March is that time of the year when dealers often give out discounts and offers to meet their annual sales targets. Turns out that the Indian car buyer made the most of it as the overall car sales for the financial year 2016-17 have crossed 3 million units - the highest ever annual car sales in India with a growth of 9.09 per cent over the previous financial year. While this gives the city planners jitters as they try to decongest metros, we find out which cars top the winners charts and find cars that managed to slip downwards.
Maruti Suzuki Baleno
March 2017 has to be declared the month of the Baleno. The premium hatchback sold an impossible 16,426 units in March, almost 60 per cent over the 10,623 units it sold in February 2016. Baleno’s success also means success of Nexa, Maruti’s premium set of dealerships.
Well, this is the first time in the past year that the Hyundai Creta has gone beyond 10,000 units. The Creta is now the undisputed king of the premium compact SUVs in India and it turns out that March 2017 has been a stellar month for most Hyundai cars.
The Volkswagen Vento barely sells 1000 units in a good month and in March, it sold almost 1,500 units. What surprises us more is that its Czech cousin, the Skoda Rapid, also had a stellar month. Looking at the overall sales spread, it seems that the Indian car market sales volumes are shifting a segment upwards with an increased want of premium products for a good price.
Maruti Suzuki Ciaz
It is rare that a Maruti product concedes its hard earned lead but with just 4,918 units sold in March, the Ciaz has fallen way behind the Honda City. It might be because the C-segment sedan was being moved from the regular dealerships to Nexa. We will have to wait till next month to find out.
After the Tata Tiago, the Hexa was supposed to take Tata’s fight further but it seems that the Indian conglomerate has missed the bus again. After the Aria dud, the optimistic pricing of the Hexa seems to have worked against the car and despite being better than the Mahindra XUV500, it hasn’t been able to match the numbers.
Amidst news of General Motors signing a labour pact for the next three years and rumours of them wanting to shut down operations in India, one thing is certain - the brand might not sustain well in India under the current scenario for long now. With sales of all models down to a trickle, and new products getting delayed month after month, the omens seem ominous.