We continue the sales analysis of the market in 2015 with the latest story which talks about five cars that failed to garner as much success as the hype that was created around them. These are, by no means, bad products, but somehow either the competition was too strong for them or their positioning worked negatively.
The Vista replacement might have been an improvement in almost every aspect, but it couldn’t turn all that into market success. The presence of a turbocharged petrol engine and the Fiat-sourced diesel unit is the hatchback’s strong point, and so is the interior which is not just better in quality but comes with features like a touchscreen infotainment system, etc. The vehicle’s sales haven’t been able to cross the 1,000 monthly units mark except in the first three months of launch, in which it did rather well. The familiar styling – not a bad looker by any means – is one of the weak points of the car. The company hopes the Zica will change all that, and the initial reviews convey the same sentiments, too.
An MPV based on the same platform as the Duster sounds nice, but while it was not outrightly rejected by the market, it failed to bring the kind of success (or even half of it) as the Duster. Not as appealing looks and the ever-growing love for compact SUVs have resulted in the Lodgy barely managing a thousand units every month. As a product it’s good, but from where the market looks at it, it’s just an almost uninteresting MPV that failed to entice prospective buyers.
Maruti Suzuki S-Cross
In an ideal scenario, a crossover by Maruti should receive the kind of appreciation that the Ford EcoSport got, but sadly what the S-Cross received was anything but that. Available with Fiat-sourced diesel engines, the S-Cross is a well-balanced, powerful vehicle that had the potential to reach the top of the sales charts. What didn’t work in the S-Cross’s favour was the fact that the Indian buyer needed more pseudo SUV and less hatchback-based crossover. Also, the presence of Hyundai Creta (at a slightly lower starting price, too) meant the company’s first crossover went underappreciated. It manages about 3k units every month.
Also read: Hyundai Creta Winning, S-Cross Dying
Maruti Suzuki Celerio (Diesel)
Launched in 2014, the Celerio soon became the practical and decent looking offering in MSIL’s line-up in the B1-segment. What followed in 2015 was a diesel powered version – needless to mention, it was hyped a lot. It was down to the fact that it was developed in-house by Maruti – the company is said to have invested about 900 crores for the same – and while it wasn’t one of the most silent units, the 2-cylinder engine delivered okay power and went on longer than competitors on a single litre of diesel. Sales picked up from the 5k units that it did during late 2014 to somewhere close to 8k units (petrol and diesel both), but there was a report about the management not being happy with the numbers.
Fiat Punto Abarth and Avventura Powered by Abarth
Of course the Abarths aren’t meant to be number gainers for Fiat, but the sad part is that even with the presence of the products – both of which easily fit in the hot hatch definition – the momentum hasn’t increased yet. To recapitulate, both the Abarths (not including the 595 Competizione since it’s in a different segment) are powered by a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine, and are two of the best enthusiast-oriented vehicles that you can buy in the country.
Also read: 2015 Cars and SUV sales – Who won, who lost