Launches of 2015 – Hits and Misses

Snapshot – The first four months of 2015 have seen 10 new, mass market cars being launched in India. These new launches comprise of facelifts and all new models. Today, we’ll take a look at how these cars have been faring in the first few months after launch.

Hyundai i20 Active – Hit

Hyundai i20 Active Front

The Hyundai i20 Active is the South Korean automaker’s entry into the hatchback based crossover segment, whose other players include the Fiat Avventura, the Toyota Etios Cross and the Volkswagen Cross Polo. From the looks of it, the i20 Active seems to be doing quite well, beating its direct rivals. Combined sales numbers for the i20 Elite and the Active show a 20 % bump up after the launch of the latter. The i20 Active seems well on its way to becoming the first success in the hatchback based crossover segment.

Datsun Go+ – Miss

Datsun Go+ MPV 7

Compared to the Go hatchback, the Datsun Go+ sub-4 meter station wagon seems to be doing well, with consistently increasing sales. This is a positive as far as Nissan is concerened, as car buyers seem to be appreciating the value proposition that the Go+ is. However, when viewed with the overall market as a measure, the Go+ is not a great seller, with monthly sales not even breaching the 2,000 units mark. Yet, the car is one of the better sellers from the Nissan stable. And this should have its maker a little  kicked about the Datsun brand’s future prospects.

Toyota Innova – Hit

Toyota Innova MPV

The Toyota Innova got a facelift earlier this year. Opinion on the MPV’s new looks remain sharply divided, with some digging it and most calling it another ugly Toyota. However, the market seems to have taken to the Innova Facelift with added verve, so much so that the vehicle continues to be India’s highest selling MPV, with sales getting a solid boost after the facelift. The Innova will be replaced next year by an all new model, which is likely to be positioned higher in terms of pricing and features.

Toyota Fortuner – Miss

Toyota Fortuner 2.5 SUV with TRD Sportivo Kit

The Toyota Fortuner is now available with a smaller, 2.5 liter turbo diesel engine and with an automatic transmission option for its top-end 3 liter engined 4X4 variant. However, these variants haven’t done much to boost incremental sales of the Fortuner, which continue to be strong. Since the sales increase hasn’t been substantial, the new variants are more of a miss as far as the Fortuner is concerned. An all-new Fortuner is on its way to India by early next year.

Renault Lodgy – Hit

Renault Lodgy MPV 2

The Lodgy is the French automaker’s attempt to move away from the ‘one trick pony’ tag that it is currently attached with. Sharp pricing means that the Lodgy could upset the applecart of the Toyota Innova and the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga MPVs. The Mobilio already seems to be facing the heat, with sales dropping sharply. In its first month, the Lodgy did about 2,000 units, making it the third largest selling MPV in the country. While the first month looks promising, the comig months will reveal the exact standing of the Lodgy.

Tata Bolt – Miss

Tata Bolt Hatchback Front

The Bolt hasn’t been able to do a Zest for Tata Motors. The B+ segment hatchback is a market dud, with only 633 units to show for in April 2015. Also, discounts of upto 45,000 rupees are available on the Bolt, and were available right from the third month of launch, speaking poorly of demand. The Bolt was priced at par with the Maruti Suzuki Swift as Tata Motors tried to move away from pricing its cars below the competition. Clearly, this strategy hasn’t worked.

Maruti Alto K10 Facelift – Miss

2015 Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 AMT Facelift 1

The Alto K10 brought in incremental volumes for Maruti Suzuki in the first two months after its launch but sales have dipped in the third month. As far as serving up an affordable AMT equipped car goes, Maruti Suzuki has gotten it right with the Alto K10. However, it remains to be seen if the car manages to fend off competition. The Tata Nano GenX Automatic will soon undercut the Alto K10 AMT by more than 1.5 lakh rupees. As things stand currently, the Alto K10 is a tepid seller.

Maruti Suzuki Dzire Facelift – Hit

2015 Maruti Suzuki Dzire Front Three Quarters

The Dzire Facelift hasn’t brought about a big sales increase for Maruti Suzuki. However, the facelifted car is not about that. The idea of the Dzire Facelift is to maintain the car’s sales numbers in the face of growing competition. This, the car has been able to achieve, as year on year numbers for the Dzire show a healthy increase. In those terms, the new Dzire is certainly a hit as far as Maruti Suzuki is concerned. An AMT-Diesel option is a new variant that is in the works for this car.

Volkswagen Jetta Facelift – Miss

2015 Volkswagen Jetta Sedan Facelift 1

The Jetta Facelift is pulling in decent numbers for Volkswagen. Selling 200 units/month on an average, the Jetta is faraway from the Toyota Corolla Altis, as far as outright numbers are concerned. However, considering the contracting D-Segment sedan space, Volkswagen will be happy with such numbers. Also, the facelifted car is doing much better than the pre-facelift version. It remains to be seen if the momentum is maintained in the coming months. For now though, the Jetta Facelift is a miss when it comes to sheer numbers.

Hyundai Elantra Facelift – Miss

2015 Hyundai Elantra Sedan Facelift Front
2015 Hyundai Elantra Sedan Facelift

The Elantra Facelift is the latest car launch from Hyundai, and has seen the automaker dispatch nearly 400 units to dealerships around the country. Initial promise notwithstanding, the next six months will reveal the market’s acceptance of Hyundai’s latest sedan. Beating the Toyota Corolla Altis won’t be an easy task. The car is sold with petrol and turbo diesel engines, and now comes with nattier looks Globally, the car is due or a replacement next year, making this facelift a stop-gap measure.