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The Indian automotive industry was to witness a myriad of new car launches in March 2020. But, all the plans have gone haywire and everything has been flushed down to drain due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic which has not only compelled the Indian government to enforce a complete lockdown but also the entire world has come to a standstill. The auto industry is also registering massive losses as all the production facilities have been shut down and everything is put on hold. Last year wasn't a great year either for the auto industry due to the economic slowdown and it was on its way to recovery with a slew of new product launches but this Chinese virus has landed a severe blow to the industry. Let's have a look at the most anticipated 5 car launches that got delayed due to this pandemic:
1. New-gen Honda City
The 2020 all-new Honda City was scheduled to debut on March 16 in the Indian market but the Japanese automaker had to postpone it indefinitely due to the COVID-19. Now, it is expected to debut around the second half of this year once the official lock down period is over and normalcy is restored. Speaking about the new sedan, it takes a radical departure in terms of styling as compared to the current model. The fifth-gen Honda City takes design inspiration from the new Civic while also growing a bit in size. The feature list also gets advanced with the inclusion of LED headlamps, new centre console and a bigger touchscreen infotainment system. The petrol and diesel engines are retained from the ongoing model, albeit with a BS6 upgrade.
2. Hyundai Verna Facelift
Hyundai India was all set to introduce the new 2020 Hyundai Verna facelift in the Indian market in March but it got postponed due to the Chinese virus. The company had even commenced the bookings while revealing all the features and engine details of the sedan. The 2020 Hyundai Verna facelift comes with a plethora of cosmetic updates in the form of new cascading front grille, L-shaped LED DRLs and revised LED tail-lamp cluster. Being touted as India's first connected mid-sized sedan, it will come with 45+ connectivity features while powered by the twin 1.5L petrol and diesel engines, sourced from the Seltos. The features will include digital instrument cluster, ventilated front seats, smart trunk, emergency stop signal, wireless charging, eco coating, rear USB charger, and Arkamys premium sound system.
3. Renault Duster Petrol
Renault India has already discontinued the diesel variants of the Duster in the country ahead of the BS6 emission norms. The company unveiled the Duster 1.3 TCe petrol at the 2020 Auto Expo and it was scheduled to launch in March to replace the phased out diesel variants. But, now it will take at least a couple of months before it goes on sale in the Indian market. Renault Duster 1.3 TCe petrol will not come with any cosmetic updates except the red highlights at the outside as well as inside the cabin. The BS6 compliant 1.3L turbocharged petrol engine develops top power of 153bhp and peak torque of 250Nm, making the SUV most powerful in its segment. Renault Duster BS6 Petrol 1.3 TCe price might start around Rs 12 Lakhs (Ex. Showroom).
4. Skoda Karoq
Skoda Karoq had its first public premiere in India at the 2020 Auto Expo and the Skoda Karoq bookings had also started at all the company authorized dealerships across the nation. The deliveries were to start from May 6, 2020 but now people will have to wait for a couple of months at least to get the SUV. It will be offered as Completely Knocked Down (CKD) kit while equipped with a host of premium features such as LED headlamps, touchscreen infotainment system, panoramic sunroof, Virtual cockpit etc. among others. Appearing like a mini-Kodiaq, it will be powered by a BS6 compliant 1.5L TSI petrol engine which is also at the helm of recently launched Volkswagen T-Roc. It develops 148bhp and 250Nm while mated to a 7-speed DSG auto transmission.
5. Mahindra XUV300 Sportz Edition
Mahindra & Mahindra showcased the the XUV300 Sportz Edition at the 2020 Auto Expo and it was expected to debut the new BS6 compliant 1.2L turbocharged mStallion petrol engine. It generates power output of 127bhp and torque performance of 230Nm while mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox. The SUV also gets a fair bit of cosmetic updates too in the form of new decals on the exterior and all-black seats with red highlights in the cabin. The company had planned to launch the Mahindra XUV300 Sportz Edition in March but due to the spread of this Chinese virus, it has been delayed by a couple of weeks and in all likelihood, it will be launched in the Indian market by mid of April 2020.