After the surprise spike in sales in March 2018, April has been rather slow, so to say. Because, if you compare the gross passenger car sales in March and April, the April numbers are marginally higher. And this is despite only two carmakers not being in the red – Maruti Suzuki and Toyota.
Maruti Suzuki is having a dream run, posting growth irrespective of the market trends. Riding on their robust product line-up of the Swift, Baleno, Dzire and the Vitara Brezza, Maruti Suzuki has the bestsellers in each of the segments that contribute to more than 50 per cent of the total passenger car sales. And with the Alto and the Wagon R ruling the roost in the A-segment, Maruti looks invincible.
Hyundai, the second largest carmaker in India, has moved itself to the premium segment game, but to inch back into the numbers, it needs a volume seller below the Grand i10. And that is what has been spotted testing and is also touted to be the new Santro. With the Santro’s legacy and another 10,000 units a month, Hyundai would certainly be trailing close in the numbers.
But the real question is, would that affect the Maruti Suzuki line-up or annihilate the others. For example, the likes of the Renault Kwid, the Datsun Redi-Go and the Tata Tiago will compete with the new Santro along with Maruti’s Celerio and Wagon R. While the Tiago has built a brand for itself and is ringing in the numbers, the Kwid and the Redi-Go will certainly feel the heat.
Tata’s resurgence in the Indian market is now being led by the Nexon which seems to have cemented the second spot in the compact sub-four metre SUV space, overtaking the Ford Ecosport and the Honda WR-V. But Tata needs to maintain the momentum and add new products to the line-up as soon as possible, because the next set of products, the H5X SUV and the 45X hatchback, are both premium offerings - a segment that has never worked out for Tata.
Skoda has been doing quite well, especially with the Kodiaq outselling the Superb. Even the Octavia, especially with the VRS, is doing good, providing Skoda with margins to compensate for the limited numbers of the Rapid. Amongst the winners in April is Mahindra XUV 500, selling almost twice as many cars sold in March 2018.