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 –
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 –
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?