Hyundai Verna outsells Vento, SX4 and City among mid-size sedans in May

There’s no such thing as too much of a good thing. And the folks at Hyundai are popping the bubbly after the newly launched Fluidic Verna chalked up excellent numbers in the premium sedans category. Volkswagen, Honda and Maruti are sitting up and keenly eyeing the new Verna, after their sedan sales got overtaken in May.

Hyundai sold 4,357 units of the new Verna in May 2011 (according to industry data compiled by TeamBHP), a feat it achieved in just 20 days considering the car was launched on May 11. That’s a huge jump in Verna sales figures compared to the previous month, when the older Verna Transform was on sale, and sold just 1,800-odd cars in April.

Arvind Saxena, director marketing and sales, Hyundai, said in a release earlier that the Verna is continuing to attract buyer interest, with bookings for the car now crossing 12,000, in not even a month from its launch.

Photo: 2011 Hyundai Verna
Photo: The 2011 Hyundai "Fluidic" Verna has managed to beat its nearest rivals in just 20 days of sales in May.

Clearly, the 10-variant strategy with four engine offerings (two petrol and two diesel) is working for the Verna. Also the fact that the Verna has better power and equipment specifications than its immediate competition has swayed sales in its favor.

The Verna’s success comes at the cost of the premium segment favorites (mid-size sedans in the Rs 7 lakh to Rs 11 lakh category) – the Volkswagen Vento, whose numbers dropped by about 400 cars to 2,403 cars in May.

The Vento got beaten not just by the Verna, but also by the Maruti SX4, which just edged past it, selling just over 2,700 cars in May, an increase of 600 cars from the previous month. The introduction of the SX4 diesel is definitely working for Maruti with sales of the SX4 nearly doubling since February, when it only had a petrol variant.

The long time favorite and sales leader till March was the Honda City, which took a drubbing from the Vento and SX4, purely because Honda lacks a diesel engine in its portfolio. Car buyers have been shying away from the Honda City after petrol prices went up and made diesel a more viable option.

However, when it comes to pure refinement and great handling, the Honda City is a lovely car to drive. It’s going to be hard to write off, especially since the Honda brand name is very highly respected in India. And that’s showing in May’s sales. Honda clawed back some lost ground to sell 1,828 units of the City.

community speak

Mohanish Warde I took test drive of the car and it was amazing. Smoothness of clutch was great for Indian traffic and road. Interior was neat. Suspensions was good too. And mileage, cost for diesel car was very fair for India

Susobhan Maity Previously with its great engine it appealed to the head. But now coupled with great looks, it appeals to the heart as well

Ramrao Patil Price, Continuous innovations, Awesome facelifts, Fuel efficiency….and much more…!

Vishal Thakur Looks and name matter a lot… And Verna got a very cool look.

Simarjit Singh Everything is better in Verna than other cars in this segment…It looks hot on road and its design is awesome…

Ayush Rastogi Low cost and great performance

Overall market performance

If you look at all the mid-size sedans, from entry-level to premium (price range of Rs. 5 lakh to Rs. 11 lakh), the Maruti Dzire continues to be the undisputed leader, selling over 10,800 cars in May. But there’s a surprise. The number two mid-size sedan is no longer the Tata Indigo range (Manza, Indigo, Indigo CS). It is the Hyundai Verna.

Another car that’s slowly moved up a couple of notches is the Mahindra Verito, a value-for-money, entry-level sedan that sold 1299 units in May, followed closely by the Ford Fiesta Classic that’s also posted improved numbers at 1266 cars, overtaking the Hyundai Accent.

The Verito (formerly Logan) has been consistently selling above 1,000 cars a month, which is commendable for a car that hardly gets any mindspace among individual buyers because of its lack of character and dated design.

The Toyota Etios, a car which generated huge interest at launch, has begun to drop slightly with Toyota selling just 3,412 cars, a drop of 1,200 cars from the previous month. The Fiat Linea showed a marginal rise in sales at 845 cars, while the Chevrolet Optra and Aveo continue to sell very low numbers.

Sales in June are likely to maintain similar momentum, but one car to watch out for is the new global Ford Fiesta that will be launched in the first week of July. That might shake up next month’s charts.

Sales Gainers (vs April 2011)

Hyundai Verna
Maruti SX4
Mahindra Verito
Honda City
Ford Fiesta

Sales Losers (vs April 2011)

Toyota Etios
Tata Indigo
Volkswagen Vento
Maruti Dzire
Hyundai Accent

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(Source: Team BHP, Company Releases)