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Last Updated : Oct 16, 2020 09:32 AM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Exclusive: Hyundai SUVs overtake its hatchbacks for the first time

Venue and Creta, aided by small numbers of Kona and Tucson, Hyundai’s SUVs, have clocked total domestic sales of 75,310 units between April-September 2020, against 69,261 units in the same period last year.

 
 
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Hatchback specialist Hyundai sold more sports utility vehicles (SUVs) in FY21 than small cars for the first time since setting up shop in India, underscoring the growing shift in consumer choices.


The Korean car company, which is the second-largest carmaker, has built its brand image in India, selling compact hatchbacks such as Eon, Santro, i10, Grand i10 Nios and Elite i20.


While two of these cars have been phased out and one made a comeback in recent years, the newly launched SUVs have taken centre stage.


Venue and Creta, aided by small numbers of Kona and Tucson, Hyundai’s SUVs, have clocked total domestic sales of 75,310 units between April-September 2020, against 69,261 units in the same period last year.


Launched just before the lockdown in March, the Creta has already become the largest-selling SUV in India, while the Venue is the second best-seller. According to Hyundai, the Creta has amassed over 115,000 bookings till October 9.


With the exception of Ford (thanks to the EcoSport), no other company has been able to sell more SUVs than hatchbacks in India. Newer entrants in the Indian automotive space like MG Motor and Kia Motors have, therefore, not launched even one hatchback yet and have instead stuck to SUVs.


For Maruti Suzuki, the country’s largest carmaker, the contribution of the hatchbacks to total domestic sales is around 60 percent, and the remaining is a mix of SUVs, vans and people-mover utility vehicles.


Speaking to Moneycontrol, Tarun Garg, director (sales and marketing), Hyundai Motor India said: “Hyundai’s sales performance is a reflection of the consumer trend. About six years back, SUVs used to contribute only about 8 percent to PVs compared to 27 percent today. After the ‘Unlock’, the general perception was that the entry-level cars will do well. However, SUVs have shown maximum traction.”


Perceived to be high on the style quotient, better on utility factor and safer than other body styles, SUVs have more fan following than hatchbacks. So much so that even newcomers swear by it.


Kia and MG

Hyundai’s sister concern, Kia Motors, have ruled out getting into the hatchback and sedan segments in India despite having such models in overseas markets. Having entered India only in mid-2019, Kia has grabbed more than 5 percent share largely on the basis of just two models, Seltos and Sonet, both SUVs.


Companies like Volkswagen, Renault, Nissan, Fiat, General Motors, Honda and Toyota have struggled to hit the 5 percent-share mark despite being in India for 10-20 years. These companies tried to focus on every segment, including the compact sedan segment, which is unique to India only.


Chinese automotive heavyweight SAIC-controlled MG Motor India has launched three products in India, all SUVs. French car major PSA Group, which will debut in India next year, will start with an SUV.

The disappointment with hatchbacks was such that Japanese biggies, Honda and Toyota, gave up their ambitions with their first hatchbacks faster than Maruti Suzuki, completed 10 years with the Swift, one of India’s best-selling hatchback. Honda withdrew the Brio while Toyota pulled out the Etios Liva.
First Published on Oct 16, 2020 09:32 am
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