaze and the Suzuki Dzire to name a few.
The most popular product in this segment in undoubtedly the Suzuki Dzire, which gets a new feather to its cap by crossing 300,000 sales mark in just 17 months since its launch in May 2017. On average Suzuki sells around 18,000 Dzire units every month.
The Suzuki Dzire is equipped with many premium features such as LED projector headlamps with daytime running lamps, power folding ORVMs, LED rear combination lamps, engine push start-stop button, engine immobilizer, automatic climate control, ISOFIX child seat anchorage, leather-wrapped steering wheel and Smartplay touchscreen infotainment system with navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto etc. Safety features including Dual airbags, ABS with EBD and BA are standard across the range.
The Maruti Suzuki Dzire is available with 1.2-litre VVT petrol engine and 1.3-litre DDiS 190 diesel engine. The petrol engine produces 61 kW (81.77 hp) and 113 Nm of torque. The diesel engine develops 55 kW (73.73 hp) and 190 Nm of torque. 5-speed manual and 5-speed AMT are the available transmission choices. The Dzire’s fuel economy rating is 22 km/l (petrol) and 28.4 km/l (diesel).
Honda’s answer to Suzuki Dzire is their second generation Amaze subcompact which made its debut at the Auto Expo earlier this year. Like Dzire, Honda Amaze is also available with petrol as well as diesel engine options. There is a 1.2 liter i-VTEC petrol and 1.5 liter i-DTEC diesel. Both engines are available with either a 5-speed manual or a CVT. The petrol manual and CVT variants have a power and torque output of 90 PS and 110 Nm respectively. While the diesel manual has an output of 100 PS and 200 Nm, the diesel CVT’s power and torque figures are lower by 20 PS and 40 Nm at 80 PS and 160 Nm.
The first half of fiscal year 2018-19 has been a dream run for Honda in India with the 2nd gen Amaze becoming their first ever car to get to 10,000 units a month sales mark, contributing to a large chunk of sales. It even surpassed the hot seller siblings such as the City and Jazz within just 5 months of its launch.
The 2nd gen Honda Amaze gets dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, ISOFIX child-seat mounts and rear parking sensors as standard. Other features include Digipad 2.0 touchscreen, which supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, multi-function steering wheel, automatic climate control, cruise control, paddle shifters (petrol CVT only), request sensor for keyless entry, electrically adjustable and electric folding rear view mirrors, rear parking sensors with camera and fog lamps etc.
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In India, the Honda Amaze is priced between INR 5.8 lac to INR 9.11 lac, whereas the Suzuki Dzire is priced between INR 5.6 lac to INR 9.45 lac. It is imperative to mention that even the base versions of these subcompacts are better equipped than most expensive compact sedans of our market.
The Auto Policy 2016-21 has given us a hope to get a better variety in our market as more automakers are in process to make their entry in the sector. So far however, it has been all about pickups and minivans. But we do believe newcomers should target the mass market options by introducing affordable sedans and hatchbacks, fulfilling the true purpose of the auto policy which was supposed to create competition between players, shorten the delivery period, curb the menace of own/ premium, bring down prices and improve the quality of vehicles assembled in Pakistan.
A 3d animation professional with over 20 years of industry experience having served in leading organizations & production facilities of Pakistan, an avid car enthusiast and petrolhead with an affection to deliver writings to help shape opinions. Formerly written for PakWheels as well as major publications including Dawn. Founder of CarSpiritPK.com