Top 10 Passenger Vehicles in 2015-16

As expected, Maruti Suzuki India, the country’s largest carmaker, continued to dominate the top 10 throughout the year with at least six models featuring on the list consistently each month.

Shourya Harwani By Shourya Harwani calendar 18 Apr 2016 Views icon8750 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Top 10 Passenger Vehicles in 2015-16

The Indian passenger vehicle industry finished 2015-16 on a positive note with the country’s top automakers registering record sales in the domestic market along with double-digit growth.

As expected, Maruti Suzuki India, the country’s largest carmaker, continued to dominate the top 10 throughout the fiscal year with at least six models featuring on the list consistently each month. It is no secret that small cars have been the flavour of the Indian PV market and quite logically the king of small cars – the Maruti Alto – remained comfortably perched on the top with sales of 263,422 units in 2015-16.

Despite witnessing a dip in its sales from 2014-15 (264,492), the Alto remained the country’s most sold car for yet another fiscal and even crossed the 3 million sales landmark, becoming the country’s first car to do so.

In India, the only real competition to a Maruti in terms of sales is another Maruti. With combined sales of 234,242 units in the fiscal, the Dzire compact sedan (including the Dzire Tour edition) was the second most sold passenger vehicle in 2015-16. The Dzire was launched in 2008 as a sedan based on the Swift platform, to compete against the likes of the Indigo CS. The second generation of the Dzire was introduced in 2012, with the older model being rebranded as the Tour edition and being offered to taxi and fleet operators. Last year the car also became Maruti’s fourth model to join the million-unit sales club after the Alto, Wagon R and the Swift.

The Swift followed as the third most sold PV in 2015-16 with sales of 195,043 units. Since its launch in 2005, the Swift has brought innovative changes to Suzuki’s car-making, earning accolades for its sporty, stylish, and fun-to-drive character and also winning a number of ‘Car of the Year’ awards in Japan and across countries worldwide.

Maruti’s latest offering in the premium hatchback segment in the form of the Baleno has led to some cannibalisation of sales, but the Swift has managed to garner volumes consistently, thanks to a steadfast fan following.


Completing Maruti’s clean sweep at the top was the Wagon R with sales of 169,555 units in 2015-16. In a bid to take on the Hyundai Santro – the original tall boy of the Indian car market – Maruti launched the Wagon R in December 1999. The Wagon R became a big volume driver for the company, and while the Santro was phased out last year, it still continues to be a top seller for Maruti. 

Since its launch, the Wagon R has undergone three upgrades (one in 2003, another in 2006 and another in 2010) and is also available with an AMT option now, which has contributed to rekindled demand for the car of late.

Despite rising competition from the recently-launched Baleno, Hyundai Motor India’s Elite i20 remained the country’s most sold premium hatchback in 2015-16 and takes the fifth spot on the list. Since its launch in August 2014, the Elite i20 has captured the fancy of Indian buyers due to its feature-laden avatar and premium design language. The previous-generation i20 was a best seller in the premium hatchback segment as well and offered excellent features. However, the Elite i20 took it ahead from there. It became a trend setter in the premium hatchback segment and with first-in-class features such as automatic headlamps, reversing camera, dual airbags and ABS it even drew customers from segments a couple of notches above.

Close behind the Elite i20 is its smaller sibling, the Grand i10 with sales of 126,181 units during 2015-16. The Grand i10 was among the first cars to feature Hyundai’s new design language and with its competitive pricing it became an instant hit after it was launched in 2013. Like its predecessor – the i10 – the hatchback has cemented its place in a segment dominated by Maruti Suzuki and continues to drive volumes for Hyundai in India.

Initially launched as a replacement for the A-Star in India, the Celerio has managed to carve out its own niche in the over-crowded entry level hatchback segment. With various engine options and an AMT to go along, the hatchback has gained popularity for being a hassle-free city car and entered the top 10 for the first time since its launch in 2014. With sales of 87,428 units in 2015-16, the Celerio takes the sixth spot on the list.

With sales of 81,559 units in the year, Mahindra & Mahindra’s Bolero is the only utility vehicle to feature in the list. Despite a year-on-year decline in sales, the old work horse from the country’s largest UV maker sees continued demand from the rural markets and remains its most sold vehicle as well. The Bolero was first launched in 2000 and holds the record of being the only UV to report two consecutive years of sales above 100,000 units (in 2013-14 and 2014-15).

Maruti’s Omni takes the penultimate spot on the list with 79,949 units, while Honda City with 77,548 units has the last spot. Just like the Omni is the only van to feature in the top 10, the City was the only sedan to achieve the same feat.

Compact SUVs pack a punch

Despite hatchbacks hogging all the limelight in terms of sales last fiscal, the character of Indian roads is likely to evolve in the coming months with more manufacturers now entering the booming compact SUV segment. With the success of Hyundai’s Creta and the launch of Maruti’s Vitara Brezza, the definition of volume drivers might change in the future and one might see more new entrants in the Top 10.


Even the hatchback segment is seeing newer players like Renault with the Kwid challenge the might of Maruti and with other manufacturers like Tata Motors with the Tiago and Datsun with the Redigo also showcasing a fresh design and attitude, competition is all set to heat up in the coming months. For all the latest on the Top 10 sales, stay tuned to Autocar Professional.

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