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First-time car buyers are choosing SUVs over hatchbacks: Tarun Garg, Hyundai Motor India

In an interaction with FE Digital, Tarun Garg, Director – Sales & Marketing, Hyundai Motor India said, a clearly visible trend is that the first-time buyers are clearly shifting from hatchbacks to SUVs.

The Indian car market which was once labelled as the small car market primarily by affordable hatchbacks and price-sensitive customer is now moving towards bigger and premium cars. In an interaction with FE Digital, Tarun Garg, Director – Sales & Marketing, Hyundai Motor India said, a clearly visible trend is that the first-time buyers are clearly shifting from hatchbacks to SUVs. To put things into perspective, of the total customers of the Hyundai Venue SUV, 36% of customers are first-time buyers. 

Another interesting trend he points out is that more and more high-end cars are in demand, and the industry is seeing robust sales for vehicles with sunroofs. For example, one in every three cars sold by Hyundai has a sunroof now, and in fact for the Venue SUV as much as 46% of demand is for vehicles with a sunroof.

Garg said, In fact, one very interesting trend which is coming is that Rs 10 lakh were considered a very big barrier in India in terms of the car price and in 2018 only about 16% of the cars were less than more than Rs 10 lakh. Now, 37% of the cars sold in India in the industry are more than Rs 10 lakh. In fact,  for Hyundai only 14% of cars are sold are in the sub Rs 10 lakh range.

As per the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) data, the market share for SUVs stood at 13.5% of the total Indian car market and hatchbacks contributed nearly half of the total sales. However, in the first five months of 2022, the market share of SUVs has gone up to 41% and that of hatchbacks reduced to 35%.

In terms of Hyundai Motor India sales break up 41% of its total sales, and entry-level SUV Venue contributed 22% of the total sales in CY21. 

2022 Hyundai Venue Facelift

The new Venue SUV has been launched at Rs 7.53 lakh for the base petrol variant. It competes against the likes of Tata Nexon, Maruti Suzuki Brezza and sibling Kia Sonet.

Garg added that customers today do not want to compromise on the car, they want convenience, features, technology, good design and needs to be spacious. They want an entire family to travel in comfort when they are in the car. 

Semiconductor Shortage: Hyundai Motors India sitting on 135,000 pending orders

As per Garg, the semiconductor shortage continues to persist the company currently sitting on 1,35,000 orders from customers. He said, “We are trying our best to really increase the production. But of course, there are issues. We know there are geopolitical risks, which are, which are coming in new and new challenges keep on coming. But as of today, we are doing our best, I think the market is strong.”

He expressed concern over rising interest rates, high inflation and food prices. “At the same time. What we have seen over the past few years is that India has been able to isolate itself from many global risks, because we have a very strong domestic consumption and the sentiment here is much more positive. It also plays a very important role, and we are hopeful but remain cautiously optimistic that the demand in India will continue to be strong.”

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