The passenger vehicle (PV) segment was the sole one to be in a positive, albeit flat sales zone last month, at 2,85,027 (0.28 percent). While passenger cars at 1,73,649 units were down 6.34 percent YoY and vans were down 35 percent at 10,653 units, the robust performance of UVs at 1,00,725 units and 22 percent YoY growth, gave PV OEMs some reason to smile. It helped that the month of October had all of three festivals in it – Dhanteras, Navratri and Diwali.
Market leader Maruti Suzuki India – which dispatched 1,39,121 PVs (2.33 percent) and always has had the stranglehold on the Top 10 chart with its usual stable of seven PVs – strengthened its grip even more with eight ranks. Its newest vehicle, the Maruti S-Presso, dubbed a 'mini SUV' by the company, has broken into the list within a month of its launch on September 30. Maruti, however, is not alone in this achievement. Kia Motors India’s Seltos, the new No. 1 utility vehicle in India, has also debuted in the Top 10 PV list. Here’s taking a closer look at the 10 bestsellers.
The Maruti Dzire is the boss in October, going home to 19,569 buyers (2018: 17,404 / +12.43 percent) and gaining two ranks over October 2018. The Dzire inched ahead of its sibling Swift by a miniscule 168 units. The Swift sold 19,401 units in the month to take the No 2 position. The Maruti Swift sold 17,215 units in October 2018 and posts 12.69 percent YoY growth.
At No 3, the Maruti Suzuki Alto garnered sales of 17,903 units (22,180 / -19.28 percent) but is down two ranks from October 2018, when it was the No. 1 PV – indicative of the growing aspirations and shifting of the entry-level goalpost in the Indian car market.
Maruti’s premium hatchback, the Baleno, with 16,237 units, is at fourth place, albeit down two ranks over last year (October 2018: 18,657 / -12.97 percent). Maruti’s arch rival Hyundai Motor India could only make its presence felt in this list with its premium counterpart to the Baleno, the Hyundai Elite i20. The i20 is hot on the heels of the Japanese car, giving it a tough fight through its class-leading quality and feature list. The Elite i20 gained one position to No 5 and sold 14,683 units last month (October 2018: 13,290 / +10.48 percent).
The Maruti Suzuki juggernaut continues at the No 6 spot, with the new Wagon R selling 14,359 units and gaining three positions over last year (October 2018: 10,655 / +34.76 percent).
The Kia Seltos SUV storms into the Top 10 passenger vehicles list for the first time, taking seventh place with sales of 12,786 units – its best performance in three months since launch on August 22. The popular SUV has seen sales grow month-on-month, enough to help it wrest the No 1 UV title in October 2019.
The newest Maruti in town – the S-Presso – also joins the bestseller list with sales touching 10,634 units, enticing buyers with its quirky styling, funky space, oodles of space and dollop of modern features. The S-Presso comes also comes with the option of AMT in its top two trims. The S-Presso has replaced the Maruti Celerio at eighth place on the list, which is now a five-year-old model and is due for an update.
The S-Presso had debuted in the Top 10 passenger cars chart in September 2019 as well, when it sold 5,006 units.
The Vitara Brezza, in its diesel-only avatar managed to garner sales of 10,227 units, albeit sliding to the penultimate spot (15,832 / -35.40 percent). With Maruti Suzuki having announced its plan to exit the diesel game after April 2020, Brezza sales have been under pressure. The crossover is expected to regain its lost crown once its petrol-powered variant launches next year.
Maruti closes the Top 10 PV tally with the sole van in the list, the Maruti Suzuki Eeco, coming in at the No 10 position and 10,011 buyers.
With less than five months to spare, the run-up to BS6 norms has actually begun. It would be interesting to see how the Top 10 list pans out in the near future, with Maruti Suzuki already taking giant steps in advance, making a bunch of its models BS6-compliant, which contribute to close to 70 percent of its sales already.