Nexon gives Tata Motors a new charge in India's booming UV market

by Mayank Dhingra 22 Jul 2018


The utility vehicle (UV) market in India is going great guns and currently notching 23 percent year-on-year growth. Of the total 873,501 passenger vehicles sold in first quarter of FY2019 (April-June 2018), UVs account for 234,876 units or 26.88 percent.

While the Top 5 UVs -- Maruti Vitara Brezza, Hyundai Creta (No. 1 in June), Mahindra Bolero, Toyota Innova and Maruti Ertiga -- maintain their stranglehold on the best-sellers list, the Nexon, Tata Motors' first compact SUV, is gradually making its presence felt and it seems to be a matter of time before it drives into the Top 5 list.

Launched in September 2017, the Tata Nexon seems to be doing all the right things for brand Tata Motors on the PV front, with support from the Tiago hatchback and Hexa crossover, among other products. With its new ‘Impact Design’ and now the ‘Impact Design 2.0’ philosophy, the company has leveraged styling as one of the key factors to germinate the feeling of aspiration in customers’ minds.

The Nexon has cumulatively garnered sales of 40,720 over the nine-month period since its launch, and has emerged as a promising competitor to the rather established products in the market, which include the Maruti Vitara Brezza, Hyundai Creta and the Ford EcoSport.

In the April to June 2018 quarter, aided by the Nexon, Tata Motors’ UV market share has risen from 2.02 percent to 7.87 percent with overall sales of 18,473 units (April-June 2017: 3,859). Meanwhile, led by the sales of the Vitara Brezza, Maruti Suzuki saw its UV market share maintain flat year-on-year growth of 28 percent, with overall sales of 65,754 units during the same period (April-June 2017: 57,125)

What remains to be seen is whether the demand for the Tata Nexon sustains over the long term. The carmaker, which recently expanded the Nexon AMT range with a new XMA variant, will be looking to do just that.

It may be recollected that Japanese carmaker Honda Cars India was going strong with its WR-V crossover, which too had brought tailwinds to the company’s UV sales immediately after the SUV's launch in March 2017. The scenario, a year later, though is a tad lukewarm. Where it had gone on to straightaway double the company’s UV market share to around 6 percent, surpassing the 50,000 mark in March 2018, the WR-V's sales, of late, are on a downward trend. IN Q1 FY2019, Honda's share of the UV has fallen to 3.97 percent with overall sales of 9,334 units, compared to 6.58 percent a year ago (April-June 2017: 12,550 units).

Meanwhile, growth is good for another Japanese rival, Toyota Kirloskar Motor, which too sees its UV market share augmented to 10.85 percent with overall sales of 25,478 units from 9.38 percent during the same period last year (April-June 2017: 17,881).

Hyundai Motor India, with a recent facelift to its popular Creta SUV, too sees its UV market share growing to 13.63 percent, selling 32,022 units, from 12.76 percent (April to June 2017: 12.76%).

FCA India, with its Jeep Compass which has sold 4,904 units, has 2.09 percent market share.

As the monsoon picks up pace across the country and demand grows for rough-and-tough steeds of the UV kind, OEMs will be looking to make the most of positive consumer sentiment this fiscal.

Also read: Top 5 UVs – June 2018 | Hyundai Creta dethrones Maruti Vitara Brezza after 23 months

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