Auto Punditz Poll Results – Tata Hexa an SUV / MUV?

We have been getting a lot of feedback on categorizing Tata’s Hexa as an MUV in our sales figures charts. Our intent of terming it as a MUV is considering the prospect customer base for the model; i.e. a Hexa prospect is one who is looking for a capable 7 seater and is extremely feature rich and doesn’t compromise on premium-ness. We do agree that an XUV500 / Compass / Creta buyer may also consider Hexa in their consideration list; but we anticipate that the numbers of such cases may be lower. Technically, Hexa can be considered as a SUV according to the definition (SUV – a passenger vehicle similar to a station wagon but with the chassis of a small truck and, usually, four-wheel drive). However the fact is, There is no universally accepted definition of the sport utility vehicle! And also by the definition; the so called monocoque based vehicles & without 4×4 availability shall be off the list.

Hexa was based on the Aria and was also seen as Innova competitor right from the start. Even the bodyshell of Hexa is same as Aria and from the side there is no visible difference. Moreover Tata had clearly differentiated it with its sibling Safari. Hexa is clearly marketed as a seven-seater when compared to Safari. The Ground Clearance, Approach Angles, Departure Angles and Breakaway Angles are more practical in Safari than Hexa. Hexa is a people’s mover with off road potential while Safari is hardcore off-roader.

We faced a similar dilemma while categorizing Etios under Compact Sedan category – yeah, we are aware that technically Etios is over 4m in length and ‘technically’ we can not put it under the Compact Sedan category. However, our logic of placing it under the CS category is basis the customers’ consideration set. We believe that an Etios customer may consider Dzire, Amaze or Xcent in his/her list (not many will compare with City, Ciaz or Verna).

Auto Punditz have always believed that Sales Figures help us understand the performance of a particular model against the market size and potential. That’s the reason why we have presented relentless reports month-after-month and off-late we have even started categorizing models for our readers benefit. We have always taken our readers feedback very strongly and this poll is a result of the same. It shall help us get connected much better with you and would request your honest response on the poll. Do share the same with your connections and help us get maximum responses for better assessment.

So the results are out:

It was an extremely close match between the two options and was nothing short of a nailbiting-contest when we were counting the votes. We received a total of 147 responses and the categorization of votes is as shown below:

Though MUV emerged as a winner in the poll; it was ahead of the SUV categorization by just 1 vote! We also got a feedback on Twitter mentioning Hexa to be categorized under ‘Family SUV‘ segment. The survey results clearly indicate the confusion in the brand placement of the model and is also affecting the retail performance of the capable vehicle. With Hexa, Tata not only redefined it’s quality aspects; but also bought in a real competitor to Innova/XUV. However, it didn’t fare as expected and was able to sell an average of just 1,000 units in past 22 months (total 22,097 units sold). We expect the model to fare much better in coming time and also the consumer having greater acceptance of the model than it’s counterparts. But all said and done, Indian Automotive Market doesn’t show mercy and only the best survive!

We have already initiated a study on the segmentation of vehicles according to the Indian context and shall release an article too on the subject in coming days.

Top 10 Selling Cars of October 2018

  • Alto regains the No.1 slot and emerges as the best selling car of Oct’18! It was leading by ~3.5k units from the second best seller and proved its worth. Sep’18 best seller Swift was pushed to the No.4 spot!
  • Baleno made its all time highest rank and stood second in the list. The Nexa model is steadily maintaining volumes with the Swift and may even overtake Swift numbers in some time.
  • Dzire ranked third and sold 17,404 units in Oct’18.
  • Brezza sold >15k units and its the third in its lifetime it had crossed 15k units! The Compact SUV has gained tremendous volumes over time and has also emerged as the best selling SUV in the subcontinent. Brezza has also established Maruti as a market leader in the SUV/MUV category.
  • Wagon-R moves out of the Top 5 best sellers and ranked 9th in Oct’18. To make way for the upcoming Wagon-R; the volumes are dropped and we expect the resurgence pretty quick.
  • Hyundai’s Tri-Murti (i20, Grand i10 & Creta) again deliver as expected and ranked 6th, 7th & 8th. Creta now is consistently faring >11k units & even i20 volumes are at an impressive >13k units.

