The past three months have seen at least 15 new launches across segments. Some of these were facelifts and refreshes of existing models, while some were completely new models that have entered the market in the MPV, SUV, hatchback and sedan segments.
How have these newbies fared in the market? CarToq looks at the sales numbers in the past three months of these cars. Some have caught on, while some have clearly failed to make a mark.
Sales hits of November 2012
Among the most anticipated launches in the past three months was the Mahindra Quanto, a compact MPV that was launched on September 20. The Quanto is based on the Xylo’s platform and is a cut short version of it, but is still a seven seater (5+2). It has been very attractively priced between Rs. 5.82 lakh and Rs. 7.36 lakh, aimed squarely at wooing buyers from entry-level sedans and premium hatchbacks. Has it succeeded? Reasonably so. In September, the Quanto managed to sell 1,782 vehicles, going up to 2,497 in October and dipping a bit to 2,297 vehicles in November. The Quanto is faring just marginally better than its cousin the Xylo, but seen together, the sales have almost doubled, which is a good thing for Mahindra, as most of the components are common among both. Also read: Mahindra Quanto launch
Maruti Alto 800
The Maruti Alto 800 has been India’s largest-selling car for years now. The launch of the refreshed Alto 800 with new body styling and a mild boost in engine power has helped the best-seller retain its position. However, sales have slipped slightly in November, despite the festive season, as buyers are concerned with rising fuel prices and high interest rates. The Alto is in a segment where even slight fluctuations in the economy can drastically affect car sales. The Alto 800 got a boost to 26,600 units in October after the launch of the new Alto (from 21,200 in September), but dropped slightly to 23,550 units in November. Also read: New Maruti Alto 800 full review and road test
The Renault Scala is slowly gathering the numbers. It is a more expensive and redesigned, badge-engineered version of the Nissan Sunny, but it has been adding the numbers for the Renault-Nissan alliance. The Scala sold 688 units September, moving up to 737 in October and 807 in November. It has not affected the Nissan Sunny’s sales much, as that car too has been steadily growing in sales numbers, selling 1663 units in November, although it did drop in October by nearly a 1000 cars compared to September (2023 units). The Sunny and the Scala together have increased sales volumes for Renault Nissan, but not at the extent the company had predicted it would sell. See our Renault Scala video review!
Sales misses of November 2012
Mahindra Ssangyong Rexton
Mahindra has a knack for undercutting competition with attractive pricing. Another eagerly awaited launch was that of the Mahindra Ssangyong Rexton, which was launched in October a good Rs. 3 lakh cheaper than the Toyota Fortuner. However, the Rexton hasn’t managed to catch on in the way Mahindra expected it to. Mahindra had set a target of 5000 Rextons for the first year, but the first two months’ sales don’t quite reflect the optimism. If these sales figures are anything to go by, the Rexton will fall far short of the target. The Rexton sold 80 units in October and 121 units in November. It needs to clock in over 500 units a month if it has to meet its targets.
Tata Safari Storme
Tata had been sitting on the launch of the Storme for a long time, hoping that it would boost sales the moment it hit the market. However, the launch of the Storme has not really changed the fortunes of the Safari brand in the past couple of months, although sales have gone up marginally (thanks to hefty discounts on the Safari Dicor). Sales of the Tata Safari and Storme (reported together) moved up from 864 units in September (before the Stormés launch) to 1,005 units in October and 1,052 units in November. Considering the Storme is pitched against vehicles like the Mahindra Scorpio and Renault Duster, as well as the Mahindra XUV500, it is nowhere near the competition, whose vehicles are all selling over 4,000 units a month (Duster is over 5200, beating XUV500 and Scorpio by over a 1,000 units). Related: Mahindra Ssangyong Rexton walkaround video
Chevrolet Sail U-Va
The Chevrolet Sail U-Va from General Motors was aimed squarely at the segment leader, the Maruti Swift, matching it variant for variant on price and throwing in a few additional features, as well as more space, to try and win buyers. The company expected sales of the Chevrolet Sail U-Va to at least be among the top three in premium hatchbacks, but that hasn’t come about. The Chevrolet Sail U-Va sold only 423 units in October, which is understandable given it was launched late, but in November too, it only clocked 1,595 units. Clearly, this car is off its mark as well. Also read: Chevrolet Sail UVA launched – price and details
Chevrolet Spark facelift
Facelifts usually give a bit of a spike in sales, but the Chevrolet Spark hasn’t really sparked any big interest. Sales in November have only gone up by another almost 100 units to 925 cars compared to 829 cars in October, when the facelift was launched. The Chevrolet Spark got a new grille, new instrument cluster and other minor detailing in its facelifted version. Also see: New Chevrolet Spark facelift launched
Honda Brio automatic
The Honda Brio added two automatic variants to its variant line up in October, but that hasn’t done much for the sales of the car. Although the Brio is one of the best-selling Honda cars, it isn’t chalking up big numbers as it lacks a diesel engine in a segment where its competition has some diesel variants. The sales fortunes of the Brio could change dramatically next year after the launch of the Amaze, its sedan variant, as the diesel engine that is coming in with that car could also be launched in the Brio hatchback. Sales of the Brio are down to 2,199 units in November from 3,700 in October.
Ford Figo refresh
Ford launched a refreshed Figo in October, bringing in fresh styling to the car and with a few additional features on the interiors. However, the refreshed Figo hasn’t done much to alter the sales fortunes of the car, and in fact sales of the Figo have dipped in the past couple of months despite festive season offers. The Figo sold 6,279 units in September, falling to 5,610 in October when the new Figo came in, and a further drop to 4,785 units in November. Ford is offering another round of discounts in December to revive sales.
The Nissan Evalia was a big hope for Nissan. The company expected the Evalia to eat into the Mahindra Xylo, Toyota Innova and Maruti Ertiga’s market, but the vehicle hasn’t got off the mark primarily because of production constraints at the Nissan plant for the Evalia. Apparently stocks of the Evalia have not reached many dealers and shipments were taking place only around end November. It could also mean lack of buyer interest in the vehicle. The Evalia clocked only 195 units in October and 262 units in November. Also read: Nissan Evalia road test and review
Fiat Linea and Fiat Punto Absolute editions
“It can’t get cheaper than this,” say the Fiat ads on TV for the Linea and Punto Absolute editions, with benefits of up to Rs. 72,000 on the Linea in the form of a GPS device, parking sensors, camera etc. However, the sales of the Linea and Punto have been hit quite badly because of the crumbling relationship between Fiat and Tata. The sales of the Linea are in appalling two digit figures, 59 in September, 37 in October and 63 in November. The Punto, a car that has the potential to be a segment leader is falling off the charts, down from 597 in September to just 207 in November. Also read: Fiat Linea Absolute edition launched
Maruti Ritz facelift
The facelifted Maruti Ritz too isn’t doing great numbers. Because along with the facelift, Maruti has hiked prices of the Ritz and that has put a dent in sales. Sales of the Ritz have fallen from 7,598 units in September (before the facelift) to 5809 in October and down to 5,648 units in November. Also see: Maruti launches facelifted Ritz
Share your thoughts on the performance of these new launches.