Monday, May 21, 2012
By Manoj Kumawat
Small cars rule India, but sedans, SUVs start expanding their share in car sales
Thailand has witnessed a shift in preference for passenger cars than trucks in the recent years. In India, what is the trend? Is the market still governed by small cars such as Tata Nano, Hyundai Eon, Chevrolet Spark? Or the fuel guzzlers SUVs and spacious, people mover MPVs are stealing the show. Let us have a close look at the trends. Domestic market share information as per Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturer reveals that in 2010-11 over 25 lakh cars were sold in India whereas over 1.1 crore two wheels hit the roads.
So, which segment has the largest share of cars in India. In India, it is quite easy to witness the trend and one can closely watch the sales trend of Maruti cars to assess the health as well as car buying patterns in the country. It is evident that where the car market was largely governed by small cars such as Maruti 800, Maruti Alto, Chevrolet Spark and others, it has now slightly shifted to Maruti Swift, Ford Figo types, the premium hatchback segment that promises safety, and luxury as well besides a lot of new features. Evidently, there is also a shift in the preference for sedans in India, the demand had a spur with the launch of Maruti Swift Dzire. Other players that helped this trend to catch up are Honda City, Toyota Etios and Tata Indigo eCS besides Mahindra Verito.
Another segment that has witnessed a significant growth recently is the SUV segment. Sports utility cars such as Tata Safari and Mahindra Scorpio have added fuel to this segment. However, recent additions Mahindra XUV 500, Force One SUV, have made this segment denser and denser. Besides, most recently the MPV segment that was altogether dormant in India with only a couple of viable offering is on the flight with the launch of Maruti Ertiga. Thus so far, the smoking hot segment remains the small cars but the sedan, SUV and MPV segments are also picking up fast leading to a considerable growth in the market in the current fiscal. Though the overall the picture is gloomy this year as well as the same dampening factors such as high interest rates and rising fuel prices will haunt the market from growth but it is individual car models that will save it from a steep downslide.