The small car segment in India constitutes nearly 70 per cent of the total cars sales. The highly competitive hatchback segment has witnessed many important launches in the year 2011. For instance, the facelifted Maruti Suzuki Swift, Toyota Liva, Honda Brio, Hyundai Eon and Chevrolet Beat diesel have created buzz among new small car buyers. However, not all the cars have set sales charts afire. The Swift, Beat diesel and Liva have managed to sell in consistent numbers while the Brio and Eon did not sell in large numbers as expected. Let’s take a closer look at the small cars launched in 2011.
Maruti Suzuki Swift
In August 2011, Maruti Suzuki launched the facelifted Swift. The new Maruti Swift is an evolutionary design of the current model with minor changes in the front grille, headlamp, taillamp, boot door design and rear quarter glass. The interiors get design cues from the Maruti Suzuki Kizashi. The Swift petrol is available in three variants: LXI, VXI, ZXI and priced between Rs. 4.22 lakh – 5.53 lakh while the Swift diesel is available in three variants: LDI, VDI, ZDI and is priced between Rs. 5.17 lakh – 6.38 lakh.
Maruti Suzuki sold 67,583 units of pre-facelift version of Swift at an average of 9,654 units per month during January – July 2011. After the launch of facelift version, the company sold 43,958 units during August – November 2011 at an average of 10,989 units per month. It could have sold more, but for a production issue it faced because of a labor strike at its Manesar plant. Bookings for the Swift have crossed 100,000 units.
In June 2011, Toyota launched the hatchback version of the Etios, the Liva. Initially, the Liva petrol was made available only in 1.2-litre petrol engine version and priced in the range of Rs. 3.99 lakh – 5.99 lakh. Later, due to the demand for diesel hatchbacks, the company launched the Liva diesel version in September 2011 at a price range of Rs. 5.54 lakh – 5.84 lakh. The Liva petrol is available in four variants namely, J, G, V and VX while the Liva diesel is offered in two variants: GD and GD SP (Safety Package).
Toyota sold 15,861 units of Liva during June – November 2011. Before the launch of Liva diesel, the average sales of Liva petrol was at 2,038 units per month while after the launch of Liva diesel, the average sales of Liva stood at 3,252 units per month. But sales have picked up in November, with the Liva selling 4,300 cars last month.
Chevrolet Beat diesel
In July 2011, Chevrolet launched the diesel version of the Beat small car. Available in four variants PS, LS, LT and LT (Option Pack), the Beat diesel has a price range of Rs. 4.29 lakh – Rs. 5.45 lakh. The Beat diesel is powered by a 936 cc, 3-cylinder “Smartech” diesel engine that produces 58 bhp of power and has a claimed mileage of 24 kmpl.
Chevrolet sold 40,807 units of Beat during January – November 2011. Before the launch of Beat diesel, the average sales of the Beat was at 2,620 units per month. After the launch of Beat diesel, the average sales of Beat stood at 5,017 units per month.
Other cars launched in 2011
Other small car launches this year include the Honda Brio, Honda Jazz facelift, Hyundai Eon, Tata Vista facelift and the 2012 Tata Nano. Hyundai launched the Eon in October and during October – November the company sold 13,733 units of Eon with a monthly average of 6,866 units, while the projected figure for the Eon was over 11,000 cars a month. The much awaited small car from Honda, the Brio sold at an average of 685 units as the company managed to sell only 2,057 units during September – November 2011. The Tata Nano has seen a rocky ride with minor sales increase in November as the company managed to sell 6,401 units as against the 3,862 units in October 2011.