Even though July 2018 passenger vehicle (PV) sales at 290,960 units (-2.71%) marked a year-on-year decline of 2.71 percent, the fact of the matter is that year-ago July 2017's robust numbers were an aberration in view of the massive growth led by GST-driven benefits.
PV market leader Maruti Suzuki India, which has a commanding 52.50 percent PV market share, sold 152,427 units in the domestic market in July 2018 (-0.57%), taking 52.38 percent of the overall Indian PV market and leaving the balance for 14 other OEMs. Its six cars in the Top 10 for July – Dzire, Alto, Swift, Baleno, Wagon R and Vitara Brezza – together account for 115,491 units or 75.76 percent of its sales in July.
The new Maruti Dzire sedan, which has won its way into Indian families' hearts, continued to top the chart for the second month in a row. In July 2018, it sold a total of 25,647 units or 827 units each day. The third-generation Dzire is a more wholesome package than its predecessors, has more cabin space and a larger boot too. Importantly, it has frugal petrol and diesel engines, the former smooth and enjoyable while the latter are a tad clattery.
It is to be noted that the new Dzire made news in June by becoming the top-selling car in the country, dethroning its younger and cheaper entry-level Alto sibling. The stylish sedan has put the sales chart afire for Maruti, garnering total volumes of 18,758 units.
Usurped of the No. 2 position in June by the new Swift, the Maruti Alto has taken back that slot, going home to 23,371 buyers. Expect a good number of Alto buyers to hail from Tier 1 and 2 towns, what with car buyers in metro cities shifting their preferences to premium hatchbacks.
At No. 3 is the Maruti Swift hatchback with 19,993 units, 1,822 units more than the 18,171 units sold in June 2018, giving a clear indication of its growing popularity in the B-segment space. On June 13 this year, the snazzy third-generation model drove past the 100,000 sales milestone within just 145 days of its launch at the 2018 Auto Expo. The Swift, in its latest eye-catching avatar, has been wooing buyers with its contemporary design language, roomier cabin, plentiful feature set and potent set of engines.
The Baleno, Maruti's remium hatchback sold through the Nexa channel, takes the No. 4 spot, with overall sales of 17,960 in July 2018, down 6 percent from year-ago sales (July 2017: 19,153). Since its launch in October 2015, the Baleno has sold a total of 431,601 units or an average of 12,694 units each month.
At No. 5 is tall boy and entry level hatchback, the Maruti Wagon R sold 14,339 units last month, keeping its appeal going strong with family buyers scouting for a practical and spacious offering. The car, however, dropped one position even after selling more than what it had clocked in July 2017 with 15,243 units, and down 5.9 percent year on year.
Maruti's game-changing compact SUV and the country's UV leader, the Vitara Brezza remains unflappable and takes No. 6 position in the Top 10 PV chart. At 14,181 units in July 2018, the practical, spacious and well-equipped SUV remains a popular buy.
The next three cars in the Top 10 are all Hyundais. At No. 7, the Hyundai Elite i20 sold 10,822 units last month, down on year-ago sales of 11,390 units but is one rank up on the No. 8 position in July 2017. The updated version of the i20 launched at the 2018 Auto Expo has a lot going for it. The car now offers a crisper touch-screen infotainment system, smarter alloy wheels, as well as a CVT mated to its 1.2-litre petrol engine.
The i20's hatchback sibling, the Hyundai Grand i10 has dropped one rank below to eighth spot with sales of 10,775 units (July 2018: 12,002), indicative of the gradual shift of entry level car buyers to more premium offerings. Nonetheless, the Grand i10 continues to be offered with an exhaustive list of comfort and design features, making it a practical buy for families.
The i20's popular cousin, the Hyundai Creta is at No. 9 position, three positions behind the only other UV in the Top 10 list – the Vitara Brezza. In June 2018, the Creta had beaten the Brezza to top spot with sales of 11,111 units, but the Brezza has bounced back with 14,000-plus sales and back to being UV major domo.
In June, the recently launched second-generation Honda Amaze had debuted in the Top 10 PVs list with sales of 9,103 units. With sales of 10,180 units, the Amaze maintains its No. 10 position for the second month in a row. The Amaze, in its latest avatar offers quite a value-packed proposition, with its spacious cabin, standard safety kit, contemporary features, and the unique diesel CVT option.
With Kerala, which is a strong PV market, currently bearing the brunt of heavy rains and floods, sales are likely to be impacted in the coming months. Nevertheless, with the beginning of the festive season in the country around the corner, OEMs will be gearing up to keep their dealers well stocked. These Top 10 cars will continue to be prime movers and shakers in the coming months. Stay tuned.
Also read: Top 10 Two-Wheelers in July 2018
Top 5 Utility Vehicles in July 2018
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