India Full Year 2015: Maruti tightens grip on record market

Hyundai Elite i20 India November 2014. Picture courtesy of zeegnition.comThe Hyundai Elite i20 redefines the ‘premium’ segment in India. Picture zeegnition.com

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The Indian new car market flies off to an all-time record year in 2015 at 2.771.617 registrations, up 9% on 2014 and beating the previous all-time best of 2.65 million units in 2012. Note these figures dosn’t include LCV sales. Local behemoth Maruti Suzuki is far from succumbing to the constant afflux of new brands and models coming into the booming Indian market, and is actually tightening its grip thanks to a growing offer tailored very precisely to the unique needs of the Indian customer. Maruti goes from 43.1% share of its home market in 2013 to 45.2% in 2014 and 46.5% this year, now seriously flirting with a mind-blowing 50% overall market share – a milestone it crossed for the first time in July.

Maruti Baleno India 2015. Picture courtesy autocarindia.comMaruti Baleno. Picture autocarindia.com

For the fourth consecutive year the 4 best-selling nameplates in India are Marutis: Alto (+3%), DZire (+12%), Swift (+2%) and Wagon R (+7%), the latter 3 all breaking their all-time annual volume records. But the real source of optimism comes from recent launches delivering very solid results: the Celerio is now a regular Top 10 seller, up 23% to #8 this year, the Ciaz has found its way to #16 for its first full year in a difficult segment, but the most promising of all is the Baleno distributed exclusively in Maruti Suzuki’s new premium Nexa dealership network and achieving 23.875 deliveries in just 3 months, including a stunning 10.275 in December- albeit partly at the expense of the Swift.

Hyundai Creta India 2015. Picture courtesy motorbeam.comThe Creta boosted Hyundai to a string of monthly volume records. Picture motorbeam.com

It has been a breakthrough year for Hyundai in India: the Korean manufacturer sold over 40.000 monthly units for the first time ever in August, and remained at that level through to the end of the year, establishing a new monthly volume record at 47.015 in October and naturally a new annual volume record at 476.001 units, up 16% on 2014. Hyundai will be above the half-million mark in 2016, a very impressive achievement. This means Maruti and Hyundai hold a combined 63.7% share of the Indian market in 2015: almost 2 in every 3 cars sold in the country! Hyundai’s performance stems from excellent scores by the Elite i20 up 88% to 5th place overall for its first full year in market, the Grand i10 up 20% to #6 and the Creta SUV – the most popular new entrant in 2015 at #20 with 40.952 sales, peaking at #8 from August to October.

Renault Kwid India 2015. Picture courtesy motorbeam.comThe Kwid could lift Renault to #5 in 2016. Picture motorbeam.com

Mahindra drops 1% but remains in third place overall, under intense pressure from Honda (+13%) bolstered by the City (#9) and a very successful relaunch of the Jazz nameplate (#25). Tata (+10%) edges past Toyota (+5%) for 5th place but the all-new Zest (#27) and Bolt (#43) have been the biggest disappointments of 2015. In December Renault entered the race for 5th place, delivering its first-ever 5-digit monthly score (10.292) thanks to a very impressive start for the Kwid (80.000 bookings). The French carmaker will top 100.000 annual units in 2016 and could tease both Tata and Toyota. Chevrolet (-37%) and Nissan (-41%) crumble down, and if Datsun is up 45% it’s mainly due to the addition of the GO+ which delivered lukewarm results. Mercedes (+33%) reclaims the luxury crown off Audi.

Previous post: India December 2015: Kwid in Top 10, lifts Renault to record month

Previous year: India Full Year 2014: Datsun GO underwhelms in market back up

Two years ago: India Full Year 2013: Maruti Alto #1, Swift, DZire and Wagon R break records

Full Year 2015 Top 15 brands and Top 70 models vs. Full Year 2014 figures below.

