January has been a good start to the year for sales of premium hatchbacks in India. Almost all car models, except for two, have reported higher numbers.
Ok. So the Maruti Swift sold the most number of cars in January, again! It’s getting rather boring talking of the Swift, because 18,700 cars is just a run of the mill production for Maruti, who has pulled out all stops to ensure speedier deliveries of the Swift to you the buyer.
But the more interesting story is that of the Ford Figo. In January, the Figo saw an 82% jump in sales to 7,508 cars, the most it’s ever sold in a month in the past year. The year end discounts that Ford was offering on the Figo seem to have paid off. And two, with an increase in demand for diesel cars, Ford has been steadily ramping up production of diesel Figos, which have been flying off the shelves.
Not to be left out, the Volkswagen Polo chalked up some decent numbers again, growing 15% to 3,260 cars, after offering a good discount and freebies worth Rs. 40,000 on the Polo. Although the Polo is still behind the Toyota Liva in terms of sales, it seems to have clawed back some lost ground.
Nissan’s Micra too has had its best sales ever. Now this is not really based on any discounts that Nissan has been offering on the Micra. Instead, more people are buying the Micra because it is now more accessible, with Nissan having expanded its dealership reach steadily. It now has 50 dealers in India, making the Micra more accessible and serviceable. Also, since the Micra is one among the better diesel hatchbacks in India, there has been a slight increase in demand for the car. The Nissan Micra will soon be joined by the Renault Pulse with saw over 700 bookings in its first month, pushing up volumes for the Renault-Nissan combine.
And then there’s Fiat’s Punto. Demand for the 2012 Punto seems to have perked up, as buyers see better value in a taller and better equipped Punto. While service is still being worked on, Fiat’s decision to retail the Punto and Linea through exclusive outlets seems to have translated to more buyer interest and sales in the car.
The only two who just couldn’t ride the wave in January are the Honda Jazz and Skoda Fabia. Now, our heart goes out to Honda that has been having a bad year because of the Thailand floods. Despite a 4-month waiting period and healthy demand for the new Jazz, Honda has not been able to sell any in January, because it could not make any. Skoda on the other hand has seen a sharp fall in Fabia demand, losing out to the good deals and offers made by its competitors.
Premium Hatchback Sales
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(Source: Team-BHP, Industry data)