Even as automobile sales in India registered its steepest decline this year in over decades, demand for utility vehicles somehow remained strong. According to latest Siam data, when total domestic sales of passenger vehicles fell 18 per cent year-on-year in the April-November period, SUV sales grew around four per cent to 640,311 units in the same period.
A shift in consumer preference from sedans and premium hatchbacks to SUVs and multiple launches in the segment is attributed to this growth. While the segment witnessed multiple launches during the period, not every vehicle were a hit among buyers.
Here’s a look at the big winners and misses in the segment:
Kia Seltos: Korean carmaker Kia Motors’ first product— the Seltos SUV for Indian car buyers managed to hit bull’s-eye. In just four months, Kia sold more than 40,000 units of Seltos, while in November it became the country’s best-selling SUV with sales crossing over 14,000 units. Kia is expected to maintain its lead in the segment for some more months as bookings for Seltos stands at over 80,000 units. Kia will be increasing Seltos’ price from Jan
Hyundai Venue: The winner of the prestigious ICOTY (Indian Car of the Year) 2020 award, Hyundai Venue marked the company’s entry into the highly competitive sub-4-metre SUV space with a bang. Launched in May 2019, the sub-compact SUV has taken the market by storm and recently crossed over 1 lakh bookings mark. By the end of November 2019, Hyundai has sold over 60,000 units of the Venue.
MG Hector: Like Kia Motors’ Seltos SUV, MG Motor also tasted success with its first product in the Indian market— the Hector SUV. The vehicle’s monthly dispatch is much lower than the other two SUVs because of production limitations at the company’s Halol plant. In just 45 days since launch, the SUV bagged 28,000 bookings.
Tata Harrier: Bold looks, new platform and segment leading features could not help Tata Motors to become a serious player in the SUV segment with harrier. Launched in January 2019, Harrier was also the first model to be built on an all-new OMEGArc platform. Given that it had few similarities and resembles iconic Land Rover looks, it was touted to be a big hit. However, in the last 11 months, Tata managed to sell only 13,769 units of the Tata Harrier, which less than even what its key rival Kia Seltos managed to achieve in the month of November (14,005). In the last six months, Tata Harrier has breached the 1,000 units sales mark just twice.
Nissan Kicks: The vehicle which was expected to turn things around for the Japanese carmaker is not much welcomed by Indian car buyers. Nissan has sold just over 4,300 units of Kick in the last eleven months with sales touching a record low 79 units in May 2019. During the peak festive season, Nissan Kicks managed to cross the 300 unit mark- a first in six months. Kicks has been a success story for the automaker globally, but it is unlikely to crack the Indian SUV segment
Kia Seltos may get a price hike from January
Kia Seltos has been one of the most exciting launches of 2019 in India. Introduced in August, the SUV has emerged as a segment leader in a very short duration. While the Seltos is currently priced between Rs 9.69 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) and Rs 16.99 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), dealer sources have now confirmed that its prices will go up from January 1, 2020
Nissan Kicks unlikely to be a success story
During the peak festive season, Nissan Kicks crossed the 300 unit mark- a first in six months. Kicks has been a success story for the automaker globally, but it is unlikely it will able to crack the Indian SUV segment in future. It has sold just over 4,300 units in last 11 months