Snapshot – Ups and downs in the monthly car sales chart are as omnipresent as well, honking motorists on Indian roads. However, cars moving up and down the monthly sales chart can prove to be very effective indicators of which way the wind is blowing, as far as the Indian car market is concerned. Today, we’ll take a look at six movers and shakers of the Indian car market in 2014, and what these trends mean for the market or for car manufacturers as a whole.
Maruti Suzuki Ciaz
Maruti Suzuki managed to put 6,345 units of the its latest vehicle for the Indian car market, the Ciaz C-Segment sedan. These numbers not only make the Ciaz a hot seller off the block but also signal the advent of a new market leader for the C-Segment sedan space. The Honda City, which clocked 5,120 units in October ’14, is now the second best in the market. It will be interesting to see how the Ciaz performs in the coming months as the car’s continued success will mean that Maruti Suzuki has finally cracked the premium end of the car market in India, a segment that has eluded India’s largest car maker for years.
The Datsun Go hit a sales abyss in July this year, when the budget hatchback just clocked sales of 800 units. In October 2014, the Go hatchback managed to score 1,354 units. While the upward swing in the Datsun Go’s sales will enthuse Nissan, the automaker will be wary of the negative publicity that the Go has received over the past few days, after the car’s structure was classified as unstable by the Global NCAP safety watchdog. If the Go doesn’t manage to claw back sales in the budget car segment, the Datsun brand may find the going very tough now that the car buyer knows the amount of cost cutting that goes into budget hatchbacks.
The Zest compact sedan has been Tata Motors’ best selling car for no less than 3 months in a row now. This comes across as a welcome sign for the car as Tata Motors’ efforts to deliver a well rounded compact sedan seems to have hit bulls eye. The Zest, with wholesale sales of 3,524 units in October 2014, overtook the Honda Amaze, which managed 3,482 units in the same period. The success of the Zest is expect to invigorate Tata Motors to launch more exciting cars in the future. Our sources reveal that the Zest’s sales could rise further in coming months as the only limiting factor for the car seems to be the production capacity that Tata Motors possesses at the Tata-Fiat joint manufacturing facility in Ranjangaon, off Pune. Once production gets more streamlined, the Zest could do even better.
Fiat Punto Evo
For once, a solidly built car that impresses with its vault like build has managed to clock impressive sales growth with 1,238 units dispatched in October 2014. After a sluggish few months, the Punto finds traction and the large bulk order from Surat can be credited with this. However, the fallout of the Global NCAP’s crash safety test, which rated the Swift’s body structure as unstable, could play in car buyers’ minds in the coming months. A car such as the Punto, with its heavy build, could find favour among some of the B+ segment hatchback buyers who prefer solidity to a tinny build.
The Polo Diesel’s new found horses under the hood seems to be doing a world of good for the Volkswagen hatchback. The car is now tantalizingly close to the 3,000 unit monthly units figure, with wholesale sales of 2,985 units in October 2014. The Polo’s success in the coming months could be driven by safety. Given the fact that airbags are now standard on all Polo variants sold in India, the combination of a tough body and standard safety features could be hard to resist for the safety minded car buyer. Volkswagen India, for its part, has already begun running Ad campaigns highlighting the Polo’s safety better credentials with respect to market leader Maruti Swift.
Toyota Corolla Altis
The Corolla Altis sedan managed to sell 1,015 units and the latest model of the car seems to hit bulls eye as far as Toyota is concerned. To put things into perspective, October sales of the Corolla Altis is significantly more than the sales of all other D-Segment sedans put together, in India. For a segment that has been witnessing negative growth, the Corolla Altis’ healthy numbers will come as relief. Hyundai will certainly have to rush in a facelift for the Elantra as the Corolla Altis shows no signs of letting up its upward march.