Revealed: India’s Top 30 utility vehicles in FY2023
These best-selling models have powered the utility vehicle segment’s record sales of 2 million units; while 11 compact SUVs lead in terms of overall numbers, 16 midsize SUVs reflect growing demand and 3 MPVs showcase their continuing value proposition.
India’s passenger vehicle (PV) industry has closed FY2023 with record 3.89 million-unit sales, an increase of 20% over FY2022. Powering this growth, even as demand for mass-market entry level hatchbacks remained tepid, is the utility vehicle (UV) segment with all-time high sales of 20,03,718 units, up 35% year on year (FY2022: 14,89,219 units).
With this big number, the UV share of the overall PV segment (cars, UVs and vans) has touched a new high – 51.50% of total PV sales, beating FY2022’s 48.51%. Average monthly UV sales in FY2023 were 166,976 units or 5,489 units being sold every day from April 1, 2022 through to March 31, 2023. Little wonder all carmakers worth their wheel are expanding their SUV portfolios with a vengeance.
To put it briefly, the hottest vehicle segment at India Auto Inc right now is easily UVs and every automaker worth its wheel wants to have a slice and more of this booming segment which has been seeing a wave of sustained and surging demand over the past two years.
A number-crunching exercise of the estimated wholesale numbers of the top-selling 30 UVs in India reveals plenty. Cumulatively, these best-selling models account for 19,38,094 units or 97% of the total 20,03,718 UVs sold in India last year. Closing in on them shows that the Top 10 models account for 12,15,618 units or 61% of total UV sales, indicating their dominant market positions. Of these 10 models, eight sold in excess of 100,000 units each – five of them being compact SUVs.
Here's taking a closer look at the Top 30, segregated into three sub-segments – compact, midsize and MPV (the complete 1-30 ranking table at the end of this report).
Compact SUVs, with nearly 900,000 units, lead in terms of overall numbers in the UV segment but midsize SUVs are catching up with growing demand.
Compact SUVs deliver big impact:
Tata Nexon retains UV crown
When it comes to SUV sales in the Indian market, small is big. The compact SUV (models below 4,000mm length) market proves just that – 888,997 units representing 11 models were sold in FY2023, accounting for 44% of total UV sales in FY2023 and 46% of the Top 30. Four models – Tata Nexon, Maruti Brezza, Tata Punch and Hyundai Venue – sold over 100,000 units each
The compact Tata Nexon retains its title as India’s No. 1 UV with 172,138 units and is ahead of the No. 2 UV – the midsized Hyundai Creta – by 21,766 units. Averaging monthly sales of 14,344 units (321 more than the 14,023 units it averaged each month in CY2022), the Nexon’s best month was November 2022: 15,081 units. Sold in as many as 69 variants – 47 petrol, 10 diesel, and 12 electric – this is one SUV where buyers are really spoilt for choice.
The Maruti Brezza, with 145,665 units, is the second best-selling compact SUV and has a 7% share of total UV sales. The compact Maruti clocked the best-ever monthly sales across all UVs – 16,227 units in March 2023 – possibly enabling the company to pip a hard-charging Tata Motors to the UV leaderboard and maintain its No. 1 UV OEM status for the third year in a row.
The Tata Punch continues to punch above its weight and sold 133,819 units, 13,166 units ahead of the fourth-placed Hyundai Venue (120,653 units). The Sonet, Kia’s second best-seller after the midsized Seltos, sold 94,096 units, followed by the Mahindra XUV300 (61,386) and Mahindra Thar (47,108). Ranks 8-9-10 belong to the Renault Triber (32,664), Nissan Magnite (32,546) and Renault Kiger (22,158).
Midsize SUVs populate Top 30
Hyundai Creta has a big lead over rivals
There are a total of 16 midsize SUVs in the Top 30 UV table, accounting for 795,539 units and a 41% share of the Top 30 models.
What the Nexon is to Tata Motors, the Creta midsize SUV is to Hyundai Motor India. The Creta is estimated to have sold 150,372 units in FY2023, and has a sizeable lead over its midsize rivals. The Korean carmaker’s best-selling product, now in its second-generation avatar, has contributed 27% to Hyundai’s total sales of 567,546 units last fiscal.
Other than the Creta, two other models have crossed the 100,000 units sales mark – the Mahindra Bolero (100,577), which is ahead of the Kia Seltos (100,132). Of the 16 midsized SUVs in the Top 30 ranking, fourth and fifth place belong to the Mahindra Scorpio (70,486) and XUV700 (66,473). At No. 5 is the Maruti Grand Vitara, which in just 7 months after launch, has clocked 51,315 units, giving Maruti a fresh charge in this segment, along with sibling XL6 (36,423). They are followed by the Toyota Fortuner (30,688) and Tata Harrier (30,633).
The midsized SUVs with 20,000-plus sales comprise the Hyundai Alcazar (26,696), MG Hector (25,575), Skoda Kushaq (25,300), Toyota Hyryder (22,839), Volkswagen Taigun (21,760) and the Tata Safari (20,659). The MG Astor has sold 15,601 units in FY2023.
MPVs: Aces of space and comfort
Maruti Ertiga continues to be top draw
A multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) is meant to be an ace of space along with key attributes of comfort, good ride and handling and also safety. The three best-selling MPVs in FY2023 – the Maruti Ertiga (127,680 units), Kia Carens (70,314 units) and the Innova Crysta/Hycross (55,574 units) – together account for 253,568 units or 12.65% of total UV sales in FY2023.
Interestingly, the Kia Carens, launched in February 2022 at an aggressive Rs 899,000, has gone ahead ahead of the Toyota Innova Crysta (56,569 units).
UV OEMs to up the ante in FY2024
FY2024, which will see a good number of UVs introduced in the market, across sub-segments, will continue to draw buyers. Every second car sold in the country is now either an SUV, UV or an MPV and there is a conscious shift among car buyers towards this vehicle segment.
The SUV buyer in India, who is spoilt for choice in terms of models, variants, fuel type (petrol, CNG, electric, diesel), will continue to benefit as OEMs go out of their way to cater to demand. It’s also reason why the bulk of the nearly 700,000-odd pending passenger vehicle bookings belong to the SUV and MPV sub-segment and a fair number of them are from these Top 30
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