ICML (International Cars and Motors Limited), an Indian tractor and MUV maker is looking to expand its product portfolio and has announced that they want to make a ‘World Class’ Sedan for the Indian masses, which would rival the Skoda Laura, Volkswagen Jetta, Honda Civic and Chevrolet Cruze. ICML is the passenger vehicle division of the Sonalika Group, which sells the Rhino (Toyota Qualis look alike).
“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 the entire 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,” Mr L.D. Mittal, Chairman, Sonalika Group, said.
The new sedan will be a D segment product priced around Rs 15 lakh and will be powered by a refined 2.0 -litre CRDI diesel engine which does duty in the Rhino. Sonalika has also collaborated with Pininfarina (the Italian design house responsible for the many great Ferrari designs) and Lotus (the go-to company if you want excellent ride and handling) to develop the sedan.
Sonalika Group will launch its first car by mid-2012. The company supplies engines to GM for the Tavera and is also planning to launch a SUV in the Rs. 8-10 lakh range. They have also collaborated with Rover but we will ignore that for now. For now, the company is the second largest manufacturer in the Tractor segment and also makes a MUV called Rhino.
The sedan will come out in the middle of next year. When ICML says it’ll give the features of a European sedan at half the price, we assume they are talking about the 30 lakh rupee Passat, 3 Series and C-Class. This new car could be the first product of a new brand dedicated to the personal car space.
The company plans to spend Rs 200 crore this year in adding capacity at home, product development and setting up new assembly units in Eastern Europe and a few African nations.