It does look like Hyundai has another winner on its hands with the Eon. Launched on October 13, the Eon has managed to chalk up sales of 6,315 vehicles in half a month. These are good numbers as far as Hyundai is concerned.
No real threat to Maruti Alto
But is the Hyundai Eon likely to overtake the current segment leader, the Maruti Alto? Probably not. That doesn’t ruffle Hyundai though, as it does not have a very ambitious sales target for the Eon. Hyundai plans to make about 140,000 Eons a year, showing that it’s keen to sell at least 11,600 cars a month. Given that it sold 6,315 cars in October, it’s well on track to meet that target month on month.
The car whose sales actually got affected by the Hyundai Eon is its older sibling, the Hyundai Santro. Sales of the Santro dropped from over 6,000 cars to just 3,141 cars in October, showing that many buyers prefer the more modern Eon compared to the aging Santro.
Maruti’s Alto had a pretty bad month, missing out on the festive cheer, because of the production problems Maruti was facing. The Alto sold only 15,197 units in October, its lowest sales ever this year. Still even with that number, it remains India’s largest selling car, because it’s really unbeatable when it comes to value for money and pricing.
However, the Eon can chip away slightly at the Alto’s sales. The Eon has more space than the Alto and will appeal to first-time car buyers and small families looking for an affordable city car. Buyers of the Hyundai Santro too may want to look at the Eon as it is a more modern car than the Santro in terms of design and space utilization. The top end of the Eon also eats into the base Maruti Wagon R price band and could lure some buyers away from the Wagon R as well. There are six variants of the Eon priced within Rs. 20,000 of each other, giving buyers more choice.
Eon sales outlook
With interest rates continuing to rise and petrol prices remaining high, sales of petrol cars continue to face pressure. Still, below Rs. 3.5 lakh there are no diesel engine choices at all, and this is the space that the Hyundai Eon competes in against other petrol cars such as the Alto, Alto K10, Spark and Wagon-R. In this space it all boils down to fuel efficiency, and the Eon actually claims better fuel efficiency than the Maruti Alto. The Eon claims 21 kmpl, while the Alto’s fuel efficiency is 19.8 kmpl. Also the fact that it has more space than the Alto works in its favor. There may be a few buyers who are willing to stretch their budget by Rs. 30,000 to pick up an Eon, just for these traits.
We’ll have to wait for the November sales numbers to see how the Eon actually fares in a complete month of sales, now that Maruti’s production too is back on track. Going by just the October sales figures, the Eon seems to be on the right track. But can it close the gap with the Alto? Share your thoughts.
October 2011 sales
Maruti Alto: 15197
Hyundai Eon: 6315
Hyundai Santro: 3141
Chevrolet Spark: 1782
(Sources: Team-BHP, industry data)