The Utility Vehicle (UV) segment in India is where the action is and this is amply seen in the September 2017 sales of 84,374 units, a year-on-year growth of 26.21 percent and an enhanced share of the total passenger vehicles sold (309,955) to 27.22 percent.
In line with what is a global phenomenon, compact SUVs are riding a massive sales boom. SUVs are to the PV segment what scooters are to the two-wheeler segment, firing on all cylinders in the marketplace and providing a strong buffer should sales in other segments (passenger cars and vans) dip.
UVs currently account for one of every four PVs sold in the country. During April-September 2017, a total of 440,010 units have been bought (+17.81%), and account for 26.97 percent of the total PVs sold (1,630,945) during the period.
Maruti’s Vitara Brezza continues to lead the pack of the top five UVs, which cumulatively sold 44,073 units in September 2017. Compared to September 2016, when it sold 9,375 units, demand for the Brezza has surged 41.52 percent to clock 13,268 units last month. This is a third-highest monthly tally for the popular SUV, after the 15,243 units sold in July 2017 and 14,396 units in August 2017.
The game-changing vehicle, which was launched in March 2016, has given the company a new charge in the UV segment, as well as market share. Maruti UVs (Vitara Brezza, Gypsy, Ertiga and S-Cross) together sold 19,900 units in September (+8.01%) and cumulatively 124,248 units in April-September 2017 (+35.11%).
However, there is a strong contender in the form of the Tata Nexon, launched on September 21, which undercuts the Brezza by Rs 40,000-45,000 across variants in pricing. The Tata Nexon, with 2,772 units sold in September, has already announced its intent about taking on the market leader and the months ahead should see an exciting battle for the consumer. The Nexon already has a waiting period of two months.
At No. 2 is the Hyundai Creta which continues to bring in the numbers for the Korean carmaker. With sales of 9,292 units in September 2017, the Creta has sold a total of 54,032 units in the first six months of the fiscal year. This well-built, comfortable and well equipped SUV is high on refinement, fit and finish and is user-friendly too albeit it lacks proper SUV credentials. Nevertheless, this very likeable urban SUV continues to see consistent demand and has been a regular No. 2 to the Brezza, which has breezed past the UV competition in the country.
With a generally good monsoon across the country this year and improving rural disposable incomes, demand is growing for rugged UVs, typically personified by vehicles like the Mahindra Bolero. This warhorse, which is at No. 3, sold 8,930 units last month; between April and September, the Bolero has sold a total of 41,222 units.
At No. 4 is the Toyota Innova Crysta, which sold 6,323 units in September. The latest iteration of the comfortable and reliable people-mover has taken the game forward with a plusher cabin, more potent engines and the option of an automatic transmission as well, making it shed its taxi image and be embraced by customers to serve purpose as a big family van.
The Mahindra Scorpio steps in to take hold of the No. 5 position in September, selling 6,260 units. With the market moving towards more compact products than traditional body-on-frame SUVs, the Scorpio still holds its candle and fan-following, garnering much respect on the road, owing to its butch appeal.
The battle in the UV segment can only get fiercer. Watch this space.
Also read : Strong demand for Tata Nexon fuels two-month waiting period
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