Tata Motors SUVs hit two million sales, Nexon crosses 700,000 and Punch 400,000 

Tata Motors’ resurgence in the passenger vehicle market is a result of sustained and strong demand for its SUVs in the past six years. Sales took off with the launch of the game-changing Nexon in FY2018 and the Punch a few years later, with the two compact SUV models accounting for 1.11 million units and 55% of Tata's total SUV sales.

By Ajit Dalvi calendar 10 Jul 2024 Views icon1383 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Tata Motors SUVs hit two million sales, Nexon crosses 700,000 and Punch 400,000 

Tata Motors has announced that it now has over 20 lakh or two million of its SUVs on Indian roads. The company whose SUV portfolio, which currently comprises the Safari and Harrier, Nexon and the Punch, along with the Sierra and the Safari of yesteryear, have been instrumental in achieving this milestone.

Tata Motors, which had launched the Sierra – the first SUV in India – in 1991, has gone on to roll out the game-changing Nexon compact SUV, which remains India’s best-selling SUV, and later the Punch compact SUV, which continues to punch above its weight and also draws buyers from segments above it.

UV share of Tata's PV sales (11% in FY2017) rose to 25% in FY2018 with the Nexon and 38% in FY2021, then jumped to 61% in FY2022 with the Punch.

Utility vehicles power Tata’s resurgence in passenger vehicle market
Tata Motors, as is known, has seen a remarkable turnaround in its fortunes particularly in the past three fiscal years. Decadal passenger vehicle (PV) wholesales data shows that 198,812 units in FY2014, the company has gone on to surpass the half-a-million milestone in FY2023 (538,640 units) and FY2024 (570,955 units).

The company, which also retails the Altroz and Tiago hatchbacks along with the Tigor sedan, has seen its utility vehicles (UVs) become the growth accelerators. And it all started with the game-changing Nexon compact SUV launched on September 21, 2017, followed by the Harrier midsize SUV in January 2019 and the Punch compact SUV in October 2021, while the Tata Safari has been there all along.   

A look at the comprehensive data table above reveals just how strong the UV contribution to Tata’s PV sales has been, particularly after the Nexon was introduced in FY2018. The UV share of PV sales, which was 11% in FY2017, quickly rose to 25% in FY2018 and 38% in FY2021, and then jumped to 61% in FY2022 following the rollout of the Punch.

From a total of 51,891 UVs sold in FY2018, Tata Motors has gone on to sell 388,418 UVs in FY2024 and its UV share of PV dispatches rising sharply to 68% and helping the company notch its best-ever fiscal year sales for the second straight year.

Nexon, Punch account for 1.1 million units and 55% of Tata SUV sales
The Nexon and the Punch are the two key contributors to Tata Motors’ achieving the 20-million SUV sales milestone. Their combined sales, till end-June 2024, are estimated to be 1.10 million units or 55% and that’s come about only in the past eight years.

Till end-June 2024, the Nexon is estimated to have sold 692,460 units or 63% of the 1.10 million units. The 700,000 milestone would have been surpassed in the first week of July 2024. The Punch, with 405,024 units, has a 37% share and that too in less than four years (44 months of launch).

The Nexon and Punch are Tata Motors’ top two best-selling products and the competition between them has been growing over the past 30-odd months. The sales gap between the two models has been narrowing and the difference of 38,383 units in CY2022 in favour of the Nexon had reduced to 20,130 units in CY2023. In FY2024, the Punch, which was India’s third highest-selling SUV with 169,844 units, up 27% YoY), was just 2,085 units behind the Nexon and 53 units behind the Maruti Brezza (169,897 units).

A multi-powertrain strategy spanning petrol, diesel, CNG and EV for the Punch and the Nexon (which will soon also get CNG) has paid dividends.

Now, the Tata Punch, the younger of the two compact SUV siblings, has gone ahead of ‘big brother’ Nexon in the domestic market. In the first six months of CY2024, the Punch is estimated to have sold over 110,000 units to the Nexon’s 80,000-plus units – a difference of 30,000 units – outselling the Nexon every month.

The Nexon, which has been India’s best-selling SUV for three straight fiscals, could face a challenge for the title in FY2025 from the Punch, which is currently the No. 1 SUV.

Demand for these top two SUV siblings, which are sub-4-metre models and the best-selling models for Tata Motors, will continue. What’s aids their sales performance is their strong crash safety ratings. In February 2024, the Tata Nexon achieved a top 5-star rating from Global NCAP yet again, albeit under the more stringent norms that came into effect in 2022. The Tata Punch too has secured a 5-star GNCAP rating albeit under the previous norms. More recently, the Punch EV aced the Bharat NCAP crash test with a five-star rating.

There’s little doubt that these two Tata SUVs will continue to dominate sales this year too but what is creditable is that their big numbers come amidst an ultra-competitive marketplace which has over 110 utility vehicles and a mind-boggling 800-plus variants currently on offer. And the battle is strongest in the compact SUV segment, which accounted for a million of the record 2.52 million UVs sold in FY2024

PREMIUM POWER: HARRIER AND SAFARI 

In October 2023, Tata Motors launched the new avatars of the Harrier and Safari SUVs, which have aced both the GNCAP and BNCAP crash tests. 

Meanwhile, the SUV flagship Harrier, launched in January 2019, has sold an estimated 125,000-plus units. The Safari sales, between FY2014 to FY2024 have been around 111,000 units.

Commenting on the company achieving the 2-million SUV sales milestone, Vivek Srivatsa, Chief Commercial Officer, Tata Passenger Electric Mobility, said: “Our ability to understand the SUV segment and provide the right product for every customer need, helps us immensely to maintain consistency and dominant leadership in the segment. Supported by our multi-powertrain strategy, our approach is to provide Indian consumers with world-class SUVs that are robust, safe and technologically advanced. The achievement of the 2 million SUV sales mark is a testament to this approach and sets the pace for the future growth of the SUV category.”

Tata Motors has kicked off its ‘King of SUVs’ festival by revising the starting prices of its flagship SUVs, the Harrier (Rs 14.99 lakh) and the Safari (Rs 15.49 lakh) and have extended benefits up to Rs 140,000 on popular SUV variants. On the EV front, the Nexon EV gets benefits of up to Rs 130,000 and the Punch EV of up to Rs 30,000.

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