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India December 2015: Kwid in Top 10, lifts Renault to record month

Renault Kwid India December 2015. Picture courtesy youtube.comThe Renault Kwid is now among India’s Top 10 nameplates. 

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The Indian new car market ends 2015 on a solid note: up 11% year-on-year in December to 230.930 registrations, lifting the annual result up 7% on 2014 to a record 2.723.362 units. Brand-wise, Maruti remains ultra-dominant, even outpacing the market at +13% to 111.333 sales and 48.2% share. Hyundai continues to take off: up a stunning 29% to post a fourth consecutive month above 40.000 sales at 41.861 whereas the Korean manufacturer had never crossed that milestone before last September. Ford is up 58% and Datsun up 141% to a still meagre 1.699 sales but the Indian elephant in the room this month in India is the staggering performance of Renault: up 160% year-on-year to lodge a 5-digit sales figure for the first time in its Indian history at 10.292 deliveries and 4.5% share, earning a record 6th spot overall just below Toyota (10.446) and smashing its previous Indian best of 8.232 sales in March 2013.

Renault Kwid India December 2015. Picture courtesy gaadi.comRenault can aim at 100.000 Kwid sold in 2016, if production can be ramped up. 

One model behind Renault’s performance: the ultra low-cost Kwid. Up 26% on October, the Kwid sells 6.888 units this month to historically break into the Top 10. That’s the highest ever monthly volume by a Renault in India, beating the 6.313 units of the Duster in March 2013. For reference, the Datsun GO never managed more than 2.690 monthly sales (April 2014), the Tata Nano peaked at 10.475 units in March 2012 but hasn’t delivered a 5.000+ sales month in over 3 years and the Kwid now outsells one of its direct competitors, the Hyundai Eon (6.563). Renault reports more than 80.000 bookings and a 6 month-waiting list, a production ramp up is in the cards and the price of all variants was recently increased, now from Rs. 260k (3.600€/US$3.900) to Rs. 364k (5.000€/US$5.500) vs. Rs. 257k-353k at launch. The French carmaker is definitely onto something extremely interesting with the Kwid which will, if the sales curve continues this way, have a worldwide impact on its access range.

Maruti Baleno India December 2015. Picture courtesy motorbeam.comAlready 10.572 sales for the Maruti Baleno in December. Picture motorbeam.com

In other model news, the Maruti Baleno brilliantly cracks the 10.000 monthly unit-mark for its third month in market at 10.572 sales, climbing to 6th place and already topping its category above the Hyundai Elite i20 (10.379). The Maruti Swift suffers as a result (-19%) and remains 4th, leaving the third spot to the Maruti Wagon R (+19%). Excellent showings of the Hyundai Grand i10 (+55%), Maruti Celerio (+65%) and Hyundai Xcent (+41%). The Hyundai Creta already loses steam at 4.709 sales and #16 vs. 7.437 and #8 in August, the Mahindra TUV300 is back inside the Top 20, becoming the brand’s 2nd best-seller below the Bolero (-27%), the new look Ford Figo stays inside the Top 30 and the Mercedes C-Class tops luxury vehicles at #54.

Previous month: India November 2015: Maruti Baleno strong, cannibalises Swift

One year ago: India December 2014: Tata Bolt and Datsun GO+ land

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India November 2015: Maruti Baleno strong, cannibalises Swift

Maruti Baleno India November 2015. Picture courtesy motortrend.inMaruti Suzuki Baleno. Picture motortrend.in

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Another very encouraging month for new car sales in India: up 12% year-on-year to 233.544 registrations excluding commercial vehicles and luxury brands. This lifts the year-to-date total up 8% to 2.492.432 deliveries. Local behemoth Maruti-Suzuki follows the market at +11% to 110.559 units while Hyundai continues on its euphoric run at +23% to 43.651 sales, the brand’s second highest monthly volume ever in India below October’s 47.015 figure. Mahindra benefits from minimal cannibalising within its range from the all-new TUV300 and delivers a very reassuring 39% jump to 18.355 units, staying well above Honda (-4%). Tata and Toyota struggle, while Ford (+55%) but most impressively Renault (+139%) post spectacular gains. At 7.819 units, the French manufacturer even lodges its 2nd best-ever monthly sales score in India below only the 8.232 from March 2013. All this thanks to the Kwid as we’ll see further down.

