Maruti bounces back with Swift, Liva shines for Toyota in November 2011

November has been an aggressive month for Maruti, where it pulled out all stops to get its production and sales back on track. And that shows with the sales numbers of its most popular premium hatchback, the Maruti Swift.

Maruti Suzuki Swift does well, will do even better

The Swift recorded its best month ever with sales of 17,273 cars, an increase of 120% over the previous month, to become India’s best-selling premium hatchback and the second-best selling car among all cars in India. The other car that has had a jump in sales the Toyota Liva, whose sales have jumped 76% to 4,328 units, thanks to good demand for the diesel variant. Also read: Hottest sedans of 2011

Maruti has been trying hard to cater to the huge demand for the Swift. It shifted much of its production to its Gurgaon plant from Manesar during the labor strike in October. It also cut down on production of some other models such as the Ritz and SX4 so that Swift production could be ramped up. So much so, sales of the Ritz have fallen to 4,100 odd cars compared to its monthly average of close to 6,200 cars from January to September. Also read: New Maruti Suzuki Swift road test

Bookings for the Swift have crossed 100,000 ever since its launch in July this year. Over 80% of the demand is for the diesel Swift, and Maruti recently entered into an agreement with Fiat to source 100,000 diesel engines for the Swift to help meet this huge demand, as the production set back due to the labor problems at its Manesar plant has affected its monthly targets.

Diesel demand favors Liva

Toyota has had a good month with sales of the Liva. As diesel Livas began to get delivered to customers, more people have been seeing the benefits of this frugal and spacious car. Yes, it may not be as great to drive or be as feature-loaded as some of its rivals, but it delivers phenomenal mileage and can carry five people in comfort. Check out our road test of the Toyota Etios Liva diesel

The Liva diesel was launched in September, but failed to ignite the sales charts in October. However, there has been a spurt in November of 76% compared to October. This makes the Liva the best-selling Toyota vehicle right now, a title which earlier rested with the Toyota Innova and only briefly snapped up by the Etios.

If Toyota manages to maintain this momentum, the Liva will end up becoming its flagship vehicle, if fuel prices continue to behave the way they are.

Premium hatchbacks: The future

Honda has had a run of bad luck. Even after dropping prices of its Jazz, it’s not been able to deliver cars despite an increase in demand, because of a parts shortage due to floods in Thailand. Honda imports kits for the Jazz from Thailand. It managed to deliver only about 382 Jazz cars in November. Skoda too had a fairly average month with the Fabia, with sales down again to 1,150 odd cars. The Polo maintained its average at about 3,100 cars, while Fiat’s Punto sold a forgettable 813 cars, even though that’s more than twice the number it sold in October. Figo put in better numbers in November at 6,100 cars.

There are no launches of premium hatchbacks planned for this month. Renault’s Pulse will be the next premium hatchback to debut in the market with a January 2012 launch scheduled. Together with the Micra, the Renault Nissan combine may chalk up some noteworthy numbers next month.

(Source: Team-BHP, Industry data)