Mahindra Scorpio seems to be the nation's favourite SUV. About 50,900 Scorpios were sold in comparison to 46,700 Renault Dusters and 45,000 Ford EcoSport in FY 2013-14. This puts the Scorpio back on the top as the No 1 SUV sold in India.
The company also sold the highest number of Scorpios (5,605) in March, owing to the festive season and helped a little bit by the excise cuts and Lok Sabha polls.
"We have posted highest-ever sales of Scorpio and Bolero in March and these are not merely strong dispatch numbers; they are backed by strong retail buying. We operate on a pull basis and not push basis," said Pravin Shah, chief executive, Automotive, M&M.
Renault sold about 51,400 units of the Duster in the calendar year 2013 in comparison to 49,500 Scorpios. However, Scorpio took the lead, this year, to reclaim the top spot.
Sumit Sawhney, MD of Renault India, told a newspaper, "Even when the Duster was ahead of the Scorpio in 2013, we had maintained that these are like apples and oranges, and shouldn't be compared. Both are different products catering to different segments. We think the Duster volumes are holding up well and are increasingly gaining acceptability in the Indian market."
Although it is unjust to compare a proper seven seater SUV with crossovers, pricing makes comparisons inevitable. It may be surprising how a product which is more than a decade old trumps its modern rivals, but, there are a lot of factors that go in favour of the Scorpio. The Scorpio appeals to the rural buyers which add up to the sales tally, and Mahindra’s wide service network makes it sweeter. The EcoSport’s numbers could have been better, had Ford not struggled to make enough to meet demand.