Maruti Baleno India November 2015. Picture courtesy zigwheels.comMaruti Baleno. Picture zigwheels.com

In the models ranking, the Maruti Alto reclaims the pole position it holds year-to-date off the Maruti DZire despite sales down 9% year-on-year to 21.995 vs. 18.826 (+34%) for the sedan. The big event occurring before our eyes is the stepping up of the Maruti Baleno, distributed exclusively in Maruti Suzuki’s new premium Nexa dealership network, going from 4.229 units for its initial month in October to a stunning 9.074 in November, allowing it to enter well within the Indian Top 10 at #7. The Baleno is thus already teasing the segment leader, the Hyundai Elite i20 down 5% to 10.074 sales. This is a very impressive performance for a nameplate that is only available in 75 showrooms around the country. Problem is, the Baleno is competing full frontal with the Swift, with the latter already losing 34% yoy to 11.859 units, now outsold by the Hyundai Grand i10 accessing to #4 for only the 2nd time ever after April 2014.

Maruti Baleno Hyundai Elite i20 India November 2015. Picture courtesy ndtv.comHyundai Elite i20 and Maruti Baleno. Picture auto.ndtv.com

Hyundai is repurposing the Eon as a Kwid-fighter, and it’s working so far: after dropping double-digits for 4 of the past 5 months, the Eon is up 8% year-on-year and 6 spots on October to #8. The Maruti Celerio is also in great shape at +41% to #9. Meanwhile the Renault Kwid continues to progress: from 5.195 sales in October to 5.469 this month (#17), edging closer to the Duster record of 6.313 units dating from March 2013. All other recent launches are taking a breather this month: the Hyundai Creta is down 19% on October, the Mahindra TUV300 is down 15%, the Honda Jazz down 25%, Ford Figo down 21%, Ford Aspire down 22% and Maruti S-Cross down 26%. Next month the ranking may be affected by the Chennai floods that have disrupted the assembly plants present in the sector for manufacturers such as Renault and Hyundai.

Previous month: India October 2015: Renault Kwid above 5.000 sales in market up 25%

One year ago: India November 2014: Hyundai i20 Elite above 10,000 sales

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India October 2015: Renault Kwid above 5.000 sales in market up 25%

Renault Kwid Maruti Alto K10 India October 2015. Picture courtesy gaadiwaadi.comThe Renault Kwid breaks into the Indian Top 20 this month. Can it tease the Maruti Alto?

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Finally a strong month for new car sales in India, just in time for the Diwali festival, traditionally an auspicious season for car purchases in the country. The market is up a flamboyant 25% year-on-year in October to 264.712 deliveries excluding commercial vehicles and luxury brands. This is the largest year-on-year gain in exactly three years. Both market leaders post their all-time highest monthly volume: Maruti Suzuki is up 25% to 121.063 sales while Hyundai brilliantly breaks its monthly sales record for the third consecutive month, up 24% to 47.015 units vs. 42.505 in September and 40.505 in August. Mahindra falls behind the market at +14% but remains above its year-to-date market share at 8.3% vs. 7.6%. Honda (+52%), Ford (+49%) and Renault (+97%) display outlandish gains while Volkswagen (-30%), Chevrolet (-33%), Nissan (-36%) and Fiat (-44%) all drop sharply.

Maruti DZire India October 2015The Maruti Suzuki DZire is the best-selling car in India in October.

The best-selling vehicle in India this month and for the third time this year is the Maruti Suzuki DZire (a Swift sedan) thanks to sales up a stunning 37% year-on-year to 24.502, a new personal best beating the 23.086 units of last July. It is the 6th time the DZire ever leads the Indian sales charts after May 2013May 2014July 2014June 2015 and July 2015. The Maruti Alto, traditional leader in India for the past decade, is relegated to 2nd place at 22.861 units (+7%) while the Maruti Swift takes its habitual third spot at +48% above the Maruti Wagon R ever faithful to solid figures at 14.734 units. In 5th place, the Hyundai Grand i10 crosses the 14.000 monthly units milestone for the first time ever, up 68% year-on-year to 14.079. The Hyundai i20 Elite (+24%) and Creta –  settling in above 7.000 monthly sales – also impress, while the Honda City (+37%), Amaze (+81%) and Maruti Eeco (+57%) post particularly strong year-on-year improvements.

Mahindra TUV300 India October 2015. Picture courtesy dnaindia.comMahindra TUV300

But where the excitement resides in India right now is in the recent launches aisle. Renault has been hyping the unveiling of the ultra-low cost Kwid, starting at just Rs. 257.000 (3.500€ / US$4.000), and announced over 25.000 orders last month. The numbers are now coming in and they are good: 5.195 units place the Kwid at #18 overall, to be compared with 6.479 for the Hyundai Eon (-7%), 2.300 for the Tata Nano – a notable flop in the same segment – and 1.675 for the ageing Hyundai i10 (-47%). Is the Kwid responsible for the fall of grace of the Alto this month? It’s difficult to say at this stage but we will monitor the Alto closely over the next couple of months to determine whether there indeed is a “Kwid effect”.

This is a very unpredictable segment where brand image plays a very important part in the buyer’s purchase decision, making Indian consumers unique in that regard for such low-priced vehicles. By focusing on the brand’s “iconic” status worldwide, Renault has managed to make the Kwid desirable at launch. This month’s 5.195 sales figure for the Kwid is already coming close to Renault’s record monthly volume in India for a single nameplate (the Duster at 6.313 in March 2013) and is almost double the highest monthly volume ever achieved by the Datsun GO (2.690 in April 2014), the latest attempt by Carlos Ghosn at cracking the ultra-low cost market in India. The Tata Nano for its part peaked at 10.475 units in March 2012 and hasn’t delivered a 5.000+ sales month since September 2012… So the Kwid is on the right track for now, however we will need to wait until the start of 2016 to get the real picture, as dealers start to renew their stock. Keep in mind sales figures published monthly for India are sales to dealerships, not end-consumers.

Ford Figo India October 2015. Picture courtesy motoroctane.comFord Figo

Another very important launch this month in India is the Maruti Baleno, distributed exclusively in Maruti Suzuki’s new premium Nexa dealership network that counts 60 showrooms for now and should extend to 100 by the end of the year. The Baleno is the second nameplate to be reserved for the Nexa network after the S-Cross that is about to fall outside the Top 30. 4.229 Baleno were delivered to dealers for its first month which is a reasonable score, however it seems like an odd decision to constraint the sales capacity of the Baleno this way as it is not exactly a premium car. Some local analysts see a 12.000 monthly sales potential for the model, a level that cannot possibly be achieved solely through the Nexa network. Other recent launches putting a smile on their manufacturers’ face are the Mahindra TUV300 improving to 4.551 sales and limiting its cannibalisation of the Bolero (-15%) and Scorpio (-7%), and the new Ford Figo up 107% over the old model at #25 and 3.534 sales while its sedan varian the Ford Aspire is stabilising around 3.000 units after an initial launch at 5.176 in August.

Previous month: India September 2015: Hyundai breaks record again, Renault Kwid lands

One year ago: India October 2014: Maruti Ciaz takes off to Top 10

Full October 2015 Top 15 brands and Top 70 models below.

