We present the most important segments at the last. Yes, India’s highest selling cars come from the entry/mid level hatchbacks & Compact Sedans. Both of them combined contribute ~50% of overall passenger sales in India – In 2017, ~12.4 Lakh Entry/Mid level hatchbacks were sold and ~4.1 Lakh Compact Sedans were sold. These are the segments where Maruti Suzuki predominantly enjoyed leadership over years and is still reigned by it.
Hatchbacks have always been a practical choice for the Indian market as for many buyers a Four Wheeler is a first time purchase and considering the level of investment – entry/mid hatchbacks make a sensible buy. Also considering the country’s infrastructure, parking woes, government taxation structure – Hatchbacks rule! The Global Biggies (Toyota, GM, VW) lose out on the race in India for not having options/expertise in the segment. They’ve tried and failed miserably as well. The likes of Maruti & Hyundai have aced it and thus dominate the Indian Automobile market. Let’s see the sales statistic of the year 2017 for the offerings in the segment –
Dec’17 month sales volumes looked like this –
Compact Sedan’s are nothing but the hatchbacks with a boot. India should have pioneered the segment globally in my opinion and thus products like Ameo, Amaze, Etios were launched in the sub-continent first! The Compact hatches add to the aspirational quotient and thus many Indians do not mind paying extra bucks just for the additional boot. Having a 3-box car is matter of prestige in many Indian families and also considering increase in inter-city travel – having a sedan is sensible as well. The segment was found by Indigo CS initially and was mastered by Swift Dzire. The sheer success of Dzire in the Indian market and should be a case study in the Global OEMs desk. Dzire has been able to topple Alto as the best selling car in many months in 2017 and was just ~32k units short in terms of annual sales. However, apart from Dzire, all other models in the segment struggled all-together combined couldn’t match Dzire volumes (Dzire-2,25,043 units & All Others combined – 1,80,620 units). The refreshed Dzire launched this year was nothing but a generation ahead of the outgoing model and was easily able to pull majority customers to itself. The statistics for the segment was –
We have also collated the Dec’17 segment’s sales numbers separately for reference –