Snapshot: CarToq profiles the lowest selling cars of 2013 on the other side of the luxury segment pack dominated by the Teuton trio of Audi, BMW and Mercedes Benz.
Beset by difficult economic conditions and poor buyer sentiment, 2013 has been a particularly tough year for the Indian auto industry. Apart from two wheelers, most other segments of the Indian auto industry has taken a sizeable hit. The passenger car segment, like most other segments involving discretionary purchasing, has seen a big drop in demand.
While out performers such as the Honda Amaze, Ford EcoSport and the Hyundai Grand i10 do continue to exist in India, the overall picture of the car market in 2013 is dominated more by slow sellers. CarToq profiles segment-wise slow sellers in the Indian car market.
Entry level hatchback segment
The Spark, powered by a perky 1 liter petrol engine outputting 63 Bhp-90 Nm, comes with a well sorted ride and handling package. Though a capable product with many strengths, the Indian car buyer has been ignoring the Chevrolet Spark hatchback. Maruti Suzuki’s nationwide network and Hyundai’s stylish appeal has meant that the Spark has been over shadowed by the likes of the Alto 800 and the Eon. Result: Sales of 3,989 units for the first 11 months of 2013. Doesn’t make for pretty reading, does it?
Premium hatchback segment
The Fabia has been discontinued from the Indian market. Yet, Skoda continues to sell the leftover stock of the car here. With that, the Fabia has managed sales of 2,394 units, a figure that pales in comparison to the sales that its platform sharing sibling, the Volkswagen Polo has managed. An indifferent after sales network and the hatchback’s discontinuation has meant that the Fabia is well and truly on its way out from the Indian market. Skoda India hasn’t announced any plans of a Fabia successor just as yet.
Entry level sedans
Mahindra Verito Vibe
When it comes to awkward automotive design, bordering on the ugly, Mahindra & Mahindra doesn’t have parallels, at least in India. One of the most awkwardly designed cars to hit the Indian car market in 2013, the Verito Vibe’s case has been one of “bad vibes” right from the word go. A market dud, the Verito Vibe does retain pluses such as the wide body design and the frugal yet responsive 1.5 liter K9K turbo diesel engine of the original Dacia Logan. Apart from having a dose of spaciousness and delivering good value to the buyer, the Verito Vibe’s looks, and consequent poor sales (2,386 units) are a major reason for this car to feature in our dud selling car list. What’s more, the Vibe has also eaten into sales of the Verito sedan, nearly halving the latter’s sales.
C-Segment sedan segment
New Ford Fiesta
The new Ford Fiesta never recovered from the initial over-pricing fiasco it was saddled with. Even the Fiat Linea manages to get its neck well ahead of the new Fiesta, a summary of the Ford sedan’s position in the Indian car market. Though Ford did correct course mid way by rationalizing variants and prices of the Fiesta, the car hasn’t managed to gain back the lost ground. With sales of 1,426 units until November’13, the new Fiesta, known for the driving pleasure it delivers, is the lowest selling C-Segment sedan in India.
From the word go, the Evalia MPV has been a slow seller. Even a major upgrade in 2 years of its launch – after taking into account buyer feedback – hasn’t been able to resuscitate the MPV. Sales of 1,091 units has meant that the Evalia is the slowest selling MPV in India, well behind rivals such as the Toyota Innova and the Mahindra Xylo. Last heard, the Evalia is being sold at discounts of 2.3 lakh rupees. That says it all, doesn’t it?
D-Segment sedan segment
The Renault Fluence, with sales of 951 units until November ’13, continues to sit at the bottom of the D-Segment sedan pack in India. With a facelifted version already unveiled at Turkey, Renault India would do well to introduce the facelifted Fluence here at the earliest. We haven’t considering the Honda Civic which tabulating sales numbers given the fact that the car was discontinued way back in February 2013. For the record, Honda managed to put 74 units of the Civic on Indian roads in 2013.
SUVs upto 18 lakh rupees
Tata Aria Crossover
The Aria crossover is easily the most discounted product in Tata Motors’ car line up. In the past, discounts as high as 2.5 lakh rupees have been offered on the Aria, but to no avail. While Tata Motors introduced stripped down, low cost variants of the Aria more than a year ago, the crossover is yet to find traction at the hustings. With yearly sales of 144 units until November ’13, the very existence of the Aria comes under a cloud. The crossover is powered by a 2.2 liter DICOR turbo diesel engine (140 Bhp-320 Nm) and seats seven adults.
Premium luxury sedans above 18 lakh rupees
A car imported through the completely built unit (CBU) route, the Teana is another slow selling product in Nissan India’s range. Available only with a petrol engine, the Teana’s only real customer base consists of star hotel fleet owners. Si far, Nissan has managed to bill a paltry 50 Teana sedans this year. Tellingly, the Teana is now available at a whopping 5.6 lakh rupee December discount.
Premium luxury SUVs above 18 lakh rupees
Another Nissan product caught on the wrong foot is the X-Trail SUV. Though powered by a turbo diesel engine (unlike the petrol-only Teana), the X-Trail continues to lag behind the likes of the Toyota Fortuner, Ssangyong Rexton and the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport. With sales of just 7 units up to November 2013, the X-Trail is another product that Nissan rather not have in its portfolio, even as a brand builder.