Best Selling Compact Sedans of October 2018

An undying segment!

Yes, there is a reason why we are terming it as ‘undying’ – while OEMs had given up on the segment due to the 1-model dominance (Dzire); Honda rekindled the segment with its Amaze & Ford too isn’t ready yet to give it up and launched the refreshed avatar of Aspire. Tata too had the performance-oriented version of the Tigor (JTP) and is gunning hard to make it as successful as the hatchback sibling (Tiago). Let’s look how the Top 5 models fared in the segment in Oct’18:

  • Dzire as always stood on top and sold 17,404 units. Surprisingly; it is after 17 months that Dzire has sold less than 20k units! The last time Dzire had sold <20k units was in July’17 (14,703 units). Does the falling volumes indicate something brutal for the segment? Or is it the competition is getting fiercer and Dzire is facing the heat?
  • Amaze is now the clear No.2 and sold 5,542 units. However the drop in volumes in Oct’18 is steep when compared to Sep’18 (numbers dropped from 8,401 units in Sep’18 to 5,542 units in Oct’18)!
  • The gap between Xcent & Tigor is minimized and Tigor was just 216 units behind Hyundai’s Xcent. Will Tata be able to gain the lead from Xcent and move to No.3 spot?
  • Aspire in its refreshed avatar made in the Top 5 and sold 2.520 units in Oct’18!

Let’s look at the YoY sales numbers of models in the segment:

Best Selling Compact SUVs of October 2018

This segment has seen major upward movement in the past decade. Even in Oct’18; the segment grew by a whopping 39% when compared to Oct’17.

While Ecosport was the one which identified the true potential of the segment; Brezza redefined volumes here! Many other entrants (likes of WRV, TUV, Quanto, Nuvosport) tried to get a pie in the segment and still trying to do so. Even Tata ventured in with Nexon and was pretty successful here. However; the competition is going to be much more fiercer with Hyundai entering the segment and Mahindra introducing a new model (S201).

Let’s look at the Best 5 selling cars in the segment for Oct’18 –

Nexon again overtakes Ecosport to seal the No.2 spot in Oct’18! Nexon has slowly gained volumes and is maintaining the ~4.5k sales trend month on month. Even WRV gained significant volumes in Oct’18 and registered a sales of 3,253 units v/s 2,421 units sold in Sep’18. The YoY performance of the models in the segment is as mentioned –

Best Selling Sedans of October 2018

One of the most competitive segments in the Industry!

There has been no definitive winner in this category and that’s what makes this segment extremely competitive. Ciaz in its refreshed avatar had taken the Top slot in Sep’18 and was clearly ahead of City & Verna. However, just within a month the scenario changed and the gap between Ciaz & No.2 (City) minimized to just 280 units. Also City, which was pushed to the No.3 spot jumped to the second rank in Oct’18 overtaking Hyundai’s Verna. 4th Spot has been dominated by Skoda’s Rapid and it has been pretty consistent there (anticipated that Yaris could’ve dethroned it).

Let’s see the Top 5 best selling sedans of Oct’18 –

You may be wondering; where is Yaris in the list? Toyota’s biggest launch this year couldn’t meet the customer’s aspirations level and the pricing worked as a deterrent to the model. Yaris registered its all time lowest sales yet and was pushed to the bottom of the table!

October 2018 Car Sales – Snapshot

No Rejoice this festive season for the Automakers!

A lot was riding on the Dussehra festivity to boost car sales. However, the month proved to be a dud and both OEMs & dealers kept on gasping to get more customers on to their showrooms. Rising Fuel Prices, Higher Insurance Costs, Volatility of Rupee & Negativity in the stock market were the primary reasons for lower consumer sentiment. The carmakers had stocked up dealer inventory anticipating the festive rush; however the market response was subliminal. The silver lining again was only new launches – Santro, New Aspire, Marazzo helped their respective OEMs gain a significant growth in Oct’18 v/s the same period last year.

