The Indian car market has seen a paradigm shift in the sale of passenger cars. SUVs have taken off in the last five years, garnering more volumes than cars, which in turn has changed the dynamics of the market. In fact, it opened up new opportunities for SUV-focused automakers who in the SUV space have dethroned India’s largest automakers to claim the top spot. Following new launches, Tata Motors and Mahindra have taken the lead in the SUV market during H1 FY2023 or April 2022 – September 2022, selling 1,81,481 SUVs and 1,67,052 SUVs respectively.
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Addressing the demand with several new launches in various segments, Tata Motors recorded a year-on-year growth of 144.84 percent in the SUV segment, selling 1,81,481 units during the period April 2022 – September 2022, compared to 74,120 units sold during the corresponding period period of the previous year. In fact, entry-level SUVs like the Tata Punch and Nexon have been major growth drivers for the Indian brand while the Tata Harrier and Safari followed suit.
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Even Mahindra is on a dream run with its latest launches. The recently launched Mahindra Scorpio-N along with the XUV700 received record bookings which took the brand to the second position. Both the models have already taken over 1 lakh bookings and the company registered an increase of 81.54 percent year-on-year during the April 2022 – September 2022 period, selling 1,67,052 units compared to 92,016 units sold in the first half of 2022. Mahindra Thar and Bolero have also been significant volume generators for the brand.
Having said that, even Maruti Suzuki which launched the new Brezza and Grand Vitara earlier this year is not far behind. While the Grand Vitara is a recent addition to the company’s model lineup, the Maruti Suzuki Brezza 2022, Ertiga facelift and the updated XL6 have helped the automaker achieve a 21.13 percent year-on-year growth in the April 2022 – September 2022 period with 1,63,630 units against a comparatively higher base of 1,35,079 units sold during the corresponding period last year.
Next up is Hyundai India which saw its SUV sales grow by 24.28 percent and sold 1,52,498 units during the April 2022 – September 2022 period compared to 1,22,700 SUVs sold during the same period last year. The new Hyundai Venue facelift, Creta and Alcazar have been quite sought after while the 2023 Hyundai Tucson is a recent addition to the company’s line-up.
Finally, Kia India, which recently launched the Carens MPV in our market, registered a year-on-year growth of 49.30 percent during the April 2022 – September 2022 period, selling 1,31,962 units compared to 88,383 units sold during the same period last year. The company has also updated the Kia Seltos and Sonet SUVs in an effort to keep its range fresh.
While Tata Motors and Mahindra have gained the advantage of their broad SUV lineup across segments and price ranges, players like Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai and Kia India have still managed to give a tough fight with a comparatively limited number of SUV/MPV models.