Baleno – The best selling car of March 2020

While the lockdown imposed by the Indian Government due to Covid 19 had a serious impact on the Automobile Industry; the repercussions were seen across the channel – The OEM dispatches stopped, dealers are reeling with inventory and even the purchase plan of the end customers got deferred temporarily. Already reeling Auto Industry will now have to brace the impact of reduced liquidity, fluctuating markets, decreasing purchase potential and probably a global slowdown!

However; we are comparing the sales analysis of March 2020 with 1 factor in mind – All OEMs would have had an equal and fair chance till the lockdown was announced; hence our top selling cars analysis and segmentwise analysis shall still give us an understanding of how the models / segments fared in the last month.



  • Baleno toppled the likes of Alto & Brezza to become the Number 1 selling car in India for March 2020!
  • Surprisingly Maruti’s Dzire came 10th in the list of 10 best selling cars! Maybe non-availability of diesel-variant is making an impact? (significant amount of Diesel Dzire was sold as taxis).
  • Top 5 cars had 4 models from Maruti & 1 from Kia! Kia Seltos makes to the Top 5 for the second consecutive month and saved it spot from the newly launched Creta as well. Kia seltos was also the best selling SUV for March 2020.
  • The New Creta was the best selling Hyundai for March 202o. It outsold its sibling Venue by quite a margin and has its eyes set on the Seltos now.
  • Eeco & Brezza ranked 8th & 9th respectively. Eeco is now regularly faring in the Top 10 selling cars in India.

March 2020 Car Sales – Snapshot

March is generally considered to be a good month for the Automotive Industry as it is the final month of the financial year and there are many purchases citing depreciation benefits. Also OEMs generally go for a price hike in April; hence the Automotive Sales are better in March itself. However; March 2020 was nothing less of a ‘bloodshed’ for both OEMs and Dealer Partners. While the vehicle dispatches & end consumer retails would have been stopped by 23 March (day since lockdown was announced); the overall channel was already reeling with BS4 inventory as well. The final nail on the coffin was Supreme Court’s decision where it announced to allow only 10% of the overall BS4 stock the dealers carried.

April is going to be a deadlier month as almost half of the month’s operation would have been stalled due to the lockdown. Also post lockdown the sentiments wouldn’t be great to push purchases.

  • The Indian Automotive Industry saw a windfall degrowth of over 52%! The Market Leader Maruti Suzuki degrew by -47% in Mar’20 v/s Mar’19. However; the OEM witnessed a Market Share growth of 3.9% and Maruti’s Market Share for Mar’20 was 54.2%.
  • Hyundai’s YoY degrowth was -41% and it too gained Market Share in the tough scenario.
  • Kia retained the No.3 spot and sold over 8.5k units in Mar’20. Kia’s performance in the tough scenario was commendable and registered a Market Share of 6.1% in Mar’20.
  • Top Losers of Market Share were Tata, Honda & Mahindra.




Market Share figures for Mar’20 –

Capacity Utilization – Weak Link of the OEMs

India had emerged as an epicenter for Automobile OEMs to establish their manufacturing facility basis the mentioned advantages –

  • Setup cost was lower due to comparatively lower real estate value (compared to developed nations).
  • Trained Manpower Availability (easy availability of technical manpower, blue collar workers, etc).
  • Lower Manpower Cost (Manpower Cost / Hr remained one of the lowest across the globe).
  • High Vendor Base (leading to faster & lower cost availability of parts & components).
  • Government Support (Leading to lower operating & setup costs). Even government run programmes such as ‘Make in India’ attracted enough attention.
  • Growing Market & Vast Domestic Potential (India’s Automobile Market was one of the fastest growing markets in the world).
  • India can be established as an Export Base due to central location.

Basis the advantages highlighted above; almost all major OEMs set up their massive manufacturing facilities in India backed by multi billion-dollar investments. We had earlier compiled the list of automotive manufacturing plants – here. However; we have seen that the India is slowly losing the IQ (Investment Quotient) and OEMs are vary of the already heavy investment done in the sub-continent. This has led to global major like General Motors to completely exit the market and even the likes of Ford are considering the cost of their presence in India. One of the primary reasons for the lower viability of the Investment done by the OEMs is – Low Capacity Utilization.



Before going to the statistics; let us understand the number of manufacturing facilities of Mass market OEMs in India. There are collectively 25 manufacturing plants set up by 14 Passenger Vehicle OEMs in the Indian subcontinent. Presented here is the statewise manufacturing facilities established –

  • Maharashtra & Tamilnadu has over 52% of the manufacturing facilities. Pune & Chennai sector has the highest density of manufacturing plants.
  • Gujarat has gained traction and collectively has 4 plants.



Let us now assess the production capacity of the passenger vehicle OEMs and the actual capacity utilization of these OEMs:

  • Currently Maruti Suzuki has 3 plants and the capacity to manufacture 17 Lakh vehicles annualy. We have taken the average of vehicles manufactured in the past 11 months and compared with the Monthly Average Capacity. The Capacity Utilization of Maruti is as high as 94%.
  • Hyundai comes in close second with a production capacity of ~62k units per months v/s actual production of ~56k units per month and capacity utilization is as high as 90%.
  • However; OEMs like Tata, Mahindra, Toyota & Honda are operating at 1/3rd of the capacity!
  • Even Ford & RNA (Renault Nissan Alliance) operate at <50% capacity.
  • Newbies like MG & Kia are better off in terms of capacity utilization as well.
  • FCA at capacity utilization of only 8% – will be interesting to see how shall the OEM survive with such high operating costs and low volumes.

A lot of money is lost with every minute of underutilized capacity and costs billions to the respective OEMs. It is a matter of time on how these OEMs with low capacity utilization survive the tide.

Modelwise & Segmentwise Fuel Split Sales Statistics for 2019

Modelwise Petrol v/s Diesel Fuel Split for Year 2019 – 


Segment Wise Fuel Split Sales Data for year 2019 – 

1. Entry Hatchback Segment:

2. Compact Hatchback Segment:

3. Premium Hatchback Segment:

4. Compact Sedan Segment:

5. Executive Sedan Segment:

6. Premium Sedan Segment:

7. Luxury Sedan Segment:


8. Compact SUV Segment:

9. Mid-SUV Segment:

10. Premium SUV Segment:

11. MUV Segment:

12. Van Segment:

13. Lifestyle Offroader: