Hyundai Creta crosses a million sales in India

India’s best-selling midsize SUV has set a new India market milestone eight years and five months after its launch in July 2015; together with export shipments, total sales of the Creta have crossed 1.28 million units.

By Ajit Dalvi calendar 18 Feb 2024 Views icon5457 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Hyundai Creta crosses a million sales in India

The Hyundai Creta, launched in July 2015, has clocked a new milestone in India. The country’s best-selling midsize SUV is estimated to have surpassed a million sales this month (by mid-February 2024).

At the end of January 2024, the Creta had clocked estimated sales of 993,783 units, needing only 6,217 units to achieve a million sales. Given the Creta’s monthly average sales of around 13,103 units in the first 10 months of the current fiscal, which translates into 436 units each day, the big number would have been achieved between February 14-16.

At end-January 2024, the Creta was just 6,217 units away from 10,00,000 units. This would have been surpassed in the first fortnight of February. 

February 19 : Hyundai confirms million-Creta sales in official release
A day after Autocar Professional published the news of the Creta crossing the million-sales milestone in India, Hyundai Motor India confirmed the same with an official news release on February 19, at 5pm.

Tarun Garg, COO, Hyundai Motor India said: “With over 1 million Cretas on Indian roads, the ‘Creta’ brand has reaffirmed its legacy of being the undisputed SUV. The recently launched new Hyundai Creta too has received an overwhelming customer response and crossed 60 000 bookings since announcement.”

Hyundai Motor India confirmed Autocar Professional's one-million Creta sales newsbreak on February 18 with an official release on February 19.     

First 500,000 sales took 60 months, next half-a-million units 41 months
A million sales in India means Hyundai’s popular SUV has taken 101 months or eight years and five months since its launch on July 21, 2015 to achieve its latest sales milestone. The Creta had clocked 500,000 sales on August 11, 2020, five years after launch. The next half-a-million units have been sold in just 41 months or three years and five months, reflecting the sharply increased pace of demand.

The last 100,000-unit sales have come in a scant eight months, maintaining the same pace the Creta took to go from 800,000 to 900,000 (November 2022-June 2023: 106,092 units) and the run from 700,000 to 800,000 units which took a few days over eight months.

Hyundai retails seven SUVs – three midsizers (Creta, Alcazar, Tucson), two compact SUVs (Venue, Exter) and two EVs (Ioniq 5 and Kona) – in India, which has all of 110 utility vehicles and a mind-boggling 800-plus variants.

In the April 2023-January 2024 period, Hyundai Motor India, with sales of 319,122 UVs, is currently ranked third in the UV sales ladder, after Maruti Suzuki India (522,626 units) and Mahindra & Mahindra (376,832 units). At 131,039 units sold in the first 10 months of FY2024, the Creta accounts for 41.54% of Hyundai’s total UV sales, followed by the Venue (110,348 units, 35% share). The Creta’s sales would have been higher but for the fact that with the new Creta being launched on January 16, 2024, average monthly sales, which crossed 14,000 units in the April-July 2023 period, came down to 9,243 units in December 2023.

Creta: India's No. 1 midsize SUV
The Creta has comfortably retained its longstanding title as India’s best-selling midsize SUV. In CY2023, with sales of 157,311 units, up 12% YoY (CY2022: 140,895 units), the Creta contributed 44% to the company’s estimated UV sales of 360,823 units last year. It continued to be the leading midsize SUV albeit slipped one rank to No. 3 in the overall UV table, after the Maruti Brezza, which wrested the best-selling UV title from the Tata Nexon for CY2023.

What important though for Hyundai is that thanks to the sustained demand for the Creta, its best-selling model, the company has managed to keep a hard-charging Tata Motors at bay. Now, with the launch of the freshened-up Creta, which bristles with plenty of new features including ADAS, the Creta sales should accelerate again.

