Price: Rs 2869000
The clutter-free dashboard and silver accents on the central console give Baleno a premium feel. It comes equipped with the company’s flagship SmartPlayinfotainment system and hosts Apple CarPlay.
Gone are the days when customers were attracted by the outer shell of a vehicle. Today’s savvy consumers not only pay heed to what lies under a car’s hood, they also care about what’s going on inside. Exquisite exteriors or a powerful engine are not of much help when you may be stuck for hours in a traffic jam. As a result, comfortable interiors have become the new gold standard influencing car consumers in their purchases.
“Good interiors improve comfort and relaxation while driving. It is similar to decorating the interiors of our homes for that feel-good factor. Hence, interiors do play a major role in customers’ purchase decisions,” shared Karan Chaudhary, Managing Director of CG Motocorp, authorised distributors of Maruti Suzuki in Nepal. According to Chaudhary, the Baleno, one of their highest selling hatchbacks, is liked for its interior. He added that the Baleno, launched in 2016, has sold more than 1200 units till date. “Baleno’s premium interior is what makes it stand out. The company has paid attention to the smallest details including providing UV-cut glass, a large touchscreen display and automatic climate control air conditioning. Plus we get a lot of feedback from customers about the car’s comfortable seating,” Chaudhary said.
Automakers quick to capitalise on the demand have offered just about every feature imaginable with their newest models. Depending on the price range, some features such as heated seats and automatic headlights come with the standard model. In other cases, customers have to pay for anything above the baseline, such as leather upholstery.
“Hatchbacks account for almost 65 to 70 per cent of the total car sales in the country, and over the years, the interiors of hatchbacks have been drastically evolving,” said Rupesh Sharma Bhatta, Assistant General Manager of Laxmi Intercontinental, the authorised distributors of Hyundai vehicles in Nepal.
Hyundai Grand i10 Magna
Price : Rs 2696000
The feature-packed Hyundai Grand with a black and beige coloured interior flaunts a spacious cabin; it has extra legroom and trunk space. The car comes with advanced features such as dual airbags, ABS, rear park assist, smart key with push button start/stop, 2 DIN integrated audio system and steering mounted controls.
According to Sharma the four variants of Hyundai Grand i10 — Magna, Sportz, Sportz (O) and Asta rank among the company’s highest selling hatchbacks and are popular in part due to their interiors. “We have sold more than 4000 units in total of Hyundai i10 Grand models,” Sharma said, adding that the Grand Magna is the highest selling among the four (contributing to 50 per cent of Hyundai Grand i10 sales).
Sudeep Pandeya, Head of Marketing at Sipradi, authorised distributors of TATA motors said, “Interiors make a huge impact on customer choice. This is evident by the sales figures of our new offerings Bolt and Tiago— two of TATA’s best hatchbacks when it comes to interiors.
Price: Rs 2255000- Rs 2855000
The Tiago flaunts a dual-tone interior and is equipped with multiple storage compartments— bottle and cup holder in the front console, door pockets with bottle holders and tablet storage in the cooled glove box. It features a Connectnext infotainment system by Harman with 4 +4 speakers, turn-by-turn navigation, steering mounted audio and phone controls, segmented 2.5-inch DIS display with gear shift indicator and a door-open and key-in reminder function.
According to Pandeya, the Bolt, which was introduced in July 2015, has sold more than 700 units till date, whereas the Tiago, introduced in 2016, has sold more than 1000 units. “These hatchback models account for roughly 60 per cent of our sales today. While Bolt accounts for approximately 15 per cent of car sales in Nepal in the premium hatchback segment, Tiago accounts for about 20 per cent.”
A version of this article appears in print on July 04, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.