Affordability, reliability and a hassle-free ownership experience are crucial factors for a car to achieve success in the entry-level hatchback segment. Want proof? Look at the Maruti Alto 800. A car that has been dominating the market, carrying forward the legacy of its predecessors, the mighty 800 and Alto. With the success of the Kwid, Renault proved that Indian car buyers are receptive to small cars outside the Maruti stable, as long as the product is seriously attractive. Its SUV-inspired styling, equipment list, space and competitive pricing have done wonders for the French manufacturer and have made others sit up and take notice.
Now, Nissan’s budget brand Datsun is also keen to make an impression on the volume-driven, entry-level hatchback segment, and hopes that its third offering, the Redigo, will set its cash registers ringing. It’s a snazzy little hatchback that breaks away from the conservative design language of its stablemates – the Go and Go+ – and promises to drive volumes for the Japanese manufacturer. In this price-sensitive segment, the company ensured that the Redigo’s launch price of Rs 2.39 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) was below that of the Alto 800, which turned the spotlights onto it. The frugal costs aren’t limited to the sticker price alone, as Datsun claims to offer the lowest cost of ownership compared to its rivals. It has also expanded its sales and service network to 274 outlets, with the number expected to nudge 300 in the coming months. So has Datsun’s efforts been good enough, and does this entry-level hatchback have what it takes to grab a significant share of the Alto 800’s sales pie? Let’s find out.
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Issue: 213 | Autocar India: May 2017
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