The festive season in India is eagerly looked forward to by carmakers and buyers alike. Freebies, discounts and other great deals are a given, and this is a time carmakers usually make up sales volumes. This year has been no different, with some carmakers managing to bring in festive cheer with their sales, while the others have had a rather dark Diwali.
We take a look at the five best-selling hatchbacks in the past 90 days, between August and October, in the run up to the festive season and also the five slowpokes who just didn’t manage to catch the buyers fancy in this period.
Best-selling hatchbacks in India
The best-sellers list is a no-brainer really. This hasn’t quite changed except for one new entrant that’s bound to give the others a run for their money in the next few months.
90-Day Sales: 63,318 cars
The best-selling car continues to be the Maruti Alto, which sold a staggering 63,318 cars in the past 90 days, at an average of over 21,000 cars a month! This car is still one of the best value-for-money entry level cars, providing easy mobility and fuel efficiency for anyone with Rs. 3 lakh odd in hand. It’s also the primary reason petrol car sales are still higher than diesel car sales in India, despite the huge demand for diesel cars.
90-Day Sales: 50,038 cars
The second-best selling car continues to be the Maruti Swift. The Swift, in fact, is proving to be one of the cars that a lot of first-time car buyers are choosing. It comes with both petrol and diesel options, with most buyers opting for the diesel variant over the petrol. It sold 50,038 cars in the past 90 days with October clocking over 19,000 cars.
90-Day Sales: 44,466 cars
The third-best selling car is also from Maruti. The Maruti Wagon-R. This car is seen as a value-for-money practical hatchback, with decent space for passengers and luggage. It comes only in petrol and bi-fuel LPG/CNG variants. The Wagon-R sold 44,466 units in the past 3 months, with no other competing car coming close to its sales volumes.
Hyundai Grand i10
90-Day Sales: 21,777 cars
The fourth place is a not a surprise, but is a commendable achievement for a new-entrant, the Hyundai Grand i10. The car began shipments to dealers in end August, hence the low numbers for August. It was officially launched in September, while October was its first proper month of sales. Still it has managed to clock up 21,777 cars so far! The Maruti Wagon-R better watch out, as this car has the potential to catch up really quickly – being offered in both petrol and diesel variants and loaded to the brim with features that buyers are taking a fancy to. Its actual competitor, the Maruti Ritz, is nowhere close at just 7,938 cars sold in three months!
90-Day Sales: 21,142
The fifth spot goes to a Hyundai again – the Hyundai Eon. This car could have been in the top three list, but somehow buyers aren’t giving it the numbers like the Maruti Alto. The Eon sold only 21,142 cars in the past 90 days, but really has the potential to do a lot more. Some price correction or trademark Hyundai feature addition with respect to the Maruti Alto may help.
Worst-selling hatchbacks in India
And now for a look at the bottom five. These cars are all good cars in their own right, but have lost out for various reasons, owing to boring design, ineffective pricing, service issues, and other competitive reasons.
90-Day Sales: 804 cars
The absolute slowpoke in sales is the Chevrolet Spark. This car can be forgiven for falling behind as it is an evolution of the Daewoo Matiz from the late 1990s. Despite GM trying to give the car a new lease of life with a better engine and plush interiors, it isn’t clocking the numbers. In the past 90 days it sold just 804 cars!
90-Day Sales: 830 cars
Almost as slow as the Spark is the Skoda Fabia. This car is being phased out and dealers are clearing stocks right now. There are good deals to be had on the Skoda Fabia, with heavy discounts running on the car. It is as good as the Volkswagen Polo, but poor marketing and past horror stories of Skoda service have kept buyers away from it. It sold only 830 units in the past 90 days.
90-Day Sales: 1,060 cars
Then comes the Renault Pulse, the more expensive badge-engineered cousin of the not-so-hot-selling Nissan Micra. Although the Pulse and Micra are really good cars in their own right with efficient diesel engines and are feature loaded, the Renault Pulse just can’t justify its premium price tag, when compared to cars such as the Maruti Swift. The Pulse sold just 1,060 units in the past three months.
90-Day Sales: 1,472 cars
The Maruti A-Star is a car that could have been marketed better, but has been edged out by competition, not just from rivals such as the Hyundai i10 and Honda Brio, but from its own siblings such as the Maruti Wagon-R and the Maruti Ritz. The A-Star also has the distinction of being the cheapest automatic in India, but that hasn’t helped its sales numbers. It sold just 1,472 cars in the past three months.
90-Day Sales: 1,558 cars
And then there’s the Chevrolet Sail U-Va. A hugely practical car with a lot of space on offer and a frugal diesel engine too. The problem is it looks boring. And the fact that GM had to discontinue production till July to fix some bugs with the car hasn’t helped. After production restarted in August, the car has managed to sell just 1,558 units in the past three months.