Even though the utility vehicle segment registered good growth of 11.92 percent, selling 79,136 units out of a total of 298,504 PVs sold inApril 2018, their accelerated surge, however, witnessed a slight moderation, likely due to the fast-rising fuel prices in the country.
Where the UV segment was zooming past everything else at a strong 20 percent growth rate up until the end of FY2018, it seems that the hole-in-the-wallet burning fuel prices are now compelling buyers to look towards more fuel efficient choices available in the market.
Maruti’s Vitara Brezza continues to lead the pack of the top five UVs, selling 10,818 units (April 2017: 10,653). While it has been one of the growth drivers for the company’s UV market share, which today stands at over 26 percent, the Brezza has been running relentlessly for over two years now, and with the competition in the form of the Tata Nexon and the updated Ford EcoSport getting fiercer, it did feel the need for a breather. As a result, Maruti Suzuki has just introduced the updated version of the crossover, and while it now gets a new colour option, as well as safety features including dual airbags, ABS and EBD getting standard across variants, the biggest surprise is the inclusion of an AMT, mated to its 1.3-litre four-cylinder turbocharged diesel motor. With the new convenience option pitched especially to lure urban dwellers, Maruti is expecting sales to boost further with the refreshed version.
At No 2, the Hyundai Creta has been garnering good numbers for the Korean carmaker. With sales of 9,390 units, the Creta is running strong (April 2017: 9,213), and has sold over 250,000 units since getting launched back in July 2015. The crossover is now set to get a refresh and while it will be updated with a few exterior styling tweaks, Hyundai will also enhance the already exhaustive features list on offer on the SUV.
While buyers in Tier 1 cities might be reconsidering sedans over their crossover counterparts, the demand for rugged UVs continues to remain strong in Tier 2 towns as well as in the rural markets. As a result, the Mahindra Bolero continues its unfaltering journey and stood at the No 3 spot, with the old warhorse selling 8,527 units in the month, and in fact, jumping two positions over last year, when it went home to 6,358 buyers in April 2017.
At No. 4 is the Toyota Innova Crysta, which sold 7,055 units (April 2017: 6,589). The latest iteration of the comfortable and reliable people mover has taken the game forward with a plusher cabin, more potent engines and the option of an automatic transmission as well, making it shed its taxi image and be embraced by customers to serve purpose as a big family van.
The Maruti Ertiga closes the order securing the last spot, selling 5,689 units, albeit dropping two positions over April 2017, when its sales stood at 6,742 units. The people-mover is popular both with the fleet operators, as well as family buyers and offers a host of powertrain options, including a petrol motor, a diesel engine, and a factory-fitted CNG kit. The next-generation Ertiga, which was recently showcased at the 2018 Indonesia Motor Show, is India-bound and is expected to launch during the festive season this year.
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