The SUV sales storm in the domestic market reached a peak in July 2017 when, as a result of truly handsome GST-driven price cuts, even on popular models, customers flocked to showrooms.
Of last month’s total passenger vehicle (PV) sales of 298,997 units (+15.12% YoY), UV sales comprises 86,874 units (+35.52%) and 192,773 cars (+8.52%). In July 2017, UVs account for 29% of overall PV sales, indicative of the surging wave of demand that refuses to slow down.
The trend is a sustaining one across the first four months of FY2018 too. In the April-July 2017 period, UVs account for 276,972 units (+14.98%) and 27 percent of the total 1,026,655 PVs sold.
Like it has in the PV segment, Maruti Suzuki India has stamped a strong presence in the Top 5 chart and that’s mainly due to the entry of the game-changing Vitara Brezza and currently demand is chasing supply for the company’s first-ever compact SUV.
Maruti’s overall sales in April-July 2017 received a turbocharged boost from demand for its UVs, more specifically the Vitara Brezza. The company’s UVs (Gypsy, Ertiga, S-Cross and Vitara Brezza) sold a total of 82,906 units (+46%), which is indicative of the strong contribution to overall numbers in the five-month period. Within the UV segment, Maruti, not surprisingly with its 46% YoY growth, has made the maximum gains in market share – a good 6.38 percentage points – to grow market share to 29.93 percent from 23.55 percent a year ago.
For Hyundai Motor India, the Creta has been a sales powerhouse and has been consistently bringing in the numbers. Likewise, for Toyota Kirloskar Motor, the Innova MPV which continues to be a popular buy across the country.
Let’s take a closer look at the Top 5 sellers in the UV category last month, three of which hit their best-ever monthly highs.
Top 3 clock record monthly highs
At No. 1 is the Maruti Vitara Brezza which has notched its best-ever monthly sales: 15,243 units, ahead of May 2017’s 12,375 units which was the best until now. Work the math and it turns out that the company sold 491 Brezzas for every single day of July.
Since its launch, the Brezza’s cumulative domestic market sales have touched 160,767 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. On July 20, Autocar Professional broke the news about the Brezza breezing past the 150,000 unit sales landmark in 17 months since launch on March 8, 2016. Thanks to the surging consumer demand for the model, the Vitara Brezza has been in the Top 10 PV and Top 5 UV charts across 15 months.
The extent of the Vitara Brezza’s dominance can be seen that it is ahead of the Hyundai Creta by 4,687 units. A year ago, in July 2016, the difference was 2,251 units.
The Hyundai Creta, one of the Korean carmaker’s recent successes, is the stolid No. 2. Like the Brezza, the Creta too notched its best-ever monthly sales at 10,556 units in July 2017. This also marks the second time that the SUV has sold over 10,000 units since its launch in June 2015. The first landmark was in March 2017 when the Creta, which is a very likeable urban SUV, was bought by 10,001 buyers – 5,947 diesel and 4,054 petrol variants.
The popular Toyota Innova Crysta takes the fourth slot with sales of 9,369 units, which takes its April-July 2017 cumulative sales total to 22,669 units. Not only has the Innova Crysta, which is the MPV benchmark in the country, posted its best-ever domestic sales in a month but it has achieved the milestone of highest-ever sales globally for Toyota. The new Innova Crysta, according to Autocar India, is “a huge step forward over the earlier model. More attractive and upmarket, it is also more comfortable, better built and more lavishly equipped on the inside. It also comes with a trio of strong engines.”
Coming in at No. 4 is another MPV – the Maruti Ertiga which sold 7,458 units, 833 units more than the 6,625 units it sold in July 2016.
Bringing up the rear, at No. 5 is the rough-and-rough warhorse, the Mahindra Bolero. The company’s all-time bestseller has a reputation for being rugged and reliable, which is why it is so popular in rural India. With sales of 6,597 units in July 2017, it continues to maintain a strong presence in the UV category and consumers have a choice of eight variants.
The UV category was among the biggest beneficiaries of GST and Maruti, Hyundai and Toyota saw their best-sellers notch new highs. Now with the proposed additional 10% GST cess on large cars and UVs, there is likely to be a dip in demand albeit automakers will be doing their best to introduce new models and variants to capitalise on the SUV wave.
Data: Courtesy SIAM
Also read: SUV market share analysis for April-July 2017
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