Plagued by petrol price hike, rising inflation and high interest rates for car loans, car sales in May was as dry as the summer. However, despite the slow demand, some compact and mid-size sedans have registered higher sales numbers last month as against the previous month. But it is clear buyers are looking for real value-for-money sedans. In that respect, the Dzire, Sunny and Verna stand out.
The Maruti Swift Dzire had its highest sales in May hitting an all time high of 17,707 units, the earlier being 16,451 units registered in March, this year. Demand for the Dzire is still very strong with waiting periods of up to 26 weeks on some models.
The Dzire has been catching up with its hatchback sibling, the Swift in sales. The Swift was at just above 20,000 units, and together with the Dzire, the Swift platform is the highest selling car platform in India now. Combined Swift and Dzire sales account for nearly 38,000 units in May – making the Swift platform vehicles the best selling in India and for Maruti. There is limited demand for the ‘Dzire Tour’ as well in the taxi market (this is the older Dzire based on the old Swift platform). The Toyota Etios comes third with 4,207 units sold in the month of May.
Among mid-size sedans, the Verna continues to be the best-selling sedan with 5,403 units. Hyundai has ramped up diesel engine capacity and that has shown in spurt in Verna sales last month. Sales of the City have gone up by 55% at 3,753 units last month, despite a petrol price hike, as against the 2,092 sales in April. The City is offering special discounts to push sales. Despite the lack of a diesel engine it has managed to maintain grow its sales numbers.
The Nissan Sunny has seen a drop in sales compared to March when it peaked at over 4100 units, but has still managed to carve out a comfortable spot for itself, growing 28% over April sales at 2578 units. It has managed to actually overshadow the SX4 which has dwindled significantly.
Maruti Suzuki Sx4 has lost appeal among buyers for its sales stood at 405 units in May 2012. One of the reasons for the falling sales of the SX4 has been Maruti’s focus on the Dzire and Swift, as well as the newly launched Ertiga, which is in the exact price band of the SX4. Buyers may be seeing better value in the MPV rather than the SX4 sedan. The global Ford Fiesta is still not being able to find its mark with buyers, with sales at a paltry 257 cars in May, despite Ford having dropped prices on the Fiesta.
Source: Team-Bhp, Industry data