With both monthly and half-yearly toppers being compact SUVs, it’s no surprise that demand is strongest for this sub-segment even as midsize SUVs see growing consumer interest.
The Maruti Brezza, with 15,445 units, is the best-selling UV in September, ahead of the Tata Nexon (14,518), as it also did in August, having pipped the Nexon by 108 units
In H1 FY2023, Tata Nexon with 86,197 units is ahead of Hyundai Creta (75,482) by 10,715 units and the Maruti Brezza (66,827) by 19,370 units.
The hottest segment in the Indian passenger vehicle market is easily that of utility vehicles (UVs). With UVs now accounting for every second passenger vehicle sold in the country, every automaker worth its wheel wants to have a slice and more of this booming segment, which has been seeing a wave of sustained, surging demand over the past two years, and similar to global trends.
With six months of the ongoing fiscal over, a quick check of the Top 10 models, for September 2022 and the April-September 2022 makes for some interesting revelations. First off, the same 10 models dominate the monthly as well as the half-yearly sales charts.
The Maruti Brezza, with 15,445 units, has topped the chart last month, going ahead of SUV market leader Tata Nexon (14,518), as it also did in August 2022 – the Brezza (15,193 units) had pipped the Nexon (15,085 units) by 108 units. However, the Tata Nexon is ahead of the Brezza in H1 FY2023 by a fair margin of 19,370 units – with 86,197 units in April-September, the Nexon has averaged monthly sales of 14,366 units versus the Brezza’s 11,137 units a month.
The Hyundai Creta, third-placed in September with 12,866 units, is in No. 2 position in first-half FY2023 with 75,482 units and a monthly ‘run rate’ of 12,580 units.
Proof that the Tata Punch is the ‘dark horse’ in the UV race is the fact that it has maintained its fourth position – both in September 2022 (12,051 units) and in April-September 2022 (66,051 units), which makes for average monthly sales of 11,008 units.
The Hyundai Venue takes fifth place in September with 11,033 units and is sixth in H1 FY2023 with 60,086 units.
Small is big in India’s SUV market
Within the overall UV market, the compact SUV sub-segment rules the roost. Of the Top 10 models, five are compact SUVs – Tata Nexon and Punch, Maruti Brezza, Hyundai Venue and Kia Sonet. The midsize trio are the Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos and Mahindra Bolero. The Maruti Ertiga and Toyota Innova Crysta are the MPVs in the best-selling UVs chart.
Number-crunching reveals that the five compact SUVs have more than half of the Top 10 UV share – 56% in September 2022 and 54% in April-September 2022 (see data table below). The growing demand for midsize models is also seen in their near-29% contribution for both September and H1 FY2023 while MPVs make up the balance.
With six months to go for FY2023 to end and the SUV-driven passenger vehicle segment firing on all cylinders, SUV manufacturers will be looking to maximise demand in festive October and beyond. Most of the sizeable pending orders across OEMs represent SUVs, and with the semiconductor supply crisis having eased for most, assembly lines will be pressed hard to roll out what the consumer wants. In the value-conscious Indian marketplace, it's the SUV-vival of the fittest.
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