The new fifth generation Verna has beaten the Honda City and Maruti Suzuki’s Ciaz in terms of sales this month. It's a narrow margin but for a car that has been struggling to keep up with these two segment rulers in its past generations, this marks the beginning of a paradigm shift. The Verna which was made available in the last week of August was entirely revamped and given a barrage of new features to make it more competitive. The new features combined with the new chassis and Elantra-ish looks seem to be having the desired results. The fifth generation Verna sold 6,053 units this month beating the City which sold 6010 units, by a narrow margin of 43 units. Now even though this might seem like a small victory it is a major development in the Hyundai camp, who are now seeing the fruits of their labour. Maruti’s Ciaz could not break the 6k mark, ending the month's sales with 5603 units sold.
The reason behind this might be the fact that Hyundai has given the fifth generation Verna a new chassis and upgraded the suspension mounts to improve Verna’s drivability and high-speed stability, something that the previous Verna lacked sorely. It could also be the fact that the fifth-gen Verna benefits from Hyundai’s The cascade grille add to the dynamic character while the sleek wraparound headlamps and LED DRLs and projector lights to lend the Verna a modern and sporty appeal. The sharp creases in the lower part of the bumper along with tastefully done chrome surround for the fog lamp accentuate its sporty character. Or it could be something much simpler like the fact that the Verna is available with automatic options for all it’s engine options. Something which neither the Ciaz nor the Honda City offers in both fuel types.
The new generation Verna comes with dual-front airbags and ABS as standard with up to six airbags on offer depending on trim, which isn't available at all on some competitors. The car's structure now consists of 50 % Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS), significantly higher than the 13 % used in the older model. This not only lowers the weight for improved efficiency but also enhances the torsional rigidity, as a result of which deformation is less in case of an impact.
October is the month which usually larks the highest auto-sales being the festive season, and this crucial win for the 2-month old Verna could be the beginning of a long rule. Although it could just as easily be a flash in the pan. The point is the Verna is a fundamentally strong product and on paper beats the Ciaz and the City, but the Indian consumer can often be difficult to predict.