What explains India’s love affair with SUVs? They should not precisely “worth for cash” — the watchword for manufacturers throughout segments — nor all the time sensible.
Is it for the badge worth? Or the butch imagery related to SUVs? Maybe each, says Alokananda Chakraborty.
Take a have a look at automotive gross sales figures for February 2021 launched earlier by auto trade physique, the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (Siam): Passenger automobile gross sales (consists of sub-segments of vehicles, utility autos and vans) grew 17.92 per cent in February at 281,380 models, in comparison with 238,622 models in the identical interval in 2020.
Sales of sport utility autos (SUVs) have been up 45 per cent over February 2020, whereas automotive gross sales grew by nearly 4 per cent.
In different phrases, the expansion in passenger automobile gross sales was led by SUVs and defied the “provide chain challenges” that Siam Director General Rajesh Menon had been warning us about.
Photograph: Kind courtesy Hyundai Creta/Facebook
Now focus on the manufacturers in the SUV section. In February 2021, the top three have been the Hyundai’s Creta, the Maruti Vitara Brezza and the Hyundai Venue. Kia’s Seltos and Sonet accomplished the top 5 checklist.
The February line-up roughly adopted the 2020 pattern.
The checklist of top gamers in the section for 2020 confirmed that Hyundai and Kia have been the clear leaders in gross sales throughout SUV segments, hogging 44 per cent of the market.
Hyundai clocked 180,237 models and Kia 135,295 models, posting 25.5 per cent and 19.1 per cent in phrases of share of the market in calendar 2020.
Take section chief Hyundai Motor India. With 96,989 models of the Creta, Hyundai dominated the mid-size SUV area.
The Korean carmaker received a substantial enhance in its share in the section from the Venue (model No. 4 in the pecking order).
More than 82,000 models of the sub-4 metre SUV have been offered in 2020. With these two merchandise main the cost, Hyundai offered a whole of 180,237 SUVs final yr — logging a close to 3 per cent acquire in market share in the section.
“What labored for us was the truth that we have been in a position to spot shopper developments early on and have been able to take dangers,” stated Hyundai India’s director of gross sales and advertising Tarun Garg.
From 9 per cent in 2015, SUVs now contribute 42.5 per cent (2020) to Hyundai’s total gross sales in India.
The runner-up model in the section final yr was the Kia’s Seltos at 96,932 models.
“Kia began with a three-pronged technique in India. First, we centered on native product growth. Second, we developed a broad gross sales community with 265 buyer touchpoints, highest for any new entrant. Third, our premium model constructing marketing campaign started a lot earlier than our first product launch in the nation, elevating consciousness and anticipation for model Kia,” says Tae-Jin Park, govt director and chief gross sales and enterprise technique officer, Kia Motors India.
Maruti Suzuki’s Vitara Brezza, which led the compact-SUV section, stood at 83,666 models final yr, down from its 2019 determine of 127,094 models.
“While we’re the market chief in compact SUVs, total, that is a section the place we will do higher,” stated Shashank Srivastava, govt director for advertising and gross sales at Maruti Suzuki India Ltd.
That stated, the sedan and hatchback market remains to be significantly greater than that of SUVs.
Domestic passenger autos gross sales stood at 24,33,464 models in 2020 (a 17.85 per cent decline over 2019) and SUVs comprised about 29 per cent of that market.
One motive hatchbacks and sedans promote extra is that there’s hardly any SUV under the essential psychological barrier of Rs 500,000.
But the section has grown steadily over the previous 5 years.
In 2015, the section accounted for 13.5 per cent of the general passenger autos market, rising to about 29 per cent in 2020.
At the top of the second month of 2021, the section stands at 33 per cent of the general passenger autos market.
Now what makes most gamers in the section so upbeat. Just have a look at the checklist of SUVs lined for launch in India in 2021.
Swedish carmaker Volvo is wanting so as to add the XC40 Electric to its portfolio in India this yr, which might be its first electrical automobile (EV) providing in India.
Bookings will begin in June 2021 and deliveries from October 2021; Audi’s Q7 will make a comeback; Citroen will observe up its debut providing, the C5 Aircross, with a new compact SUV; Ford is working on a new C SUV, codenamed CX757, to take on the Tata Harrier and MG Hector.
SUV chief Hyundai already has the Kona in the EV section, which was launched in July 2019, and was India’s first EV SUV (the “danger” issue Garg spoke of earlier).
Mahindra, which has a powerful SUV line-up, is hoping to make a sturdy comeback in the market with the brand new technology XUV500 and Scorpio this yr.
Among these that may get a facelift are Ford EcoSport, Audi Q5, BMW X3 and X4, whereas the Hyundai Creta household will develop with the arrival of a new 7-seat by-product.
But what explains India’s love affair with SUVs? They should not precisely “worth for cash” — the watchword for manufacturers throughout segments — nor all the time sensible.
Is it for the badge worth? Or the butch imagery related to SUVs? Maybe each?
If in their early days it was in regards to the distinctive sense of presence SUVs supplied, over time they’ve develop into lighter, extra spacious and due to this fact extra snug, trade observers level out.
Plus, the technological improvements these autos provide. “You are seated greater and that offers you a higher view of the street. So you are feeling safer,” stated a communication govt related to an auto model who drives an SUV.
And the street forward? Smoother than ever earlier than, due to present circumstances.
While they aren’t going to overhaul smaller automotive gross sales anytime quickly, “with journey by prepare turning into troublesome and air journey having its personal set of challenges in the mean time, driving lengthy distances in SUVs with your loved ones or driving holidays is a pattern that is going to catch on over time,” sums up Hyundai’s Garg.
Feature Presentation: Rajesh Alva/Rediff.com