Tata Punch outsells Nexon for fifth straight month

In the friendly battle between the compact SUV siblings, the Punch has raced ahead of the Nexon in CY2024. Between January and May 2024, the Punch has outsold the Nexon every month and clocked an estimated 92,070 units to the Nexon’s 68,260 units.

By Ajit Dalvi calendar 12 Jun 2024 Views icon3393 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Tata Punch outsells Nexon for fifth straight month

It’s said competition is always a good thing and brings out the best, even within a company’s own portfolio. At Tata Motors, the competition between its top two best-sellers – the Nexon and Punch – 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 fact 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).

Now, the Tata Punch, the younger of the two compact SUV siblings, has gone ahead of ‘big brother’ Nexon for the past five months (see wholesales data table below) in the domestic market. 

From January 2024 onwards, the Punch has consistently outsold the Nexon.

The last time that the Tata Nexon was ahead of the Punch in monthly sales was in December 2023 when it sold 15,284 units to the Punch’s 13,787 units. From January 2024 onwards, the Punch has driven ahead of the Nexon – in January, it was ahead by 796 units, by 4,043 units in February, by 3,489 units in March, by 7,990 units in April, and by 7,492 units in May 2024. That’s a sizeable difference of 23,810 units between the Tata Punch and the Tata Nexon.

Given Tata Motors’ estimated cumulative UV sales of 181,295 units in the January-May 2024 period, the Punch has contributed 50.78% while the Nexon’s share stands at 37.65 percent.

An additional factoid is that at 92,070 units at end-May 2024, the Punch is currently India's best-selling SUV for the calendar year to date, ahead of the Maruti Brezza (76,980 units) and the Nexon, which is in third place (68,260 units). 

Nexon power slows down, CNG variant coming
Sales have been slowing down for the Tata Nexon, which was India’s best-selling SUV in FY2024 with 171,929 units (down 0.10%). It was also SUV No. 1 in FY2023 (172,138 units) and FY2022. The Nexon has hugely benefited from Tata Motors’ multi-fuel strategy – there are all of 72 variants on offer across petrol (34 variants), diesel (28 variants) and electric (10 variants), which means there is a Nexon for every budget.

While the most affordable petrol Nexon (1.2 Smart 0) costs Rs 910,000 (on-road Delhi), the top-end petrol 1.2 Fearless+ S Dark DCT variant has a sticker price of Rs 17.48 lakh. The diesel Nexon’s pricing starts at Rs 11.52 lakh for the 1.5 Smart+ and goes up to Rs 18.83 lakh for the Dark AMT variant (on-road Delhi). The Nexon EV’s pricing kicks off at Rs 15.80 lakh and goes up to Rs 20.71 lakh for the Empowered+ LR Dark variant.

Tata Motors had showcased the Nexon iCNG at the Bharat Mobility Show in New Delhi earlier this year. Based on the facelifted Nexon SUV launched last September, the Nexon iCNG is near-identical to the petrol/diesel-powered Nexon in terms of styling and equipment albeit there are CNG-related mechanical and cosmetic changes. Once launched, the Nexon will be the only vehicle in India to offer an extensive line-up of powertrains including petrol, diesel, CNG and EV, along with manual, AMT and DCT options. It’s likely the Nexon sales will get a new charge with the rollout of the CNG avatar.

Tata Punch packs a mean punch
Launched in October 2021, the Tata Punch continues to punch above its weight and has even been drawing buyers from outside its segment.

The Punch, initially available only with petrol power, is clearly benefiting from the two new alternate fuel variants introduced in FY2024. While the Punch CNG was launched in August 2023, the Punch EV was introduced into the market in January 2024. Tata Motors, which is witnessing growing demand for its CNG and EV models – which accounted for nearly 29% of its overall PV sales of 582,915 units in FY2024 – is seeing the same growth trajectory in the Punch. The recent IPL cricket tournament, for which Tata Motors was the main sponsor, gave the Punch EV millions of eyeballs.

The Tata Punch has 33 variants on offer – 20 petrol, 5 CNG and 8 electric. Pricing for the petrol-engined Punch stars from Rs 703,000 (on-road Delhi) for the base Pure through to Rs 11.98 lakh for the Creative (O) AMT variant. The price sticker for the Punch iCNG starts at Rs 803,000 and goes up to Rs 10.90 for the top-end variant. The zero-emission Punch EV’s pricing starts at Rs 11.71 lakh for the base Smart variant and rises to Rs 15.43 lakh for the Empowered+ LR variant.

The Punch seems to be a popular buy in urban India which experiences considerable traffic congestion and parking woes. With its compact footprint (Punch is 3827mm to 3857mm long compared to the 3995mm-long Nexon, Punch’s width is 1742mm to Nexon’s 1804mm), high ground clearance and a solid road presence, the Punch has what it takes to meet the requirements of a city runabout.

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.

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

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