The Tata Nexon compact SUV has raced past the 200,000-unit sales milestone in India in June 2021. Launched on September 21, 2017 at Rs 585,000, the high-on-style Nexon has taken a little less than four years or 46 months to be precise.
Surging demand for the game-changing model – which is available in petrol, diesel and electric – has meant that the Pune plant is producing as many as it can sell. A month ago, on June 21, the 200,000th Nexon rolled out of the Ranjangaon plant.
With its coupe-inspired SUV design, floating infotainment screen and premium interiors, the Nexon set new standards in terms of design when it entered the highly competitive compact SUV market. The powerful turbocharged engines – 110hp, 1.2-litre, three-cylinder petrol and 110hp, 1.5-litre, four-cylinder diesel – combined with 209mm ground clearance have ensured that the Nexon has always been appreciated for its segment-leading performance and driving dynamics. And the Nexon EV is leading the charge as India’s best-selling electric passenger vehicle.
As per Autocar Professional’s market data analytics, a total of 210,981 Nexons, across all three fuel variants, have been sold till end-June 2021. The petrol-engined model, with 129,824 units, accounts for 61.53% of total Nexon sales. The diesel Nexon, with 75,423 units, takes up 35.74% of sales, while the Nexon EV, introduced in January 2020, has a 2% share with 5,734 units.
Nexon contributes 69% to Tata's UV sales
The Nexon’s contribution to Tata Motors’ much-improved UV sales between FY2018 to Q1 FY2022 can be gleaned from the fact that it has contributed a robust 68.54% to the company’s total UV sales of 307,778 units. This four-year period has also seen Tata’s UV market share grow from 5.63% to 10.94% in end-June 2021.
Tata Motors’ sharpened focus on vehicle safety has paid dividends in the marketplace, as customers now flock to buy safer cars. In December 2018, the Nexon became the first made-in-India car to receive a full 5-star adult safety rating by Global NCAP. Since the compact SUV’s launch in 2017, Tata Motors has constantly upgraded the Nexon for safety, GNCAP certification, design, regulations, emissions and segment-defining feature additions. It is now available in as many as 32 variants including 16 in petrol and 16 diesels with automatic and manual transmission options.
Growth outlook and growing competition
While safety and performance are very much in the Nexon’s favour, what it could do without is some rough edges and inconsistent quality, which somewhat impacts the ownership experience.
Compared to arch rivals like Maruti Suzuki India, Hyundai Motor India and Kia India, Tata Motors lags in terms of customer service, reliability and aftersales support. Moreover, the Hyundai-Kia duo with its flurry of powertrain and drivetrain options including DCT, torque-convertor diesel (over Nexon’s AMT) as well as clutchless-manual transmission have moved the market dynamics more towards the premium end.
The Tata Nexon has to work hard to woo buyers who are looking to spend that extra amount and get a more polished compact SUV for day-to-day urban usage. Nonetheless, where Tata Motors still has a huge opportunity is in the Tier 2 and rural areas where the abuse-friendly Nexon still shines over its softer counterparts.
(With inputs from Mayank Dhingra)