Diwali cheer for hatchbacks: Swift races ahead, Grand i10 crosses 11K

There is some reason for carmakers to cheer, although subdued. Sales in the festive season have picked up at least for hatchbacks, with people who had deferred their car purchases through the year now taking advantage of festive freebies and offers.

While most hatchback makers posted gains as expected, one has to keep a close eye on the Hyundai Grand i10, a car which has been met with mixed emotions by actual buyers and fanboys of rival camps. In its second month of sales, the Hyundai Grand i10 has chalked up 11,519 units in sales, zooming into second spot if you look at premium hatchback sales alone. The Maruti Swift, of course, continues to race ahead, selling 19,047 cars in October 2013, up from 16,839 the previous month.

Given that Maruti has over 1,300 sales outlets in the country and Hyundai only has about 350, sales of the Grand i10 are commendable. If it continues at this pace, it does have the potential to get into the top-three slot of overall best-selling cars in India.

Right now, the top three slots in hatchback sales go to Maruti, with the Alto at 22,574, followed by the Swift, and then the Wagon-R at 14,270 cars. It’s the Wagon-R’s position that is under threat now from the Grand i10. The other three Hyundai hatches are just about holding on to their positions, although the sales of the regular i10 have dropped by half after the launch of the Grand i10. The regular Hyundai i10 sold 3,575 units in October, a marginal increase from 3,260 units the previous month. The Hyundai Eon is a 6867 up 9% and the Hyundai i20 sold 6,045 units, again up about 5% from the previous month.

The hatches that missed Diwali cheer

Among other brands, the sales of the Fiat Punto has been steadily climbing, but have appeared to have hit a plateau, although Fiat is opening more dealerships and confidence returning to the brand. Sales are up to 764 units in October, from 737 the previous month. The Honda Brio too has seen flat sales with production being diverted to the Honda Amaze compact sedan. The Brio is more or less flat at 1,472 cars. Sales of the Chevrolet Sail U-Va too are flat at 614 units after diesel car production was restarted.

Three cars that have lost out on Diwalil cheer were the Ford Figo, whose sales have dropped to 2806 cars from 3,515 the previous month – probably due to competition from the Hyundai Grand i10 that falls in the same price bracket; the Nissan Micra whose diesel isn’t selling at all, down to 1,183 cars only; and the Toyota Liva, which was down to 2,151 units, again due to competitive pressure despite being given a makeover. Maruti Ritz, Chevrolet Beat and Volkswagen Polo sales too have dropped.

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Source: SIAM/Industry data/Team-BHP