2019 was a year that was not kind to the automotive industry. The sales numbers reveal that the year saw demand for new cars drop significantly. However, that did not force some automakers to shy away from launching new products in the India market. In fact, there were 5 new models that were launched in India including two brand new car brands making their debut. We take a look at how the established SUVs in India fared between January – December 2019, and how the new models compared in the time period they have been on sale in India.
Hands down the Vitara Brezza is the best selling SUV in the Indian market in 2019. However, it wasn’t all smooth sailing for Maruti Suzuki this year with the Brezza. While cumulative sales in 2019 for the sub-compact SUV stood at 1,27,093 units, the demand for the Brezza dropped between May-August around the time its rival the Hyundai Venue was being launched. Soon after, regular service continued as usual as the month-on-month sales figures retuned to 5 digits.
The second best selling SUV in 2019 was the Hyundai Creta. While Hyundai has not announced the break-up of its sales in December, between January to November 2019, Hyundai sold 93,023 units. But the demand for the Creta as well started to drop from May 2019 and has been steadily declining. This has been due to new competitors arriving in the segment to rival the ageing Creta. But also due to the fact that Hyundai is expected to introduce the second generation model in 2020.
On the other hand, Hyundai racked up quite a stir with the launch of the Venue to rival the Brezza, Ecosport and the Nexon. Being on sale for 8 out of the 12 months, Hyundai has sold 70,443 units since it was launched in May 2019. The Venue started the trend of “connected cars” in India being the first o offer internet-enabled features in the segment. After its launch, many new cars are being introduced with similar equipment.
“I’ll have some of that!” is what everyone in India went in August when Hyundai’s sister brand Kia entered the Indian market with the Seltos. The Creta rival has been a runaway success for Kia in India as in just five months of being on sale, 45,494 units of the Seltos have been sold. Kia became the fourth largest automaker in India in terms of volume in the first four months with 14,005 units of the Seltos sold in November. But as the numbers for December have dropped down by 66% to 4645 units. Now Kia has also announced that the price of the Seltos has been raised from January 2020 by up to Rs 35,000 more. We will have to wait and see in January how the market responds to the Seltos moving forward.
Mahindra introduced its sub-compact SUV the XUV300 in India in February. Since then, the demand for the XUV300 has been somewhat lukewarm when compared to its rivals like the Venue and Brezza as Mahindra cumulatively sold 40,503 units of the XUV300 between February to December 2019.
The only seven-seat SUV on this list is the mighty Mahindra XUV500. First introduced in 2011, the XUV500 is due for a new generation. However, Mahindra over the years has given the model two facelifts, its latest one in 2018. Despite having newer and more modern rivals, the XUV500 has stood the test of time as in the last 12 months, cumulatively Mahindra sold 17,175 units of the SUV in India.
The second automaker to enter the Indian market is Morris Garages or MG. Equipped with the Hector SUV, the Chinese owned British brand dropped another connected car in the Indian market and saw such demand that it was forced to halt bookings. While sales were no match to the numbers of the Kia Seltos, in 6 months, MG sold 15,930 units since it was launched in June. In its segment, the Hector is only second to the XUV500 as it surpassed the sales of the Tata Harrier and the Jeep Compass.
Launched in January 2019, the Tata Harrier was said to be Tata’s reckoning. However, there were many issues with the Harrier and Tata’s offering. The detuned diesel motor from the Jeep Compass, lack of an automatic and the missing petrol engine offering were some of the reasons why the Indian market shed away from the Harrier. In 12 months, Tata although got off to a good start, but only managed to sell 15,267 units.
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