Some SUVs have had it better than the others in India. For every Tata Aria or Mahindra Quanto, we’ve had runaway hits that have fared good right from get go. Today, we take a look at five big successes of the Indian SUV market, and the factors that made these SUVs winners right off the blocks.
13 years ago, the Scorpio came along as a butch, in-yer-face SUV, the first ever that Mahindra had put together from scratch. It became an instant success as Mahindra played the pricing card superbly. The base-no frills Scorpio variant could be bought for under 6 lakh rupees. And ever since, this SUV has never looked back.
For many years, the Scorpio was the top-selling SUV in the country, a place that it has just lost to the Hyundai Creta. Even the facelifted Scorpio, which was launched late last year, has also become an instant hit. Apart from pricing, constant updates, rugged mechanicals, butch styling and terrific after sales reach has propelled the Scorpio ahead.
The XUV500 did a Scorpio when it first arrived in October 2011, and Mahindra stunned the market by announcing a 10.8 lakh rupee starting price tag for the crossover. The first monocoque vehicle from Mahindra, the XUV500 packed in so many features that it left D-Segment sedans gasping for breath.
Ever since, the D-Segment sedans of India have never recovered. The XUV500 has been a hot seller for Mahindra right from the word go, and the facelift that was launched earlier this year, has also been doing its bit to perk up the numbers. A “global SUV”, the XUV500 is also exported to many countries around the world.
The compact SUV segment in India was kickstarted by the Renault Duster, which arrived in 2012. Single handed-ly, the Duster made Renault a household name in India, and has paved way for greater things from the French automaker.
Also see – Renault Duster AWD in CarToq’s Review
The Duster was an instant hit as buyers fell in love with the butch styling, carpet-like ride quality and strong yet fuel efficient diesel engines. While the pricing wasn’t a stunner, the lack of competition gave the Duster the headstart it needed. Sales have been cooling off now that the competition has increased, and Renault will soon respond with a facelift.
Ever since it was showcased ahead of the 2012 Indian Auto Expo, anticipation for the Ford Ecosport just kept building, and building, and building. After a year and a half of the first unveil, Ford finally launched the Ecosport, which became an instant hit, thanks to all the hype, and of course, the stunner of the 5.57 lakh rupee pricing.
Though introductory, the sharp pricing meant that the competition couldn’t do much except to watch dealers ordering, and selling lorry loads of Ecosports. With the Creta now in the picture, the Ecosport’s sales have somewhat cooled. So, Ford is already readying up a bandage to repair the damage. A facelifted version is weeks away.
Also see – How you can customized your Ford Ecosport?
The Hyundai Creta is perhaps the most successful SUV ever in Indian history, in terms of initial sales. More than 7,000 examples of the Creta were shipped out from Hyundai’s Sriperumbudur factory last month, so much so that the South Korean automaker has deferred exports.
Waiting periods are running to the tune of 6 months, and yet prospective buyers don’t seem to mind. The Creta’s pricing has been anything but spectacular but the styling, feature set, overall fit and finish levels, and Hyundai’s reputation seems to be bringing in the big numbers for this SUV.