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India September 2015: Hyundai breaks record again, Renault Kwid lands

Renault Kwid India September 2015. Picture courtesy zigwheels.comCan the Renault Kwid succeed where the Tata Nano and Datsun GO failed?

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Despite low fuel prices and declining interest rates, the Indian auto industry is not getting the boost most analysts including myself were expecting. Sales are up a shy 5% year-on-year in September to 228.715 units, and given these are sales to dealers not end-sales to consumers, this means car salesmen across the country are not anticipating very strong business during the upcoming festive season which is traditionally the strongest period of the year in India. Year-to-date, the total amounts to 1.994.176 units, up 6% on 2014. Market behemoth Maruti follows the market at +7% and 46.4% share, placing four models in the Top 4 as usual: the Alto (+4%) outpaces the DZire (+8%), Swift (+6%) and Wagon R (-5%) but the Celerio is the most impressive at +39% to break its all-time monthly volume record at 8.901 deliveries (previous best was 8.078 last June). Notice also the newly launched S-Cross at #21 with a solid 3.603 sales.

Mahindra TUV300 India September 2015. Picture courtesy haymarketindia.netThe Mahindra TUV300 also launches this month in India.

The best brand performance of the month goes once again to Korean manufacturer Hyundai, breaking its all-time Indian monthly volume record for the 2nd time in a row at 42.505 (+21%) after eclipsing the 40.000 monthly unit-milestone for the very first time last month (40.505). This performance has a lot to do with the tremendous success of the Creta (aka ix25), holding very strong in 8th position with 7.320 units. However the Elite i20 (+31%) and Grand i10 (+54%) also post extremely strong performances this month, both inside the Top 6. Honda jumps 23% to stay above Mahindra in third place, thanks to the Amaze at #10 (71%), the City at #11 (+24%) and the Jazz holding strong at #15. Ford is up 22% thanks to the Inspire at #22, while Chevrolet (-42%), Fiat (-46%), Renault (-50%) and Nissan (-59%) implode.

Hyundai Creta India September 2015. Picture courtesy motorbeam.comThe Creta is taking Hyundai to new heights in India.

Two newcomers make their entrance in the Indian sales charts this month. The Mahindra TUV300 lands directly inside the Top 20 at #18 with 4.313 sales, a very strong start for the MPV (or is it a boxy SUV?) but it doesn’t allow Mahindra to grow sales year-on-year (-5%) which is worrying. Indeed the Bolero (-35%) and Scorpio (-29%) are hit full frontal by the TUV300 while the XUV500 remains at modest levels at #25 and just above 3.000 units. The most intriguing new arrival is by all means the Renault Kwid. This is the first ultra-low cost offer by the French manufacturer, a risky but potentially very lucrative business in India. Tata failed miserably in this domain with the Nano and more recently Datsun didn’t do much better with the Go as I detailed in my repots India Full Year 2014: Datsun Go underwhelms and India July 2014: Is the Datsun Go a flop?.

Some car magazines have already pitted the Kwid against the Maruti Alto, Hyundai Eos and i10, some of the most affordable options in the Indian market and it just so happens that both the Eos (-29%) and i10 (-30%) saw their sales drop significantly this month, pushing one publisher to already speak of a “Kwid effect”. Renault is already reporting over 25.000 orders for the Kwid which starts at just Rs. 257.000 (3.500€ / US$4.000). Could the Kwid be the key that foreign manufacturers have been looking for to unlock the elusive entry market in India? The response before the end of the year…

Previous month: India August 2015: Hyundai breaks record, Ford Aspire lands at #13

One year ago: India September 2014: Hyundai Elite i20 up to 5th place

Full September 2015 Top 15 brands and Top 60 models below.

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India August 2015: Hyundai breaks record, Ford Aspire lands at #13

Hyundai Creta India August 2015. Picture courtesy zigwheels.comThanks to the Creta (#8), Hyundai sells over 40.000 units in India this month – a record.