The MY2024 facelifted Creta was launched on January 16, priced at Rs 11 lakh for the entry-level E petrol-manual variant, with introductory prices going up to Rs 20 lakh for the top-spec SX(O) diesel-automatic trim. With five engine and gearbox options, there are a total of 19 variants on offer. This pricing strategy places the new Creta bang in the middle of the midsize SUV segment, with rivals like the Maruti Grand Vitara and the Citroen C3 Aircross starting lower. While the top-spec petrol-automatic Creta is among the more expensive models, its diesel sibling is priced nearly at par with the Kia Seltos diesel.

Hyundai, which aims to grow its SUV contribution to 65 percent in its total volumes in CY2024 from 60% in CY2023 had, till early February, already received over 51,000 bookings for the new Creta.

Hyundai’s diesel strategy pays off, helps protect turf
Hyundai’s strategy to remain bullish on diesel, compared to some of rivals in India, is paying off. The Creta’s pack of powertrains comprises 1.5-litre petrol, 1.5-litre diesel and a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine options. In terms of market pull, the new BS VI-compliant diesel motor is keeping pace with the other two powerplants. It is understood that at present 45% of Creta sales in India continue to comprise diesel variants, particularly those equipped with automatic transmissions.

Hyundai Motor India is the longstanding No. 2 passenger vehicle OEM and currently the third-ranked utility vehicle player. The past couple of years have seen a fast-growing Tata Motors hard on Hyundai’s heels but thanks to sustained demand for the Creta, the Korean carmaker has kept the new challenger at bay.

The two rivals closed FY2023 with a difference of 23,155 units in favour of Hyundai. In the first 10 months of FY2024, Hyundai has registered wholesales of 511,522 units, compared to Tata Motors’ 471,272 units. The Creta, with sales of 131,039 units, has contributed 25.61% to Hyundai’s total PV sales in the fiscal year to date.

Creta: Big contributor to India’s SUV growth story

With 319,122 UVs sold between April 2023-January 2024, Hyundai currently has a 15.48% share of India’s booming UV market. Of this, the Creta with 131,039 units alone has a 6.35% share, followed by the Venue compact SUV (110,348 units) which has a 5.35% share.

Between FY2016 till end-January 2024, Hyundai Motor India has sold a total of 16,60,263 UVs – of this the Creta, with 993,783 units, has contributed a handsome 60 percent! Not surprisingly, the Creta has been a key driver of India’s SUV growth story.

In FY2021, India’s UV industry crossed the million-units sales milestone for the first time – 10,60,750 – and the Creta contributed 120,035 units or 11.31% of total UV sales. In FY2022, when UV sales clocked 1.48 million sales, the Creta contributed 8% (118,092 units) to the segment. In FY2023, when India Auto Inc recorded its best-ever UV sales of 20,03,718 units and crossed the two-million milestone for the first time, the Creta with 150,372 units had a 7.50% share of that achievement as a single product. And, in the current fiscal year to date, the Creta has contributed 6.35% to India UV Inc’s record wholesales of 20,61,065 units, maintaining its title as India’s best-selling midsize SUV.

Over 280,000 made-in-India Cretas exported
Adding power to the Creta story is the SUV’s export performance. A total of 282,542 Cretas have been exported till end-December 2023 (see data table above). Shipments of 3,555 Cretas in the first 10 months of FY2024 are down by 98% YoY (April 2022-January 2023: 21,756 units) but that could be a result of Hyundai rolling out more Cretas for the domestic market, given the substantial demand the SUV commands in the domestic market. Clearly, the focus is more on catering to the domestic market demand compared to exports.

Electric Hyundai coming
Hyundai’s EV strategy for India also involves an all-electric Creta. It is learnt that development is underway on the zero-emission Creta, which is likely to be revealed at the Auto Expo 2025 and could see series production in the last quarter of 2024.

While the compact SUV market continues to be the biggest contributor to UV sales in India, there is a marked growth in the demand for midsize SUVs, particularly new models like the Maruti Grand Vitara, Fronx and Jimny, the Toyota Urban Cruiser Hyryder, the just-launched face-lifted Kia Seltos. Nevertheless, Hyundai Motor India is confident the Creta will continue to be the segment leader despite the new competition.

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