No matter you support the ruling government or not, it’s difficult to deny that 2015 was the year of hope. Amidst dropping sales of old products, what gave the carmakers hope was facelifts, new versions, and even totally new products As we are just a month away from stepping into another new year, we take a look at a couple of successful cars from 2015.
Let’s face it, Renault was not in a very good shape. The Duster’s sales were reduced, and the Lodgy, no matter how a good it is, failed to bring a wave of success to the French brand in India. But it was the Kwid that helped Renault fight back. In an SUV-obsessed market like our, crossover styling won’t have gone amiss, and it certainly didn’t. Added features like a full-fledged touchscreen entertainment system on an entry-level hatchback sweetened the deal even further.
Introduced in September this year, the Kwid has already garnered more than 50,000 bookings. In October, Renault managed to sell 5,000+ units, but considering the company was reported to start its deliveries only by October 15, the figure is valid for half a month only. Wow!
Maruti Celerio Diesel
Do you remember how the Tata Indica effectively kick-started the small diesel hatchback segment? It’s the Celerio Diesel that takes it forward. Powered by an indigenously developed, two-cylinder, 793 cc diesel unit that makes 47 hp and 125 Nm, the Celerio Diesel is one of the most efficient cars on sale, with a claimed fuel economy of 27.62 kmpl.
Since the time the diesel version has been added to the line-up, the car’s monthly sales have grown by 2-3k units per month. Not exactly the kind of success MSIL was expecting, but it’s still successful nevertheless.
In comparison to the previous Figo, a lot has changed in the new one. The engines are more powerful, the car feels more premium, and looks better, too. Safety hasn’t been overlooked, either, with the base version being offered with dual airbags as standard, while the top-spec version getting a total of six airbags – that’s a segment first! All these improvements have helped Ford with better sales.
Although individual sales figures aren’t out yet, the company managed to sell more than 20k vehicles (Figo, Figo Aspire, and EcoSport), claiming an YoY growth of 75.5 per cent.
Ford Figo Aspire
Launched before the new Figo hatchback, the Figo Aspire saloon shares everything with the hatchback apart from the added boot, lighter coloured interior, and slightly different feature list. Good looks, decent handling, and attractive price-tag aside, the presence of potent engine options have made the Figo Aspire one of the best cars in its segment.
Far from being the segment topper, the Aspire got a good initial response, and alongside the new Figo and the EcoSport, has helped Ford register 75.5 per cent sales growth in October, compared to Oct ’14. In October, Ford sold 3,041 units of the Aspire.
Maruti Suzuki Baleno
Revival of an old product is tough, and launching a new product but with an old name can be challenging. However, Maruti seems to be pretty good at it, and with the new Baleno hatchback, they’ve just shown how! The car is the most expensive hatchback, bar the S-Cross, in MSIL’s line-up, but with prices starting at under Rs 5 lakhs for the base version, it’s one of the best VFM propositions as well. Also, with dual airbags and ABS as standard across the range, Maruti has just shown everyone how it is done. Add to that the fact that the Baleno is about 100 kilos lighter than the Swift, but has more structural rigidity.
With over 21,000 bookings received for the car, the company sold about 4,500 units of the car in October. And although pre-order had started earlier, the car was officially launched on the 26th of October. So those sales figures are essentially for about a week’s time.
Right from day one, Honda Jazz wasn’t a simple and easy idea to sell, especially to a market like ours. It shared the platform with the Honda City, offered almost as much space but with the added practicality of a hatchback. It wasn’t a successful proposition but a few price cuts later, the Jazz started to make sense to a lot of people. The new does all that, but in a better way. And add diesel power to the equation and Honda has a winner!
Launched in mid-2015, the new Honda Jazz averages about 5,000 units every month, which is good considering that it’s still a premium hatchback, and the competition is fierce as well.
Hyundai i20 Active
The crossover based hatchbacks might not be as much in vogue as softroader SUVs, but there was once a time when every carmaker wanted to add former to their line-ups. And Hyundai was no different. The Elite i20 was already a successful product, and the i20 Active adds to the car’s success. It combines slightly more rugged looks with the premium interior of the Elite i20
It’s the most successful among the hatchback based crossovers, with about 1,869 units sold in October.
Quanto, Mahindra’s previous take on the sub 4-metre/compact SUV segment didn’t do well. But this time around, the company had better plans. The TUV300 doesn’t just have more character on the outside, it has one of the nicest cabins, too. And the availability of an automatic gearbox (AMT actually) makes it the least expensive diesel SUV you can buy.
Since its launch, Mahindra has consistently sold about 4.5k units every month. Considering the same segment also offers the successful Ford EcoSport, that’s a good start.
Maruti Ciaz Diesel Hybrid
Being a successful competitor to the really well-settled Honda City is no small feat, and the Ciaz Diesel is no small car – neither in terms of space, nor in terms of what it offers. The car comes with a unique micro-hybrid system that aids efficiency by using regenerative energy, and helps the company claim a fuel economy of 28.09 kmpl.
The use of hybrid tech ensures that the car benefits from the government’s FAME India (Faster Adoption and Manufacture of Electric Vehicles in India) initiative that covers hybrids as well. That means the prices remained largely unchanged. The Ciaz Hybrid SHVS replaced the regular diesel version, and the sales have seen a steady growth following the move, hovering near the 5k units mark in the first month (September) and almost touching 6k in October.
Creta caters to a segment of lifestyle oriented buyers, taking a share from the EcoSport and Duster’s cake. Hugely appreciated styling, premium interior, and the availability of automatic gearbox on the diesel engine has ensured the Creta becomes a success story for Hyundai.
The vehicle has successfully continued to breach the 7k units per month barrier. And not only that. What really defines its success is the fact that the prospective customers were ready to wait for long (like really long – 10 months, at the max!) to get their Creta.