International Cars & Motors Limited(ICML), an Indian tractor and MUV maker is looking to expand its product portfolio and in this regard, the automaker plans to launch a D segment sedan in the Indian market in 2012. To be developed as a “world” sedan, ICML seems to have some massive plans going forward. The ICML Sonalika World Sedan’s design is already underway at the renowned Italian design studio, Pininfarina, which incidentally has been responsible for designing many of the world’s most alluring car models.
This particular announcement from ICML Sonalika, however comes as a bolt out of the blue as the world sedan simply doesn’t seem to fit in the image that the MUV maker has cultivated for itself in the Indian car market. In line with this school of thought, ICML Sonalika also seems to be mulling an all new brand for it’s D segment world sedan, which could arrive onto Indian roads as early as the middle of next year. The car is also touted to use the latest 2.2 liter CRDI diesel engine that the Sonalika Rhino MUV now comes with.
Also, European firms are said to be closely associated with the product development of the world sedan which is expected to be priced at INR 15 Lakhs, bang in the middle of the likes of the Skoda Laura and the Toyota Corolla Altis. Apart from the D-segment sedan, an SUV in the 8-10 Lakh rupee segment is another product that ICML is currently working on. Meanwhile, here’s official word from Mr LD Mittal, the Chairman of the Sonalika Group about the firm’s luxury car plans.
We are coming up with many new models very shortly. We’re developing a world car – a sedan, which is scheduled for launch around middle of next year. This car will promise all the premium features one sees in European luxury sedans, but at half the price. When we launch this new passenger car range, we may also look at unveiling a new brand altogether.
All said and done, it will be quite a feat if ICML actually manages to bring out the car in 2012 and make it a success at the hustings, even with a new brand in tow. This, as the likes of Tata and Mahindra are still struggling to find acceptance for their products beyond the 10 Lakh rupee price mark, which is the psychological point from where the Indian car market branches out into the premium segment. But then again, what ICML is planning to do is quite commendable, for exhibiting the sheer grit to do what even established brands have shied away from. All the very best, ICML!