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The Indian new car market is up a satisfying 4% year-on-year in August to 225.168 registrations including selected luxury brands, bringing the year-to-date total to 1.765.461 deliveries, up 6% on 2014. According to Autocar India, the car sales gain is mainly in anticipation of an increase in demand for the upcoming Diwali festive season. Indian data is indeed wholesale deliveries to dealerships, not end-consumer purchases, so August data reflects the anticipated sales by dealers for the coming months. Brand evolutions vary widely however, and the carmakers with new offerings are the only ones improving year-on-year.

Ford Aspire India August 2015. Picture courtesy team-bhp.comInstant blockbuster: the Aspire is Ford’s best-seller in India for its first month on sale.

Market leader Maruti Suzuki outpaces the average growth at +9% to 47.4% share but the big news comes from Hyundai in 2nd place: thanks to sales up 20% on August 2014, the Korean manufacturer breaks its all-time monthly sales record in India at 40.505 units, the first time it sells north of 40.000 cars in a single month in the country. This performance is mainly due to the success of the Creta SUV as we’ll see in more detail below. Honda (-7%), Mahindra (-7%) and Tata (-4%) all lose ground whereas Toyota is stable and Ford gains a splendid 22% thanks to the arrival of the new Aspire sedan, also known as the Ford Ka sedan in Brazil.

Mercedes C Class India August 2015. Picture courtesy highlineautomotive.inThe Mercedes C-Class is the best-selling luxury model in India this month.

Volkswagen is up 5%, Datsun up 34% but still extremely shy at 0.7% market share. On the other end of the scale, Chevrolet is down 47%, Renault down 53% now that the Lodgy has levelled out (only 271 sales this month) and Nissan plunges 54%. This month we also have access to rare luxury brand data, showing declines across the board: Audi leads the charge at #14 overall but drops 6%, followed by Mercedes (-7%) while BMW lags significantly lower and is down 10%. Model-wise, the Mercedes C-Class (#56), E-Class (#57), Audi A6 (#63), BMW X1 (#66), 3 Series (#67) and Audi Q3 (#69) all manage to squeeze inside the August Top 70.

Maruti Celerio India August 2015. Picture courtesy indiatoday.inMaruti Celerio

For the first time the Top 10 best-selling models in India this month are either Maruti Suzuki or Hyundai. The Alto reclaims the pole position it has been holding annually for a decade now thanks to sales up 7% to 23.017, knocking the Maruti DZire down to #2 with the Swift and Wagon R holding their traditional #3 and #4 ranks. The Hyundai Elite i20 (+61%) and Grand i10 (+54%) lodge spectacular gains to rank #5 and #6 respectively. The all-new Creta SUV is down one spot on July to #8 but at 7.437 deliveries, it obliterates the SUV competition: the Ford Ecosport is down 36% to #24 and the Renault Duster down 64% to #36. The Maruti Celerio is very solid at #7 (+19%) as are the Maruti Omni at #9 (+33%) and Eeco at #10 (+16%).

Maruti S-Cross India August 2015. Picture courtesy todaysbuzz.inSolid performance by the Maruti S-Cross for its 2nd month in market.

Just outside the Top 10, the Honda City is up 7-fold on the previous gen last month to #11, the Honda Jazz confirms it is a successful relaunch at #12 and 5.404 but the most impressive performance is delivered by the all-new Ford Aspire, landing directly at #13 with 5.176 sales and instantly becoming the American manufacturer’s best-seller above the Ecosport (3.137). The Maruti S-Cross soars 3-fold and 15 spots on its opening score last month to climb to an excellent 16th place. The Tata Nano enjoys the AMT effect with sales up 3-fold year-on-year to 2.235 and the Tata Zest (#30), Datsun GO+ (#40), Tata Bolt (#43) and Datsun GO (#45) are stuck at depressing levels.

Previous month: India July 2015: Maruti above 50% share, Hyundai Creta in Top 10

One year ago: India August 2014: Hyundai Elite i20 up, Tata Zest lands

Full August 2015 Top 70 models and Top 20 brands below.

