Snapshot – In the run up to the 2014 General Elections, the outgoing finance minister served up a sales booster for the car industry in India by reducing excise duty across car categories. Sales haven’t really taken off though and even the election SUV/MUV buying hasn’t made a considerable impact on car sales. Amid gloomy market conditions, best sellers have continued to do well, underscoring that the strongest perform the best when the chips are down. CarToq takes a look at the winners at the hustings in March 2014.
Maruti Alto 800
With 25,590 units, the Maruti Alto 800 rules the roost and retains numero uno status at the hustings in India. However, the car has actually lost 5 % of sales when compared with its figures a year ago and that paints a picture of the market being slow. Why, the top five cars in this list have all lost sales when compared to their previous year’s figures, symptomatic of the current car market here.
Maruti Suzuki Swift
At 19,304 cars dispatched to dealer stockyards, the Maruti Suzuki Swift continues its consistent run as India’s best selling B+ segment hatchback. The car is sold with petrol and turbo diesel engines, served up with a 5 speed manual gearbox. The Swift sold in India currently is in its second generation and is due for a facelift later this year.
Maruti Suzuki Dzire
The advent of formidable competition, read Honda Amaze and Hyundai Xcent, seems to have done little to stop the Dzire’s juggernaut in India. The car continues to be a best seller in its segment, with 17,237 units dispatched in March 2014. Sharing its platform with the Swift, the sub-4 meter compact sedan also shares petrol and turbo diesel engines with its hatchback sibling. Like the Swift, the Dzire is expected to see a facelift shortly.
Maruti Suzuki WagonR
The Maruti WagonR, a tall boy hatchback is over a decade old in India. Having gone through constant upgrades, the car continues to sell very strongly. In March 2014, the WagonR finished with 14,495 units, another strong showing for the car. An important factor working in the WagonR’s favour is that the car is sold with petrol, CNG and LPG options. All three fuel options use the 1 liter K-Series motor good for 67 Bhp-90 Nm. The WagonR is tipped to get an AMT option early next year.
India’s MUV of choice, the Mahindra Bolero is a favourite in semi-urban and hinterland regions of the country. The Bolero is sold with 2.5 liter DI and M2DICR turbo diesel engines. The MUV is used both as a personal vehicle and as a cab across India. Known for its frugal ways and affordably priced spare costs, the Bolero has been riding the election wave this year to finish with March 2014 figures of 11,294 units.
Hyundai Grand i10
One of the most recent successes for Hyundai in India, the Grand i10 is a hatchback that slots in between the i10 and the i20 models. Available with both petrol and turbo diesel engine options, the Grand i10 offers more space than the i10, the model whose BA platform it uses. The car is feature loaded and is priced well, two important considerations for success in the B-Segment hatchback space in India. Hyundai dispatched 10,614 units of the Grand i10 in March 2014.
The all-new 2014 Honda City is breaking sales records that it had set during its previous generation model’s tenure in India. Honda moved a mammoth – for the C-Segment – 9,518 units of the City to dealer stockyards in March 2014. The car’s availability in diesel guise has proven to be the biggest shot in the arm for one of India’s much loved C-Segmenter, which until January 2014, was never sold with a diesel motor.
The Eon is the second Hyundai product to feature in the top 10 sellers list, a position that the hatchback maintains month after month. While the Eon competes with the country’s best selling car, the Maruti Alto 800, the Hyundai hatchback has always been playing second fiddle despite offering more features and better finished interiors than the Alto 800. Hyundai put 7,473 units of the hatchback into dealer stockyards in March.
The car that marked the resurgence of Honda in India scores the 9th place at the hustings this March, with factory shipments of 7,374 units. The Amaze was the first diesel car launched by Honda in India and the compact sedan continues to sell strongly on the back of diesel power. The Amaze will face headwinds in the coming months as the Hyundai Xcent is now in motown.
This car, rather van, seems indefatigable. Three decades old in the Indian car market, the Omni doesn’t seem to have a sell-by date, just as its sales figure of 6,261 units show. These sales figures actually represent a year on year increase of over 12 %, underscoring the point that utility precedes all else in India, safety and image be damned. Like the WagonR, the Maruti Omni can be had in petrol, LPG and CNG options.