Yes! You heard it right. ‘UV’ology is the new subject which has surprised the industry experts and has amazed the OEMs. At the same time previous year we all were talking about how an OEM can gain supremacy in the Indian market by having a product in the low cost hatchback segment. Industry was abuzz with the launch of Eon and possible launches in the same segment by Bajaj, GM, Ford, Toyota etc.. The dynamics of the Industry changed overnight with the increased petrol prices, lower consumer sentiments and increased interest rates. Suddenly the petrol cars were finding no buyers and with the labor unrest in Maruti, the automobile scenario in India was on the brink of a major downfall.

To highlight the point have a look at this –

*Sales figures for both petrol and diesel models . Upto 80% of the total sales  in 2012 are in the diesel variant (models which offer both petrol & diesel variants)

The numbers have significantly gone down for prominent models in Sedan and Hatchback category. But the original food for thought is –
Even in the most adverse conditions, SUV’s & MUV’s have grown against the market expectations. On a lighter note the answer is – “Because it has Yuvi (UV) in it!”. As our Yuvi, Yuvraj Singh fought the deadly cancer and hopped back to the Indian team; the UV’s have proved their mettle in the diseased economic scene.
The performance of UV’s is quite evident from –

Source: ET

The radical change is not overnight due to the increase/difference in petrol prices in comparison to diesel. The basic reason is the evolution of the Indian customer. The number of kilometres usage has increased, the normal Indian car buyer also wants to go on an outing with his family/friends once in a while, accommodation of more people within the car matters. The icing on the cake is when you get all these within your budget and then with an attractive mileage! No wonder Ertiga has over 35k bookings, Duster with over 16k bookings and XUV500 with over 15k bookings as of now.

      The customer purchase trend is justified. We Indians love to travel and also love to take the world with us! This has motivated the average Indian car buyer to look for bigger and powerful machines. SUV’s & MUV’s now constitute to nearly 20% of the passenger car market! It has grown from meager 14% four years back. The Indian Car market is now dominated by OEM’s who have a good offering in UV space. M&M recently pipped Tata as the third biggest passenger car maker because of its growth with its increase in XUV500 sales. Even Ertiga emerges to be the most ‘LUV’ed MUV – within 6 months of its inception it becomes the 6th highest selling passenger car in India. In August’12 Renault India overtakes Nissan & Skoda both (in terms of overall sales numbers) primarily due to the success of its SUV offering Duster (offtake of 3184 units!). 
      This has now forced other OEMs to bring a product in SUV/MPV category and hence be in the race. The upcoming product launches are the testimony of the above statement.
      1. Mahindra Quanto (Launch Date: September 20, 2012)
      2. Nissan Evalia (Launch Date: September 26, 2012)
      3. Ford Ecosport
      4. Tata Safari Storme
      5. Chevrolet Enjoy
      6. Ashok Leyland Stile

      Even the luxury car makers are eyeing the space. BMW & Audi already have their contenders in compact SUV space (X1 & Q3 respectively). They are now vouching for the Sports Tourer segment (you can call it as an entry level MUV space) – Mercedes Benz have already showcased its product offering – the B-class and is all set to launch this September. Even BMW is planning to introduce similar concept in the form of 1-series. VW is also considering to launch its Compact Crossover Vehicle (CUV) Tiguan in India – if priced well it can find many admirers too. 

      So, ain’t the Indian ‘UV’ology interesting? 

Indian Car Sales Figures – August 2012

August 2012 Sales Figures – Pan India

·        1) The country’s largest automaker had the ‘largest’ fall in the month. All thanks to the month-long lockout at its Manesar plant. It reported a 40.8 percent decline in total sales for August at 54,154 units as against 91,442 units in the same month last year. Although the production resumed in August 21, the numbers of best selling Swift and Dzire couldn’t exceed 804 & 3085 numbers respectively. No doubt Maruti Suzuki is planning a 99% automation of its plants! J
·         2) It is agonizing to see the decline of the entry-level hatchs –name any and its sales figures would awe you with its downfall! The undisputed kingpin Alto suffers its greatest collapse till date (in my record of past 20 months!). Reason? Simple, because of yours and mine shift to diesel cars. Customer have just eliminated models only with petrol variants from their consideration set itself. Proof –  Eon (5418 nos.), Spark (530 nos.), Estilo (828 nos.), A-star (114 nos.), i10 (6300 nos.) & Nano (607 nos). Once considered to be the most lucrative segment has questioned the dynamics of the market itself. India as a market is now one of the most difficult markets to crack! I’m waiting for the Diesel Nano – this could create some ripples and drive optimistic change in the segment.
·         3) Bolero – the ultimate no.3. Just in July I’d predicted that Bolero would be in the top 2 list and the prediction seems to bear some positivity in the immediate month itself. The ruggedness and toughness is visible in the sales figure of the product as well. If I was asked 2 words to describe the brand – those would be “Consistent” & “Exceptional”.
·         4) Mahindra seems to do magic again – the ‘refreshed’ Verito crossing 2k units! The offtake figure of 2102 units, is the highest for ‘Verito’ brand so far since its inception (even considering Logan). I wouldn’t be surprised to see it overtake the Xylo figures (2214 nos) as well in the coming months.
·         5) Sales figure of Rs. 14-16L odd worth vehicles – Cruze: 337 units, Civic: 53 units, Elantra: 608 units, Fluence: 131 units, Laura: 168 units, Corolla: 492, Jetta: 342. Take this – offtake of XUV 5oo: 3979 units! The XUV oversells over 1500 units in consideration with all the vehicles in the similar price range combined! The vehicle is still enjoying a long waiting period and puts its premium sedan competitors to shame. However a special mention to the NEO-FLUIDIC Elantra – with 608 units it tops the list (beating the stalwarts Corolla & Cruze) in its second month itself!
·         6) Duster flies with 3184 units! With this Renault has overtook Nissan and Skoda both (in terms of overall sales numbers). Duster has again highlighted the love for SUV’s among Indian car buyers. It’s compact space, butch looks and aggressive pricing has got it admirers and customers too. With rebadged Sunny – Scala waiting to take its first step on Sep 7, Renault seems to be hitting the right notes for now.
·         7) Tata manages to resume its 3rd position again. But it seems a difficult ride for the Indian conglomerate. M&M is just over 1k units (1095 to be precise) behind Tata in overall volume. Indica & Nano proves to be the volume gainer for the company.
·         8) Ertiga emerges to be the most ‘LUV’ed MUV. Within 6 months of its inception it is now the 6thhighest selling passenger car in India. No wonder Nissan, Chevy & Hyundai are eagerly waiting to launch their MUV offerings (Evalia, Enjoy & Hexaspace).
·         9) August emerges as a delight month for Honda. Not only it tops the JDP Sales Satisfaction study scores (for F12), but also fares decent in City & Brio sales. However, I’m disappointed with the offtake of Jazz – 465 units is a dishonor for this wonderful product.
    A list of Top 20 Brands of the month –