Twenty-two months after Tata Motors launched its first-ever compact SUV – the Nexon – the company has rolled out the landmark 100,000th unit from the Ranjangaon plant, near Pune. While the 50,000th Nexon rolled out exactly 330 days after the vehicle’s launch on September 21, 2017, the 100,000th unit has rolled out in 338 days after the 50,000th unit.
The indications that the Nexon would be a market game-changer were always there. On November 30, 2017, less than two-and-half-months since launch, the 10,000th production-ready model had rolled out. Then on February 27, 2018, the 25,000th Nexon exited the Pune factory.
Making the con-Nexon with the compact SUV market
For Tata Motors, which is aggressively driving its Turnaround 2.0 growth strategy, the Nexon has proved to be the weapon to take on the competition and give a new charge to its UV and PV sales.
The Nexon is offered with a 110hp, 1.2-litre turbo-petrol as well as a 110hp, 1.5-litre diesel engine. Both engines get the option of either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed AMT gearbox.
In terms of features, the Nexon comes well-kitted with creature comforts like steering-mounted buttons, auto climate control, reverse parking camera with guidelines, rear AC vents, an 8-speaker Harman audio system, and a 6.5-inch infotainment screen with Bluetooth connectivity, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support.
The Tata Nexon is priced from Rs 658,000-10.30 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) and it rivals the likes of the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, the Mahindra XUV300, Ford EcoSport and the recently launched Hyundai Venue.
In FY2018, Tata Motors was one of the quickest growing OEMs in the UV segment, selling a total of 51,891 units (+178.20%) in FY2018 (FY2017: 18,652 units). Of this, the snazzy Nexon comprised 27,747 units, which accounted for 53.47 percent of Tata Motors' total UV sales.
In FY2019, Tata Motors sold a total of 78,756 UVs, which marks 51.77 percent YoY growth. Of this, the Nexon accounted for 55,008 units or 70 percent of total UV sales. In the first quarter of the ongoing fiscal year (April-June 2019), the Tata Nexon comprises for 12,652 units or 66 percent of the total 19,126 UVs sold by the company.
Buyers shift from diesel to petrol
As per Autocar Professional’s estimates, since the Nexon’s launch close to two years ago, the compact SUV has sold a total of 95,207 units till end-June 2019 comprising 50,031 diesel variants and 45,176 petrol variants, making for an overall 53:47 percent fuel-wise split in favour of diesel when it comes to total units sold till now.
However, a closer look at the data reveals that the consumer buying pattern of the Nexon mirrors the consumer shift in favour of petrol, as it does for the rest of the passenger vehicle industry. In FY2018, the diesel-petrol buying ratio for the Nexon was 62:37 percent; this changed to 49:51 percent in FY2019, and to 38:62 percent in Q1 FY2020.
The Nexon, Tata Motors’ first compact SUV, has been a game-changer for the company, helping it energise its fortunes in the passenger vehicle and SUV segments, along with other Tata cars. Thanks to the Nexon, Tata Motors’ market share in the UV segment has risen to 8.53 percent at present (Q1 FY2020). The company’s share of the UV pie has been growing – in FY2018 it was 5.63 percent and grew to 8.37 percent in FY2019. Even in current depressed market conditions, Tata has marginally increased its UV market share.
High on safety
On August 7, 2018, the Tata Nexon received a strong four-star crash test rating from global safety watchdog Global NCAP, which released its first set of its SaferCarsForIndia results for 2018. Four months later, the compact SUV bettered that score and became the first made-in-India, sold-in-India car to achieve Global NCAP’s coveted five-star crash test rating.
With growing safety awareness amongst vehicle buyers in India, the Nexon clearly has benefited from its robust safety standards and stands out as one of the safer and affordable cars in India.