Maruti Suzuki Swift Joins the Elite 2-Million Sales Club

Swift became the second car to hit the highly prestigious milestone of 2million in cumulative sales in India recently. The widely preferred Swift has been growing from strength to strength, and has in fact consolidated its position even more in recent years.

The first half-million mark took 5 years but the most recent half-million sprint took just over 2 years.This is quite a remarkable feat considering buyers now have so many options to choose from.

Why 2Millionsales isa big deal

Consider this: total yearly sales of cars in India is about 2.9 million. Only Alto—the entry level hatchback from Maruti Suzuki—has sold more but it is much cheaper than Swift.

So strong isthe lure of Swift that it has consistently been among the Top 5 selling cars every year for more than a decade.

Swift dominance can also be gauged from how its leadership has barely been challenged. In 2019, Swift sales were nearly double of its closest rival from Hyundai, the Grand i10. The comparison with other competitors is even more lopsided. Swift clocks more sales in a month—about 18,000 to 20,000 units—than VW Polo or Ford Figo do in a year!

It came. It saw. It conquered. And ever since then, it has stayed on top.

The Backstory:  With Swift, a segment is born

Swift was first launched in May 2005 and became an instant hit—it pioneered the premium hatchback segment in India. At the time, there were small hatchbacks including the iconic Maruti 800 on one side and sedans such as Maruti Suzuki SX4 and Honda City on the other. There was a latent demand for a small, fun-to-drive car that looked good and was fuel efficient.

The only comparable offering, Fiat Palio, had faded after a bright start. While it offered good ride and handling, it delivered a poor mileage. So the options before car buyers were: if you want great mileage, go for a hatchback such as Alto or Wagon R and if you want space, can spend quite a bit more, then get yourself a sedan.

Smaller car, with great looks and a powerful engine – there was growing demand in the market. Maruti Suzuki Swift came in and delivered to these expectations – and even surpassed them.

The 1.3-liter petrol engine that powered the original Swift also drove the Maruti Esteem/Gypsy which were the preferred choice of rally drivers in the country. In the smaller Swift, this engine added even more power, making the car a hoot to drive.

The sharp turning radius and easy-to-flex gearbox meant that Swift was fun even in the stop-go city traffic. Wide tracks and low-set chassis gave it great stability at highway speeds.

And then, there were the looks. Swift was to Indian market what Beetle was to Germans and Mini Cooper was to the English. The car you could HUG!

In short, Swift’s combination of power and driving dynamics combined with a design that never aged and excellent fuel efficiency made it unbeatable.

No wonder, the Swift was the Indian Car of the Year in 2006. And it has bagged several such awards later also [Link to Awards story].

Yes, Swift was a great car and there was nothing quite like it when it was launched. Critics could argue that Swift had an easier run in the earlier years because of weak competition – and clocking the first 5 lakh in sales would have been easier. But Swift has actually done even better as the competition intensified.

And it has done so by continuously evolving to stay abreast of customer’s needs.

Coming off Age: Swift gets stronger, sharper with time

The market had changed dramatically by the time the current generation Swift hit the market in 2018. Now, every major car maker has one—or even two—offerings that battle the Swift. Hyundai, for instance, has i20 Elite and Grand i10/i10 Nios. Ford has the new Figo, Volkswagen has Polo, Honda has Jazz…the list is long. And then there are those that came, and are now, long gone: Honda Brio, Fiat Punto, Skoda Fabia, Renault Pulse!

Further, Swift’s competition was not limited to just the premium hatches. In recent years, many buyers have shown an increasing preference towards compact SUVs with whom Swift’s higher end models’ price overlaps.

And yet, Swift has held its own: With nearly 20,000 units in monthly sales, it clocks nearly 75 percent in sales as all other premium hatchbacks from competition combined.

This continued success of Swift is due to anticipating the customer demands well, and adapting the product proposition to stay ahead of its competitors.

So the Swift has become more spacious and comes loaded with features that deliver “premium” interiors. And it comes with the convenience of AGS—Maruti’s automatic gearbox—that is both fuel efficient and not too expensive compared with non-automatic models.

All these improvements have happened while keeping the core proposition strong – of a lovable, and now even sharper looks, excellent drivability and power and class-leading fuel efficiency.

The #1 choice

Like it’s previous generation model, the new Swift toowon the prestigious Indian Car of the Year award in 2019 – making it the only car to win the honour thrice. Read more about Swift’s award winning performance here [Hyperlink to this article].

With Swift, it would seem, that the more the things change, the more they remain the same—albeit in a good way that it is still the #1 choice for buyers, by a long margin.

Based on 191000 Swifts out 2.9M sales:

Brand Swift has consistently featured among the top five best-selling cars in India for more than a decade,” MSI Senior Executive Director (Marketing & Sales) R S Kalsi said in a statement.

Read more at:

Brand Models 2018 2019
MARUTI SWIFT 223630 191901
HYUNDAI I10 GRAND 134249 102693
HYUNDAI I20 141104 123201
FORD FIGO 4130 8372