Snapshot – Half the year has raced past and the car industry is getting into top gear when it comes to new car launches, even as the festive season is just around the corner. Car sales have been muted for the past six months, with the coming six months expected to add some much needed cheer. CarToq takes a look at the 10 top selling cars for the first half of 2014, and discusses the future of each of these cars.
Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 + K10
After a couple of slow months, the Alto range has now made a big comeback to regain the “top selling car” spot in India. Maruti Suzuki has put 138,148 units of the Alto 800 and K10 models in dealer stockyards for the first 6 months of 2014. The Alto 800 is expected to get a facelift next year, along with the K10 variant. The 1 liter K-Series petrol engined K10 variant will also gain an automated manual transmission next year.
Maruti Suzuki Dzire
India’s best selling sedan is also the country’s second best selling car despite a big increase in competition. The Honda Amaze arrived last year, the well priced Hyundai Xcent arrives earlier this year and the Tata Zest is due for launch in August. Despite three new compact sedan nipping at its heels, the Dzire leads the field with wholesale sales of 105,413 units in the first 6 months of 2014. A facelifted model, with minor stylistic changes and major feature additions will make it to production soon. Notably, the new launches in the compact sedan have expanded the market rather than eating into the Dzire’s marketshare. Also many B+ segment hatchback buyers have been lured into buying the affordable compact sedans.
Maruti Suzuki Swift
The Maruti Suzuki Swift turns in another strong performance, with sales of 104,872 units for the first half of 2014. The car is India’s B+ segment hatchback and the combination of sporty looks, well sorted handling and punchy yet fuel efficient petrol and turbo diesel engines have been the main drivers of the Swift. Like the Dzire, the Swift is due for a midlife makeover that should arrive during the festive season.
Maruti Suzuki WagonR
An unassuming car, the WagonR is one of the most consistent best sellers for Maruti Suzuki in India. The tall-boy hatchback has been around for nearly a decade and a half. Yet, the car manages to get the sales register ringing each month. Constant refreshes have been the key to the WagonR’s enduring success in India, and the car has clocked strong sales of 78,540 units in the first six months of the year. The WagonR is powered by a 1 liter, K-Series petrol engine, available in LPG, CNG and petrol guises. This engine on the WagonR, is expected to get an AMT next year.
Hyundai Grand i10
Hyundai’s biggest successes in recent years, the Grand i10 is the best selling car from the South Korean automaker’s line up in India, for the first 6 months of 2014. The Grand i10 has clocked wholesale sales of 57,758 units. Just recently, Hyundai launched a LPG version of this hatchback, which also features petrol and turbo diesel engine options. Known for its spacious, feature filled interiors, the Grand i10 takes interior quality to an all-new high in the B-Segment hatchback class.
An old warrior from Mahindra that is more than a decade old and in due of a replacement, the Bolero continues to chug along as the Indian utility vehicle major’s best seller. The first six months of this year have been kind to the Bolero, what with sales showing a spike during the election season. With sales of 54,792 units, the Bolero MUV is India’s sixth best selling car. An all-new version, codenamed the U301 is due for a launch next year. The U301 Bolero is said to be lighter and more fuel efficient. Like the existing Boleto, the new MUV will be offered in multiple body styles.
Honda’s biggest successes in recent times, the City sedan, along with the Amaze compact sedan, has propeller the Japanese automaker to the third spot in June 2014’s sales charts, pushing Mahindra to fourth. In its fourth generation in India, the City sedan is now available with a turbo diesel engine, which is a key sales driver. The City sedan has annihilated competition in the C+ segment class. For the record, the City’s half yearly 2014 sales, at 45,884 units, is more than double of the next best seller, the Hyundai Verna, which managed sales of 20,441 units.
An Alto 800 competitor that sells less than one third the number managed by the Alto range, the Eon is a stylish 800 cc hatchback aimed at city car buyers. The Eon is also Hyundai’s second best selling car model, with wholesale sales of 41,471 units in the first half of 2014. The Eon recently got a 1 liter petrol engine, for buyers who seek better highway performance. However, the addition of the new engine hasn’t done much to make the Eon 1.0 an Alto K10 beater.
While some may call the Maruti Omni a relic of the past, the three decade old passenger van remains a big sales spinner for Maruti Suzuki, purely for its utility, reliability and low purchase cost. Maruti Suzuki managed to put 36,655 units of the Omni in dealer stockyards in the first half of 2014. The Omni shows no sign of aging despite the Indian market seeing the launch of multiple passenger van offerings such as the Tata Venture and the Mahindra Maxximo. The Omni is sold with petrol, CNG and LPD engine options. A turbo diesel engined van is in the works, what with Maruti Suzuki all set to launch the new Carry based mini pick up truck in 2015. The same platform is also expected to spawn a passenger van, which is expected to be the Omni’s successor in 2016.
With sales of 35,980 units, the Honda Amaze rounds off our top-10 selling cars in the first half of 2014 list. The Amaze was the first Honda car that was available with a diesel engine in India, and this development marked Honda’s big come back here. In a sense, the Amaze has been a key architect of Honda’s Indian comeback, propelling the Japanese automaker – languishing in 6th place a couple of years ago – into now occupying the 3rd place in terms of market share. A recent launch, the Amaze isn’t due for any major update in the near future.