While we had announced the Car of the Year 2017 (here); we were very confident the winner was extremely capable to be a volume churner in the Indian market and shall be able to consistently garner buyers. Our prediction was right and Baleno turned out to be the sole block buster hit from the Nexa’s stable. Even as of date it commands a waiting period and has sought many buyers that otherwise would’ve avoided a Maruti brand product. The feature list that it offers is exemplary and still costs the least in the segment. It did give the earlier segment leader (i20) sleepless nights initially; but mainly snatched the sales of Jazz & Polo (even Swift for a certain extent).
Premium Hatches has been an extremely dicy segment. It was discovered by Honda with the earlier generation Jazz and burnt its fingers due to the consumer’s dismal acceptance of the product at the higher price point. Indian’s were just not ready to shell out extra bucks on a hatch instead of elevating to a 3-box car! However, i20 changed the game and started garnering substantial volumes over time. Buyers found value in terms of buying a hatch which could offer the premiumness of a notch above sedans within the size of a hatch. The drive-ability in city conditions made the buyers to move towards these premium hatches and suddenly the segment surged beyond analysts predictions.
In 2017, only these 4 models in the segment could sell an astonishing 3,42,569 units! The segment contributed to >10% in overall passenger cars sales! Baleno commanded over 51% market share in the category and sold an average of 14,600 units in 2017. i20 Elite maintained its volumes and sold 9,688 units/mth average. Jazz & Polo could not garner the volumes as what they were capable of and managed an average of 2,490 nos/mth & 1,767 nos/mth respectively. Let’s see their monthwise sales for 2017 –
Also check the Dec’17 performance of the models in the segment –
Apart from Polo, all other models experienced a growth when compared to the same month last year. For India, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that ‘Hatches’ win matches 🙂 And premium hatch segment is one segment to watch out for – Tata is expected to launch it’s offering in the segment in 2018.