Toyota Altis regains top spot among premium sedans in July

The premium sedan segment had the facelifted Altis surge ahead in sales to become the best-seller in July, selling 1,030 cars, a jump of 64% over the previous month.

The gains seem to have come at the cost of Chevrolet Cruze, which dropped a significant 28% in sales over June. Here’s how buyers exercised their choices among premium sedans in July.

Overall, the premium sedan sales stayed at roughly the same levels as in June, which is surprising considering the slowdown in sales in general due to rising interest rates and fuel costs.

Value addition boosts Altis sales

toyota altis photo
Photo: The facelifted Altis has become the best selling car in the segment

The facelift definitely helped the Altis, as it sold almost 65% more cars than the next best selling car, the Chevrolet Cruze (which in fact was the best seller in the previous few months).

Toyota launched an updated Altis in mid June, changing the looks of the car a bit on the exteriors, making it more contemporary. The biggest change was an all new 1.8 litre petrol engine that puts out 138 bhp of power (compared to the earlier 131) and introduction of a seven-speed CVT (automatic) transmission option.

The diesel version of the Altis only gets updated looks, but the sedate 1.4 litre, 87 bhp engine remains the same. The diesel car is however great value for those looking to be chauffeur driven and want to save on fuel, as it gives a claimed mileage of 21 kmpl. The refreshed Altis definitely found favor with buyers in July.

Cruze slips in anticipation of a refresh

The Chevrolet Cruze sold just 621 cars in July, a drop of 28% from the previous month.

2011 chevrolet cruze photo
Photo: The Chevrolet Cruze has seen a 28% drop in sales

The Chevrolet Cruze is one of the most powerful cars in this segment. And it’s available in diesel only. So that should technically keep it at the top of the charts, right? Not quite. It’s a car that pleases enthusiasts, but those looking for rear seat comfort look elsewhere, to the likes of the Altis and Laura. Also there’s been news of an upgraded, more powerful Cruze coming in a couple of months, which could have also led to buyers putting off decisions for a bit.

Skoda Laura discounts fail to boost sales

skoda laura photo
Photo: The Skoda Laura has seen a 16% drop in sales even after a discount

Skoda hasn’t had a good month with sales of the Laura. July was the month Skoda was celebrating 10 years of its existence in India and had launched some exciting discount offers on select models of the Skoda Laura, Skoda Yeti and Fabia. But that’s not really reflected in the sales numbers of the Laura, as it takes third spot, with a drop of 16% in sales to 580 cars.

No surprises elsewhere

Among other gainers in July are Honda and Volkswagen. Sales of the Jetta moved up to 109 cars from 59 the previous month, despite news of the new Jetta coming this month, probably in anticipation of an increase in prices with the new car. The Honda Civic did slightly better numbers in July, selling 233 cars compared to just 175 in June.

The Renault Fluence is off to a slow start because of its scanty dealer presence in the country. Sales in July stood at 212 cars for the Fluence, slightly lower than June (the first month after launch).