  • Maruti’s sales was flat and could post a growth of meager 0.6% in Oct’18 v/s Oct’17. The nation’s biggest carmaker too was affected by the lower customer sentiment and the wholesale volumes were normalized as the dealers were already loaded with higher stock levels.
  • Hyundai India registered its all time highest sales owing to wonderful response of the New Santro. The New Santro garnered 28,800 bookings in just 22 days which is the highest ever for any brand in its segment!
  • M&M was able to retain its 3rd spot and Marazzo critically helped the OEM for the purpose. However, Tata has been dangerously close and with the announcement of initiation of Harrier bookings – Tata’s chances have gone stronger!

Let’s see how the Market Shares fluctuated in Oct’18 v/s Oct’17 –

  • Maruti’s market shares dropped by -0.6%! We have been habituated to see Maruti’s Market shares above 50%; however the drop wasn’t expected considering their capacity expansion and aggressive campaigns. Possibly launch of the New Santro has made some effect in the entry-hatch segment (which has always been Maruti’s stronghold).
  • Hyundai gained significantly owing to Santro launch. However; the increment in Market Shares was just 0.5%. Infact Tata’s market share increase was very similar!
  • Considering low base in Oct’18 & launch of refreshed Aspire; Ford’s Market Share increment was a whopping 1.7%. Will Ford sustain this?

Electric Vehicle Sales Data – India

Source: SMEV

While India’s Transport Minister Mr.Nitin Gadkari had committed that India India will stick to its plan of having 100% electric mobility by 2030. However, government’s efforts to promote electric cars have been dismal and disappointing. Hence FY 2017-2018 saw de-growth in sale of electric four-wheelers where the sales are down year-on-year by 40 percent! The sale of electric 4-wheelers dropped from 2000 in FY16-17 to 1200 in FY17-18. However, the positive news is that the Electric 2-wheeler sales catapulted from 23,000 units in FY17 to 54,800 units in FY18. We also saw new-age Electric 2 wheeler manufacturers (likes of Ather Electric) venture into Electric 2-wheeler segment and make their presence felt.

However, Mahindra Electric seems to be the only OEM in India which has considerable number of electric vehicles in its portfolio and has been serious about this segment. The vehicles in Mahindra Electric’s portfolio are:

  • Mahindra eVerito – eVerito is the most radical offering out of all; as it has maximum space and practicality of the diesel-run sibling (Verito). The car is a hit among Taxi Fleet buyers and have tied up the vehicle with enterprise clients. Majority of the eVerito’s are sold in Bangalore. Mahindra Electric had earlier tied-up with Baghirathi group which launched its brand ‘rydS’ and had the plans to include 1000 eVerito’s in the fleet.
  • Mahindra e2o – Reva was the pioneer in the Electric Vehicle space and e2o came into existence post Mahindra bought over Reva. It is an evolution of the earlier generation Reva Electric cars and is much more advanced when compared to the predecessor.

  • Mahindra eSupro Passenger – The vehicle is an electric avatar of the already selling Supro passenger and provides an excellent green option of mobility in big cities. The vehicle has acres of space and can be used as an excellent people mover.

  • Mahindra eAlfa – The electric 3-wheeler is an excellent mobility option in the Tier-2, Tier-3 towns and could also be used in bigger campuses for ferrying public.

Last 3-months Sales figures of the vehicles sold by Mahindra Electric for reference –

Best Selling Motorcycles of September 2018

  • Top 5 motorcycles were dominated by Hero & Bajaj! The Motorcycle segment still dominates the Indian 2-wheeler scenario – the Top 4 motorcycles sold more than the Top 10 scooters in Sep’18! (The combined sale of Top 4 motorcycles was 6,71,192 units v/s the combined sales of Top 10 scooters of 6,01,878 units).
  • Splendor still sells like a charm! It overtook Activa sales and emerged the No.1 Bestseller in the Two Wheeler category.
  • Bajaj has gone the volumes way and has aggressively priced the entry-level offerings (CT & Platina). Bajaj also had 3 models in the Top 10 list and was only second to Hero (which had 4 models).
  • Surprisingly Royal Enfield sales have slowed down and the Classic 350 was pushed to the 10th spot. Classic 350 sold 44,021 units in Sep’18 (v/s 47,674 units sold in Sep’17).