Cannibal cars of 2013: The ones that ate their own sales pie

There were some cars that were launched in the past year that were meant to increase sales for their makers, and gain market share from competitors. But instead, these cars simply ate into the sales pie of their siblings, drastically affecting sales of other models from the same car maker.

So what do you call something that eats its own kind? A cannibal. And cannibalism is also a term often used in the automotive industry to describe a phenomenon, where a new car model eats into sales of another car model from the same company. So here’s looking at the cannibals of 2013. Also read: Lowest-selling cars of 2013

Mahindra Verito Vibe & Verito sedan

If there was an award for the biggest cannibal out there, the Verito Vibe would be a strong contender. The Verito Vibe is essential the same Verito sedan, but with a chopped-short boot to fit under the 4-metre mark and pass off as a compact sedan. The Verito Vibe was launched in July 2013, and has sold 2,386 cars till date. Decent right? Unfortunately, those sales numbers came at the expense of the Verito sedan. The Verito sedan was selling over 1,300 units a month till the Vibe launched. After July, the sales of the Verito sedan dropped to an average of 350 units a month, selling only 1,905 cars in that period compared to 5,502 cars in the previous five months! Ouch!

Hyundai Grand i10 and i10

While the Hyundai Grand i10 has received all the hype and many accolades since its launch in September this year, sulking quietly in the corner is its sibling the older Hyundai i10, having taken a hard blow in terms of sales numbers. The Hyundai Grand i10 has sold over 32,784 units in the past four months, while the Hyundai i10’s sales dropped from over 7,000 units a month to just about 3,800 a month. In the four months before the launch of the Grand i10, the Hyundai i10 sold 31,568 units, but as soon as the Grand i10 came in, sales dropped by nearly 50% to 16,949! Sure, the Grand i10 is eating into competitors pies as well, but the biggest bite came out of its own sibling. Ouch!

Mahindra Quanto & Xylo

Mahindra’s Quanto is another ferocious looking cannibal – like a little Dachshund that can chew up a Doberman. Ever since the launch of the Mahindra Quanto last year, the Mahindra Xylo has never really recovered in sales, with the smaller Quanto, not only eating into the Xylo’s pie, but also overall pulling down the combined sales figures of both – neither of them are really gaining in sales. The Quanto has been around for 15 months now (launched in September 2012), and has sold 21,833 units. In the same period the Mahindra Xylo sold 22,580 vehicles. But in the previous 15 months, before the Quanto came, the more expensive Xylo alone sold 34,600 units.

The Quanto sells only about 360 units a month now, though initially it was selling about 1,400 units a month on average. Where did the rest of the sales go? Ah, the Ford EcoSport remember? Mahindra called the Quanto a compact SUV, but when the Ford EcoSport was launched, buyers gravitated towards that.

Chevrolet Sail & Sail U-Va

The Chevrolet Sail took a small bite out of the sales of its hatchback sibling the Chevrolet Sail U-Va, which launched a few months before it did. The Chevrolet Sail U-Va launched in November 2012, and sold 5,867 units before the launch of the sedan in February 2013. In the four months after the launch of the sedan, the Chevrolet Sail U-Va’s sales dropped to 3,391 units. The Chevrolet Sail sedan sold 8,214 vehicles in the same period, eating a bit into its sibling’s sales, but also expanding the market for entry-level sedans – a segment that has been growing. It’s a different matter that sales of the Sail have dropped in the past six months thanks to teething issues with its diesel variant.

On the flipside, there are launches that have only incrementally grown sales of siblings or cars they are based on. The Nissan Terrano and Renault Duster for example, have nearly doubled sales for the Renault-Nissan alliance. The Ford EcoSport has expanded the market and has had a bit of a rub-off effect on the Fiesta – where those who couldn’t wait for the EcoSport have looked at the sedan based on the same platform. Also read: Best-selling cars of 2013