Utility vehicle sales in June continued to provide the much-needed buffer to overall PV sales in India. Thanks to growing demand, the market share for the segment in overall passenger vehicle (PV) sales during the first quarter of 2016-17 rose to 25.35% from 19.59% in the same period a year ago.
UV sales rose 35.24% during June 2016 to 55,825 units and stood at a cumulative 176,788 units during the first quarter of this fiscal, representing a growth of over 38%.
Rising demand has brewed stiff competition in the segment and the top 5 list for June is just another testament for it. The Toyota Innova, in its latest Crysta avatar, maintained its dominance and became the most sold UV in the country for the second straight month since its launch.
Toyota sold 8,171 units of the Crysta in June, which made it not only the most sold UV, but also helped it secure the eighth spot in the list of most sold PVs during the month. Thanks to the overwhelming response to the new model, the diesel-ban-hit Toyota Kirloskar Motor posted a near-30% growth in sales during the month.
The company has now also opened the bookings for the petrol variant of the Crysta, which is bound to provide incremental volumes in the coming months, especially from Delhi-NCR, which has traditionally been the largest SUV market in India. However, at present, because of the ban on diesel vehicles above 2,000cc, the Innova Crysta cannot be registered in the region.
Also read: TOP 10 Passenger Vehicles in June 2016
While technical details about the new engine are yet to be revealed, the petrol variant of the Crysta is likely to be powered by a 2.7-litre, four-cylinder motor that will have options of either a 5-speed manual gearbox or a 6-speed automatic transmission. Toyota used to offer a petrol variant on the previous generation Innova as well, however due to tepid sales the variant was discontinued. Nevertheless, with the current shift towards petrol engines in India happening faster than ever, Toyota could benefit from its new strategy.
Hyundai’s Creta edged past the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza to capture the second spot. The urban SUV, which will celebrate its first anniversary this month, sold 7,700 units in June. Hyundai’s first dig at the segment has proved to be immensely successful with its UV market share in April-June 2016 rising to 12.9% from a mere 1.9% a year ago.
Maruti Suzuki India’s first ever compact SUV, the Vitara Brezza, came in at a close third with sales of 6,673 units in June. The much-in-demand sub-four-metre vehicle is acting as a buffer to slowing sales of the Alto, Wagon R and Swift hatchbacks. The model currently commands a waiting period of 7-9 months.
Marking its return in the list after a long time was Ford’s EcoSport, which featured on the fourth spot with sales of 4,612 units in June. Ford’s game-changing compact SUV, which had fallen behind competition, picked up steam again last month as the American carmaker revamped marketing initiatives and pricing for the vehicle seem to have yielded positive results. The carmaker also reported a sharp 110% rise in overall PV sales in June.
Mahindra & Mahindra’s ageing warhorse Bolero continues to soldier on and was fifth in the best-selling UV list, with sales of 3,699 units. Other popular models from the UV maker’s stable such as the KUV100 and the TUV300 slipped out of the list last month, as the company lost market share due to the rising competition. M&M’s UV market share shrunk to 31.62% during the first quarter of FY17 from 38.54% in the same period a year ago.
With more launches in the UV segment planned from the stables of Hyundai Motor India and Tata Motors later this year and OEMs looking to introduce petrol variants for their best-sellers due to the uncertainty surrounding diesel in India, the segment is likely to continue on a high growth trajectory for the remainder of this fiscal. Stay tuned to Autocar Professional for further updates on the sales front.
- TOP 5 Utility Vehicles in May 2016
- TOP 10 Two-wheelers in June 2016
- INDIA SALES ANALYSIS for JUNE 2016