Maruti Suzuki India, as usual, pocketed the bulk of the best-selling passenger vehicles (PVs) in August 2017, with seven of its models in the Top 10. The big news though is that of the new Dzire sedan notching its best-ever monthly sales – 26,140 units (comprising 14,083 diesel and 12,057 petrol)). The previous best was 24,502 units in October 2015.
The Dzire, for long, has played second fiddle to the Maruti Alto, the longstanding No. 1 machine, and sometimes to the Swift. Last month though, the sedan has trumped the Alto by a fair margin.
This also means that the launch of the new third-generation Dzire with an aggressive pricing strategy, starting at Rs 545,000 (ex-showroom Delhi) for the base LXi petrol model and going upwards till Rs 941,000 for the ZDI diesel model with Auto Gear Shift, has succeeded in reviving sales of India’s best-selling sedan, which has sold a cumulative 1.38 million units from launch in 2008.
The other six Marutis in the Top 10 list are the Alto, Baleno, Vitara Breza, Wagon R, Swift and the Celerio. Together the seven Marutis account for a total of 114,995 units or 75.79 percent of the carmaker’s total PV sales of 151,270 units in August 2017 (+26.2%). Total industry PV sales for August 2017 were 294,335 units (+13.76%).
The extent of Maruti’s dominance in the PV segment can be seen in its market share which, in the April-August 2017 period has grown to 50.87 percent from 46.73 percent a year ago. In August, the company accounted for 51.39 percent of the total Indian PV market. Of the total 1,320,990 PVs sold in the April-August 2017 period, Maruti sold 671,954 units or 50.86 percent. In simple terms, every second PV sold in India is a Maruti.
At No. 2 is the Maruti Alto, which remains a popular entry-level buy and the longstanding budget champion. The car, which had sold 26,009 units in July 2017 (its highest monthly sales since September 2016’s 27,750) went home to 21,521 buyers last month.
Third placed on the Top 10 list is the premium Maruti Baleno, the largest of the company’s hatchbacks. This car, which comes with ABS and dual airbags as standard across the 11-variant range, sold a total of 17,190 units. Since launch, Baleno sales have averaged 10,567 units.
The game-changing Maruti Vitara Brezza is the No. 4 best-seller in August with 14,396 units, its second best-ever monthly sales after July 2017’s 15,243 units and ahead of May 2017’s 12,375 units. For Maruti, its first crack at the sub-four-metre segment has proved to be among its most successful launches in the recent past, ticking all the right boxes in terms of cabin space, equipment, safety and fuel economy. From September 21, it faces a real challenge in the form of the Nexon, Tata Motors’ first-ever compact SUV launched at an aggressive Rs 585,000.
The Maruti Wagon R, a regular in the Top 10 for years, is at fifth position with 13,907 units. User friendly, easy to drive and comfortable enough, the Wagon R’s class-leading fuel economy, affordable price and hassle-free ownership experience are reasons why it is still so popular.
Driving in at No. 6 is the snazzy Maruti Swift with 12,631 units sold. This hatchback has been around for some time but buyers can’t seem to get enough of it. It remains desirable due to its styling, the strong engines, tight handling and smart interiors. It is down on space compared to most rivals, but if space isn’t a concern, it is the best hatchback for the money.
The next three cars on the list are all Hyundais. At No. 7 is the Grand i10 hatchback which was bought by 12,306 owners. According to Autocar India, this is one of Hyundai’s best cars – a practical, well-built hatch which, with the recent round of updates, offers even more. The top-spec variants get more features, the petrol engine has been made more efficient and the diesel now provides greatly improved performance.
No. 8 is the Hyundai Elite i20 which sold 11,832 units last month. Between January-August 2017, the car has sold a total of 91,434 units, which makes for an average monthly sale of 11,429 units.
The Hyundai Creta SUV drives in at No. 9 with sales of 10,158 units in August 2017, its second best-ever sales yet in a month after July 2017 (10,558) and the third time that it has sold over 10,000 units since its launch in June 2015. The first landmark was in March 2017 when the Creta was bought by 10,001 buyers.
Bringing up the rear of the Top 10 list is the Maruti Celerio with sales of 9,210 units.
August 2017 overall was a month which saw PV buyers rush to make purchases, particularly for SUVs and large cars before the additional GST cess kicked in. Vehicle manufacturers too upped their dealer inventory levels as they look to ensure stocks, mainly of popular models, are in hands are buyers visit showrooms and log online to buy new vehicles during the festive season.