We don’t get to see many MPVs in the low cost bracket of under Rs 5 lakh and this is exactly the segment what General Motors might be looking at for its Wuling MPV. Remember, we spoke about a new GM MPV doing test runs not long back from now. The MPV was recently spotted undergoing test rounds in India. The same Wuling Sunshine MPV might come powered by a 1.3 L Fiat’s diesel engine specifically for the Indian car market. This will not only come as a smart move from GM India to power the all petrol MPV in the global markets with a diesel powertrain, but also will be a trendsetter for diesel line-up in the low cost MPVs in India.
This calls for considering who exactly are the potential rivals of the GM’s Wuling MPV in the domestic car market. Maruti Eeco, Maruti Omni and Tata Venture more or less fit in the same price bracket, where Tata Venture is the only MPV to come with the diesel engine under the hood. To begin the story, why would General Motors test the MPV unless it has plans to introduce the Wuling Sunshine MPV for India market. Wuling is basically the Chinese partner of GM which specializes in utility vehicles and other commercial vehicle manufacturing and Wuling Sunshine MPV has done particularly well in the China market.
The Wuling vehicles are usually the low-cost products not quite the ones for an upmarket car buyer. So, GM sources the Wuling MPV for the emerging car markets like India where the demand for the lost cost vehicle beats any other in the competition. Then it makes all the sense in the world to offer a diesel engine to power the car for maintaining lower running costs as well. That is one thing missing in the low cost MPVs offered in India like Maruti Eeco and Maruti Omni for example, though some sort of consolation comes with the LPG and CNG variants of the Maruti Omni.
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