Why 1 Out Of 4 Cars Sold In India Now Has A Sunroof

affordable sunroof cars india

The fascination for cars with sunroofs is transcending traditional boundaries, making it a common feature even in mass-market cars. In a remarkable trend, one out of every four cars sold in India today comes equipped with a sunroof, signaling a five-fold increase in sunroof penetration over the past five years. This shift in consumer preference is not merely driven by practical considerations but is deeply rooted in the desire for visual appeal and an unconventional driving experience.

Why 1 Out Of 4 Cars Sold In India Now Has A Sunroof


While India’s weather conditions may not always be favorable for open sunroofs, the growing demand for this feature highlights its symbolic luxury and unique vantage point. The sunroof’s popularity lies in the distinctive view it provides, akin to experiences like Vistadome train coaches and glass-bottom boats. It not only brightens up the car’s cabin but also elevates the social status of its owner.

The surge in demand for sunroofs is primarily attributed to the perceived luxury associated with top-end variants of mass-market cars, similar to other premium features like touchscreens and keyless ignition. Ravi Bhatia, President and Director of Jato Dynamics India, emphasizes the enduring appeal of sunroofs, stating that while they may not be opened frequently, their undeniable allure contributes to the overall driving experience. The status symbol associated with owning a car with a sunroof seems to outweigh practical considerations in Indian weather conditions.

Why 1 Out Of 4 Cars Sold In India Now Has A Sunroof

This trend aligns with the SUV craze in the Indian market, where nearly 85% of SUVs, including compact models, feature a sunroof. Even value-conscious buyers are succumbing to the allure, with Maruti Suzuki, a popular choice in this segment, introducing sunroofs in models like the Brezza compact SUV. The penetration of sunroofs in hatchbacks and multi-purpose vehicles has doubled to about 3.5% in just three years, showcasing a growing interest in this feature across diverse car segments.

Germany’s Webasto dominates the sunroof market in India and has expanded its operations to meet the escalating demand. The company recently inaugurated its second plant in Chennai and plans to invest Rs 1,000 crore to more than double its capacity to 9.5 lakh units by 2023. With rapid growth in the Indian market and a high demand for openable panoramic roofs, Webasto anticipates sustained growth.

Notably, Dutch company Inalfa has also entered the Indian market through a partnership with Anand Group’s Gabriel India, aiming to set up a 2-lakh unit plant in Chennai. This diversification strategy reflects the evolving dynamics of the automotive industry, where sunroofs are becoming an integral part of the overall driving experience. As the demand for sunroofs continues to rise, manufacturers are gearing up to meet this trend by increasing capacity, establishing new plants, and collaborating with global companies to localize production. The sunroof phenomenon in India underscores a shift in consumer preferences, where the desire for a panoramic view and a touch of luxury takes precedence, even in everyday mass-market cars.