While June has generally been a dull month for most SUV manufacturers in India, Toyota has had a good month, bouncing back from its production constraints.
The Toyota Innova surged 58% in sales in June over May, to sell 4,665 vehicles, 28% more than its closest rival the Mahindra Scorpio. Of course, the Mahindra Bolero continues to be India’s largest-selling SUV despite a small 8% drop in sales in June, thanks to rural demand.
Among premium SUVs too (between Rs. 17 lakh to Rs. 25 lakh), Toyota has always been the leader with the Fortuner outselling all the others, and selling nearly three times more than its closest rival. Sales of the Fortuner too have surged ahead 47%, back to 990 vehicles, a level the Fortuner has been consistently selling at. Also read: May SUV sales
While across the board there has been a depressed trend in sales, with most SUVs falling slightly in sales in June, there have been some spikes which are interesting.
Aria in the limelight
Take the Tata Aria for instance. Sales shot up from a dismal 37 vehicles in May to 356 vehicles in June. Tata’s have introduced a new advertising campaign for the Aria (which we think is much better than the previous sedan-SUV crossover commercial), and that could have had an impact on sales.
The company is also running various contests on the Internet enticing people to try their luck at winning an Aria. This seems to have generated some buyer interest in the vehicle. And now, with the impending launch of the 4×2 version of the Tata Aria, this is a segment that’s set to grow.
The sales of the Aria is something Mahindra is closely following as well, because its W201 “world SUV” will be priced similar to the Aria, and even mechanically, the Aria and the W201 are built on similar concepts.
Yeti loses grip
Sales of the Skoda Yeti slipped 24% in June to 132 vehicles compared to May sacrificing two spots in the premium SUV rankings. The Ford Endeavour was quick to park itself in the spot vacated by the Yeti, with sales of the Endeavour rising 44% to levels it is more familiar with.
The Chevrolet Captiva too posted a modest growth in sales numbers to park itself in the No.3 spot among premium SUVs. GM plans to launch a new, refreshed Captiva by the end of the year, which should perk things up a little for this SUV.
No demand for petrol SUVs
Among the petrol-only SUVs, sales continue to be in two digit numbers, with the Mitsubishi Outlander selling 41 vehicles, down from 49 the previous month, while the Honda CR-V fell even more to 14 vehicles from 31 the previous month. The Maruti Grand Vitara is almost all but extinct, with just three vehicles being sold.
The Vitara is a good SUV priced nearly 40% lower than a Honda CR-V, but suffers from image issues and the lack of a diesel engine. The Maruti Gypsy, which in all fairness is the largest-selling petrol SUV, was down to just 182 vehicles. Sales of the Gypsy are erratic month-to-month as it depends largely on defence and institutional orders.