If there is a vehicle segment which has come aout relatively unscathed by the pandemic-induced loss of sales, then it is utility vehicles (UVs) – in India and overseas. Domestic market sales numbers for June 2021 and the first quarter (April-June 2021) amply reflect that.
Of the total 231,633 passenger vehicles sold in June, 100,760 units or 44% comprised UVs. In Q1 FY2022, UVs (286,092) accounted for an identical percentage of total PV sales of 646,272 units. The big contributors are 10 popular models, which make up for 68% of total UV sales in April-June 2021. Let’s take a look at them. ‘
No. 1 – Hyundai Creta: 29,931 units
The Hyundai Creta, India’s best-selling utility vehicle in FY2021 with sales of 120,035 units, has topped the UV sales chart in Q1. With sales of 29,931 units, just 65 short of the 30,000 mark, the Creta remains the firm favourite in April-June 2021 period.
This Q1 total comprises 15,499 diesel variants and 14,432 petrol, which makes for a 52:48 split in favour of diesel. The Korean carmaker’s strategy to remain bullish on diesel is paying off. The Creta’s pack of powertrains comprises 1.5-litre petrol, 1.5-litre diesel and a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine options. Clearly, the new BS VI-compliant diesel motor has outpaced the other two when it comes to market pull.
No. 2 – Maruti Vitara Brezza: 26,701 units
With 3,230 units less than the Hyundai Creta, the Maruti Vitara Brezza is at No. 2 position with 26,701 units. The petrol-only model remains a strong seller and outsold the Creta in June with 12,833 units compared to the Hyundai SUV’s 9,941 units.
No. 3 – Tata Nexon: 21,410 units
Tata Motors’ high-selling UV, the Nexon, has got off to a strong start in FY2022. At 21,410 units in the first quarter, it has averaged monthly sales of 7,136 units. The Nexon’s sales comprise 16,078 petrol, 3,689 diesel ad 1,643 electric variants.
No. 4 – Maruti Ertiga: 21,258 units
Just 152 units behind the Nexon is Maruti Suzuki’s popular people-mover, the Ertiga MPV. In terms of fuel split, the Ertiga sold 7,453 CNG variants and 13,805 petrol.
Maruti Suzuki is seeing growing demand for its CNG models, particularly in view of the steep and rising price of petrol, and the Ertiga is one of its models benefiting from this trend.
No. 5 – Hyundai Venue: 20,950 units
The second Hyundai model in the Top 5 and Top 10 UV chart is the Venue with sale of 20,950 units. The SUV's best sales in Q1 were in April 2021 – 11,245 units.
Unlike the Creta, which sees strong demand for diesel variants, 17,337 Venues sold were petrol variants and 3,613 diesels which makes for a 83:17 split overwhelmingly in favour of petrol.
No. 6 – Kia Seltos: 20,912 units
Kia India’s first product for India has been a consistent seller in the first three months of FY2022 with sales of 8,086 units in April, 4,277 units in May and 8,549 units in June. Of the cumulative sales, 12,095 units were petrol variants and 8,817 diesel.
In FY2021, the Seltos was the fourth highest selling UV in India with 81,717 units. The Seltos has felt the heat from the new Hyundai Creta and sibling Sonet – which is at No. 7 – too keeps pulling in the numbers consistently.
No. 7 – Kia Sonet: 20,314 units
The Kia Sonet takes seventh position, just 598 units behind its sibling Seltos. It has been a consistent seller with 7,724 units in April, 6,627 units in May and 5,963 units in June. In terms of fuel-wise demand, Sonet buyers took home 13,005 petrol-engined variants while 7,309 diesel variants were also sold in the first quarter of this fiscal.
No. 8 – Mahindra Bolero: 15,413 units
Mahindra & Mahindra’s warhorse, which has recently seen the launch of the Bolero Neo, is the first of three Mahindra UVs in this list with 15,413 units.
Expect the Bolero Neo, the repositioned TUV300 which has been launched at prices ranging between Rs 848,000 and Rs 999,999, and should continue the market drive. It expands the Bolero portfolio with a slightly modern flavour to the rustic Bolero line-up which is a favourite among the rural buyers. However, unlike other compact crossovers, the Neo is more rugged with a body-on-frame construction and a rear-wheel drivetrain to remain true to the Bolero lineage.
No. 9 – Mahindra Scorpio: 9,519 units
The Scorpio, with 9,519 units, is at ninth place. The Mahindra Scorpio still ranks among the most popular SUVs in India. It offers a spacious cabin, robust build quality and a go-anywhere design along with the option of four-wheel drive. Mahindra is also gearing up to launch the next-generation of this true-blue SUV.
No. 10 – Mahindra XUV300: 9,010 units
Wrapping up the Top 10 list is the XUV300 with 9,010 units. The XUV300 is Mahindra's response to the premium sub-compact crossover segment that includes cars of the likes of the Hyundai Venue, Kia Sonet, Ford EcoSport as well as Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza. The XUV300 is spacious and feature loaded and aces the safety chart too with a 5-star GNCAP crash test rating.
Things can only get better for the UV market, which has seen new models like the Hyundai Alcazar (which has already received over 11,000 bookings) and Skoda Kushaq being launched recently. Consumer appetite for compact SUVs continues unabated and the Alliance sibilings – Nissan Magnite and Renault Kiger – continue to do battle with monthly numbers. Furthermore, with demand from rural India picking up, there should be increased consumption for this vehicle segment from those regions.