Hatchback sales have not been the best in the past one year, with this segment facing the brunt of the slowdown in the automobile industry. Sales in the once fast-growing premium hatchback segment have declined 15% in the first five months of the year, compared to last year.
However, some companies such as Hyundai, have managed to reverse the growth trend year or year, with reported figures of close to 20% growth for the new Hyundai i20. For its chief competitor, the Maruti Swift, growth has slowed down quite a bit, and in fact, it has been overtaken by its sibling the Maruti Dzire compact sedan, which is partly responsible for the slowdown in the Swift’s sales. Also read: Maruti Dzire clocks record mileage of 45.8 kmpl
Buyers see more value in a compact sedan such as the Dzire, and with price points being really close – a difference of about Rs. 50,000 variant for variant – buyers opt for the Dzire because of its seemingly better image value. This reversal in sales figures has happened in the past three months. In March, the Swift sold 19,654 units, while the Dzire was at 20,078, the first time it overtook the Swift this year. In April the Swift fell to 16,531 units while the Dzire stayed at 19,446 units. In May, the Dzire’s sales fell (mostly due to the Honda Amaze) to 17,265, but the Swift fell further to 14,353 units.
What’s more, the Maruti Dzire is now Maruti’s highest selling car – and the best-selling car in India! The Maruti Alto that was once the highest selling has slipped to 16,411 units, below even the Maruti Dzire. Also read: Honda Amaze waiting period hits FIVE months in Delhi
This is not the case just with Maruti alone. Look at the case with Chevrolet. The Chevrolet Sail sedan has been outselling the Chevrolet Sail U-Va ever since its launch. The Sail sold 2,027 units in May 2013, compared to just 824 cars for the Chevrolet Sail U-Va despite a price correction.
And then, there’s the Honda Amaze – it sold 6,036 cars in May while its cheaper hatchback sibling, the Honda Brio sold only 2,010 units, as it had to make way for increased demand and hence production for the Amaze. Also read: Honda moves to No.4 spot after amazing Amaze sales
Buyers are clearly seeing more value in compact sedans than premium hatchbacks, going by the sales trend in the past few months.
Data: Industry figures/Team-BHP