The utility vehicle segment is certainly the most trending vehicle category in the passenger vehicle segment in India, registering cumulative sales of 85,850 units in January 2018 and notching handsome 38 percent year-on-year growth. Success stories are aplenty with examples such as the new Jeep Compass and Honda’s WR-V giving a new shot in the arm to the two OEMS.
Selling a cumulative 15,245 units between April-January 2018, FCA Automobiles India has grabbed hold of a 2 percent market share in the UV space while Honda Cars India has seen its market share double to 6.70 percent with total sales of 50,273 units. The UV segment boasts a 30 percent share of the passenger vehicle segment, which stood at 285,477 units in January.
Maruti’s Vitara Brezza maintains its top spot in the compact crossover space, selling 11,785 units (January 2017: 8,932) and growing 32 percent. The compact SUV has been driving Maruti’s share of the UV pie, which has grown from being at 25.80 percent to 28.09 percent between April-January 2018, with total UV sales clocking at 210,671 units during the 10-month period.
The Hyundai Creta continues its No 2 position with 9,284 units going home to buyers, and registering a 17.25 percent growth (January 2017: 7,918). The Creta has cumulatively sold 87,847 units between April-January 2018.
At No 3, the Mahindra Bolero demonstrates the long-term value of a fundamentally robust product, even in times of strong contemporary competition. The UV sold 8,206 units in January, growing a significant 24.37 percent, giving a clear hint of the ongoing growth in the infrastructural and agricultural sectors in the rural areas, where the tough-as-nails UV finds its most applications. The tough Mahindra has maintained its third spot from last year.
The Toyota Innova Crysta is at No 4 spot, selling 7,028 units and growing a remarkable 40.19 percent (January 2017: 5,013). With its premium positioning and stiff pricing, the Innova Crysta is shedding its people-mover image and is being embraced by individual buyers alike, with its host of convenience options such as an automatic transmission option. The Toyota MPV has moved one position up from its fifth place in January 2017.
At No. 5 the Ford EcoSport, after getting a makeover in November 2017, is slowly making its position fixed in the Top 5 list. The crossover sold 6,833 units in January 2018 and grew a substantial 82 percent with sales in January 2017 being at 3,761 units. The compact SUV now not only features efficient powertrain options including a new 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol motor, as well as a new 6-speed automatic transmission. The crossover also gets modern features like a touch-screen infotainment system, as well as six airbags in its top trim.
In line with global trends, demand for UVs continues to rise in India. The trend is clear with the 2018 Auto Expo revealing some of the show-stoppers concepts which were either crossovers, or full-size SUVs. New entrants like Kia Motors, which unveiled its SP Concept, are also banking on the compact crossover space to start their innings in the Indian market. Expect plenty more action in this space.
Meanwhile, Tata Motors, which is seeing good demand for its Nexon and Hexa, has grown its market share by almost three percent – from 2.26 percent to 5.07 percent in the April-January 2018.