Maruti Suzuki India continues to hold the nerves of the Indian car market, ruling the roost with a clear majority of the best-selling passenger vehicles (PVs) in September 2017. Six of its all models on sale have ranked in the Top 10. The newest entrant in its portfolio, the all-new Dzire has broken all records for the compact sedan segment and for the company, clocking its best-ever monthly sales – 31,427 units (comprising 17,069 diesel and 14,358 petrol) last month. The previous best was 26,140 units in August 2017.
The new Dzire, which for the very first time overtook the company’s best-seller in the Indian market, the Alto hatchback in August 2017, has gotten some wind under its wings on the onset of the festive season.
The car also breached its 100,000 cumulative sales mark within a span of five-and-a-half months and with multiple engine and transmission options, has become a hit in the sub-compact segment.
The other five Marutis in the Top 10 list are the Alto, Baleno, Wagon R, Vitara Breza, and the Swift. Together the six Marutis account for a total of 112,605 units or 74.81 percent of the carmaker’s total PV sales of 150,521 units in September 2017 (+9.65%). Total industry PV sales for September 2017 were 309,955 units (+11.32%).
In September, the company’s market share accounted for 48.56 percent of the total Indian PV market. Of the total 1,630,945 PVs sold in the April-September 2017 period, Maruti sold 822,475 units or 50.42 percent share of the PV market.
At No. 2 is the Maruti Alto, which remains a popular entry-level budget option for the masses. 23,830 units of the car were sold in September 2017, making it a bit slower in the segment on YoY performance, as it had clocked its best-ever numbers in September 2016 with sales of 27,750 units.
Third placed on the Top 10 list is the premium Maruti Baleno, the largest of the company’s hatchbacks. The car, which now also comes in a performance Baleno RS avatar, sports a 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol motor, sold a total of 16,238 units and has been driving Maruti’s premium Nexa retail channel.
A veteran of the monthly Top 10 for innumerable years, the Maruti Wagon R climbed to the fourth position with 14,649 units. Tallboy design, neutral styling, easy ingress-egress, desirable space, and neutral driving dynamics are the reasons to have made it a sales champion.
The compact SUV Maruti Vitara Brezza is the No. 5 best-seller in September with 13,268 units, clearly witnessing a slight slump in sales from just a month ago, which could be attributed to the recently launched Tata Nexon, which undercuts it in price by a sizeable Rs 40-45,000 across variants and was launched on 21st September. The Brezza sold 14,396 units in August 2017 its second best-ever monthly sales after July 2017’s 15,243 units and ahead of May 2017’s 12,375 units. With the competition hotting up and the facelifted Ford Ecosport slated to hit the road in November, the lack of a petrol motor and an automatic transmission could affect the Brezza's sales performance .
At No. 5 is the Hyundai Grand i10 hatchback which saw sales of 14,099 units last month. 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.
The No. 7 best-seller in September 2017 is the Maruti Swift, which sold 13,193 units. The Swift is now due for a full model change and the third-generation model of the immensely popular global hatchback is set to be introduced in India at the upcoming Auto Expo in February 2018. Seeing the desirability of the new Dzire (also based on the 3rd gen Swift), the hatchback version could very well be a sales booster.
At No. 8 and No. 9 are Hyundai’s Elite i20 premium hatchback, which sold 11,574 units; and the Creta SUV, 9,292 units of which were sold in September. Both cars score high on the Korean carmaker’s funky yet elegant design language, and are loaded to the gills with modern features. The Elite i20 has sold 103,266 units between January-September 2017, making for average monthly sales of 11,474 units. The bigger Creta, owing to its large dimensions, is clearly making a lot of customers opting for the convenience of an automatic transmission, which comes offered in both its 1.6-litre petrol and diesel engine offerings.
Making its comeback at No. 10 into the Top 10 chart is the budget Renault Kwid. The A-segment hatchback sold 9,099 units in September, giving a tough fight to the Maruti Alto. The French carmaker has touched the Indian consumer with all the right ingredients, offering the Kwid with crossover styling, butch appeal, loads of features and reasonable cost. The AMT option on the hatchback is also gaining fair ground in terms of acceptability as more and more customers in the metros start paying a premium for the convenience of two-pedal driving.
While September was the onset of the festive season, given a good monsoon and overall positive sentiments in the market, the month of October could hold some more interesting market performance stories.