Snapshot – The dull economy in India means that the car market in India isn’t growing as fast as car makers would ideally want it to. Yet, the demand for certain cars is strong and market leader Maruti Suzuki continues to dominate the hustings with four out of six top selling cars for the first three months of this year from its stable. Hyundai and Mahindra manage an entry each into India’s top 6 selling cars for the first quarter of 2014.
Maruti Alto 800 – 73,575 units
The Maruti Alto 800 continues to occupy the top perch in the Indian car market, with 75,575 units dispatched in the first three months of the year. The Alto 800 is a no-nonsense hatchback aimed at first time car buyers looking for reliability, frugal running costs and low maintenance costs. Served up with petrol and CNG fuel options, the Alto 800 is powered by a 796 cc-3 cylinder motor that is the latest derivative of the legendary F8D motor that has powered the likes of best sellers such as the Maruti 800 and the Alto F8D. This motor, in its latest and most powerful iteration, outputs 47 Bhp-69 Nm. Transmission consists of a 5 speed manual unit.
Maruti Suzuki Swift – 57,430 units
The Swift is a car that both the young and old are attracted to. Sporty looks draw the young towards this hatchback while a frugal turbo diesel engine and low maintenance costs allure the old. The car is sold with two engines – a 1.2 liter K-Series petrol (86 Bhp-114 Nm) and a 1.3 liter Fiat Multijet diesel (75 Bhp-190 Nm). A 5 speed manual gearbox is standard with both engines. Although there are cars that offer more space, features and better performance than the Swift, the car manages to offer a little something for everyone, and therefore manages to retain its top position in the B+ hatchback segment.
Maruti Suzuki Dzire – 54,822 units
The Maruti Dzire compact sedan has been witness to steadily increasing competition. Yet, the sub-4 meter can has managed to thrive. 54,822 dealer dispatches have been the result of the Dzire selling well for the first three months of the year. The arrival of the Hyundai Xcent and the upcoming Tata Zest compact sedan could make a dent into the Dzire’s sales in the coming months. The Dzire shares its engines and manual gearboxes with the Swift, while offering an automatic gearbox as an option.
Maruti WagonR – 40,384 units
The Maruti Suzuki WagonR is growing from strength to strength, what with the car being positioned as the least priced tall-boy hatchback in India. With 40,384 dealer dispatches for the first three months of the year, the WagonR’s lack of a diesel engine option doesn’t seem to be slowing down the car in the market. The WagonR features a 1 liter-3 cylinder K-Series engine that is tuned to run on petrol, LPG or CNG. While a five speed manual gearbox is standard fare, next year will see the WagonR receiving a 5 speed semi-automatic AMT option.
Hyundai Grand i10 – 30,928 units
The latest big success for for the Hyundai in India is the Grand i10 hatchback. Although technically a replacement to the i10, the Grand i1o’s stretched wheelbase and array of class leading features mean that the car sits above the i10, which also continues to sell in India. The Grand i10 is sold with petrol and turbo diesel engine options. Features such as a push button start, cooled glove box, rear AC vents, in-built memory for the stereo player and well appointed interiors have made the Grand i10 a hot favourite with hatchback buyers.
Mahindra Bolero – 29,095
Utility is what the Mahindra Bolero is all about. Built on a rugged ladder frame chassis, the Mahindra Bolero is a hinterland favourite. Diesel power rules the roost on the Bolero, which is available with 2.5 liter direct injection and common rail turbo diesel engines. The Bolero is used as a people mover in the semi-urban and rural areas of India while the MUV also finds application as a police patrol vehicle and a compact urban MUV on city streets. The Bolero is Mahindra’s best selling vehicle and the Indian utility vehicle major has managed to dispatch 29,095 units in the first quarter of 2014.