XUV500 sales pick up, driving Aria off the road

mahindra xuv500 first drive14

November has been a good month for Mahindra, though one of its products has taken a hit. Sales of the Bolero, Scorpio and XUV500 continue to be good, while the Xylo has taken a bit of a hit in November.  But it’s the competition that has had to sweat it out. Overall, month on month, sales of SUVs in India have gone up just 2% in November.

The XUV effect

XUV500 sales pick up, driving Aria off the road

Tata’s Aria is facing the heat after the launch of Mahindra’s XUV500. Sales of the Aria have fallen 68% from 438 vehicles in October to just 140 vehicles in November. Mahindra’s XUV500 sold 35% more vehicles in November than October, with total deliveries going up to 1,637 vehicles as the company struggles to fulfill its initial run of over 8000 bookings. This was achieved in just one week and bookings for the XUV500 have still not reopened.

The XUV500’s biggest advantage, besides the host of features that it offers, is its price. It is cheaper than the Aria by nearly Rs. 60,000 variant for variant in the lower variants with the difference between the top-end XUV500 and Aria going up to nearly Rs. 3 lakh.

The XUV500 appears to be hitting sales of other vehicles also, priced above it. The Skoda Yeti for instance has taken a beating with sales dropping from 103 units in October to 68 in November. Sales of the Chevrolet Captiva too are down 55%, but that’s probably in anticipation of the refreshed Captiva that is to be launched early next year. Also read: SUVs to be unveiled at the 2012 Auto Expo

Mahindra’s Scorpio had a good month, maintaining the number two spot among all SUVs, with nearly 4,650 being sold in November, compared to nearly 4,200 in October. Mahindra has added another variant of the Scorpio in November, the Scorpio LX 4WD, while offering good deals in its showrooms on other models. The Bolero, meanwhile, continues to be its largest selling SUV at 8004 units, just a tad short of its October figure.

Xylo takes a hit

However, the Mahindra Xylo has had a bad month, falling 33% to its lowest number this year at just 1637 units. The sales of the Xylo have fallen below the Tata Sumo for the first time since February, bumping the Sumo up to the No.4 spot among all SUVs in India.

The Xylo has been selling an average of 2,457 units since the beginning of the year. It’s possible that the imminent launch of a face-lifted Xylo has led people to put off Xylo purchases. It’s also possible that Xylo buyers switched loyalties to either the Sumo or the Scorpio, and possibly the Innova. Innova sales have bounced back to 4,308 units last month after a dip in October.

SUV outlook

December is usually a tough month for carmakers, with many buyers putting of buying decisions till January in order to get a newer year model. However, if Mahindra reopens bookings of the XUV500 this month, there could be a spurt in demand. All launches of SUVs have been scheduled for the new year and there aren’t any new variants expected this month.

Top 5 SUVs and MUVs in India – Nov 2011

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(Source: Team-BHP, Industry data)