4 Best-selling SUVs of 2012

In the past year, SUVs have caught the imagination of urban car buyers. And their sales have been on the upswing.

Buyers seem reconciled to poor roads and are therefore, looking for vehicles with higher ground clearance—one important factor underpinning the growth in SUV sales.

So which are the best-selling SUVs?

4 Best-selling SUVs of 2012

Nearly 2.18 lakh SUVs have been sold in India in 2012—and that’s not counting the exotic ones such as those from the German luxury car makers or Land Rovers. But more than half of these—110,000 are Bolero and Sumo that are sold in the rural or semi-urban markets.

Mahindra leads the charge with XUV500 and Scorpio

In the urban markets, the SUV sales have seen big upswing since the launch Mahindra XUV500. It has almost wiped out the sales of sedans in the Rs. 10 to Rs. 15 lakh segment (link). In the period between January and September 2012, it sold 31,126 units. More importantly, sales have risen steadily from 2,286 units in January to 4,603 in September.

The rise and rise of XUV500 points to two things:

  • Space and features matter
  • Quality of interiors don’t matter (link)

But it’s the other Mahindra, the Scorpio, that tops the sales charts if one were to look at the nine months as a whole with sales of 37,551 units. Overall, Scorpio has been a steady performer clocking around 4,000 units sales every month. Also read: Mahindra XUV500 known problems and solutions

Renault Duster adds further push to SUV sales

Launched in July, the Renault Duster has seen its sales rise impressively. It sold 1,194 units in July, 3,184 in August and surged ahead of the long-time best-seller Mahindra Scorpio with sales of 4,211 units in September.

All of this has added further heft to SUV sales.

The Duster, which is smaller than Scorpio or XUV500, pioneered the new compact SUV segment. Duster’s success—and the enthusiastic wait for Ford EcoSport—points to the need for a vehicle which is not much larger than a premium hatchback, is priced in the sub-Rs.10 lakh range and comes with high ground clearance. Also see: Renault Duster road test

Toyota Fortuner dominates the premium segment

 Toyota Fortuner’s combination of macho looks, big size, solid build quality and reliable service has seen it dominate the market for more expensive SUVs. It sold 11,490 units in the first nine months of the year. And sales have risen steadily—from 941 units in January to 1,301 units in September. Also read: New Toyota Fortuner road test

Its closest competitor—if you can call it that—Ford Endeavour has managed less than one-tenth of the sales during this period.

So then, these four—Mahindra XUV500, Mahindra Scorpio, Renault Duster and Toyota Fortuner—are the top 4 best-selling SUVs in the urban markets.

Which begs the question: Will Tata Safari Storme manage to break into the club?