The Hyundai Creta is going from strength to strength. It went where no other SUV has ventured, by clocking 7,437 units in August 2015. In September, this feat was repeated, and The Creta managed to breach the 7,000 units/month mark yet again. Total wholesale dispatches for the Creta in September 2015 stood at 7,320 units.
What this means is, the Creta has outsold the Scorpio, Duster, Ecosport, Terrano, XUV500 and S-Cross yet again, and very comprehensively at that. Some SUVs are particularly hard hit by the Creta. We’ll take a look at those SUVs, and how their makers are working overtime to make them attractive once again.
The Renault Duster’s on a death bed. In India, monthly sales are barely touching four figures for this once dominant compact SUV. Even as the Creta’s launch date was announced, buyers began holding on to their monies, and after the Creta arrived, Duster sales have all but collapsed. Over the last 3 months, Renault sold only 3,123 units of the Duster, and this is not even 1/4th of the Creta’s numbers.
A facelifted Duster is coming soon. Apart from visual tweaks to make the SUV look fresher, an automated manual transmission option will be added to the 110 PS diesel engine. On the inside, more features could be offered. On the whole, Renault is going all out to get back the Duster into the thick of things as it won’t be untill 2018 when an all-new model arrives.
The Nissan Terrano is another SUV whose sales have been hit very hard with the arrival of new competition. Nissan sold only 1,675 units of its compact SUV over the last 3 months. Unlike the Duster though, the Terrano has no facelift lined up, and this only makes the road to recovery steeper.
Nissan is discounting the Terrano heavily. At last count, the compact SUV was selling for nearly a lakh rupees off. An all wheel drive version, with more safety equipment, is in the pipeline. However, this won’t do much to salvage sales, for badge engineering is the real culprit here. And badge engineered vehicles seldom sell well.
The Ford Ecosport is priced much lower than the Creta, but the sheer number of variants on the Hyundai SUV means that buyers opting for the top-end Ecosport may be tempted to head towards Hyundai showrooms. And that’s what seems to be happening, at least in terms of the sales drop.
Ever since the Creta arrived, the Ecosport’s lost a fifth of its monthly sales. Sales of the crossover, which used to do close to 4,000 monthly units, has dropped to nearly 3,200 units. Ford has been quick to respond though. An upgraded Ecosport was launched last week, and it remains to be seen if this band-aid measure works.
Maruti Suzuki S-Cross
The S-Cross is sold only through NEXA dealerships, although bookings are accepted at all Maruti Suzuki dealerships. While this puts the S-Cross at a disadvantage when compared to the Creta, which is displayed and sold through all Hyundai dealerships, sales of the Maruti crossover have been decent.
However, this could be only due to the sheer novelty of a new Maruti Suzuki car. We’re saying this as the S-Cross’ 1.6 liter diesel engined variants are going for discounts of nearly 1 lakh rupees. Barely three months have passed since the S-Cross’ launch in India. So, heavy discounting is how Maruti is responding to the Creta. But will it work for long?