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Of Gold Plating and Pandas: India’s Burgeoning Car Modification Scene

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Whether it’s hot hatches in Europe, low riders in Mexico, hot rods in America, or drift cars in Japan, the extreme car modification scene has long been a loud, colorful part of popular culture in many of the world’s developed countries. And regardless of whether you’re looking to bust records or turn heads, unleashing your creativity and ingenuity on an otherwise standard road car shows no sign of losing popularity.

And increasingly, you can add India to that list. While it’s true that vehicle modification in India is nothing new – lavishly decorating one’s truck or even motorcycle is a long-established tradition – the rapid emergence of India’s urban middle class has also seen vehicle ownership, and car ownership especially, boom. And with young, middle class Indians increasingly having the time and money to indulge their passions, this has seen a proportionate growth in car modification, too.

Indian cars

Affordable and widely accessible, it’s not surprising that India’s car modification scene has been quick to embrace the products of its indigenous car industry. Bespoke body kits, extreme sound equipment and other after-market parts are ideal for those wishing to transform a humble Nano or Indica into something a bit more eye-catching. Indeed (and not without a sense of irony, given its billing as the $2,500 ‘everyman’ vehicle), this has even extended to one Nano being decked out in plates of gold.

Even Zoom Car, India’s leading car-sharing company, has gotten in on the act, extensively modifying a classic Hindustan Ambassador after a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2014.

Foreign cars

But you won’t only see extensively modified Indian cars on the roads of Mumbai, New Delhi and other cities. The popularity of car modification in Europe, North America, Japan, Korea and other major car producing countries and territories has given Indian owners a ready-made pool of aftermarket parts to tap into, as foreign cars become more affordable to Indians.

In fact, it’s actually possible for Indians to benefit from this without having to spend much at all. A great case in point is Royal Panda, an Indian online casino, is currently holding a competition where those who play a selection of its video slot machines can win an extensively modified Volkswagen Beetle, tricked out to look like a royal panda.

Bottom line: if you’re looking to apply the personal touch to your wheels, there’s never been a better time to do it.

India July 2015: Maruti above 50% share, Hyundai Creta in Top 10

Maruti S-Cross India July 2015. Picture courtesy team-bhp.comMaruti S-Cross. Every second passenger car sold in India this month is a Maruti.

* See the Top 15 best-selling brands and Top 60 models by clicking on the title *

The Indian new car market is up a very dynamic 13% year-on-year in July to 218.926 registrations, lifting the year-to-date total up 6% or 87.000 units to 1.540.293. It’s now done: for the first time since BSCB started following India monthly over 10 years ago, Maruti – the Indian subsidiary of Japanese carmaker Suzuki – has managed to lift its market share above the highly symbolic 50% mark thanks to sales up a whopping 23% on July 2014 to 110.405 or a 50.4% share. This is an extremely impressive achievement in one of the most dynamic car markets in the world where new launches occur on a weekly basis, even new brands such as the Datsun revival being inaugurated here (to no avail so far). Hyundai gains even more ground at +25% in 2nd place with 16.7% share, while Honda is up 19% to snap the YTD third spot off Mahindra. Toyota is back above Tata at #5 despite the latter gaining 14% in July, Volkswagen (+18%) and Datsun (+72% on a low base) improve whereas Ford (-43%), Renault (-44%), Nissan (-46%) and Chevrolet (-52%) continue to implode.

Over in the models ranking, we have a surprise on top: the Maruti DZire – a Swift sedan – manages to rank #1 for the 2nd consecutive month and the 5th time ever after May 2013May 2014July 2014 and June 2015 thanks to sales up 24% to 23.086 units, keeping the 2015 leader the Maruti Alto at bay at 22.212 deliveries (+31%). In fact the entire Top 10 best-selling models all outpace the market, showing a clear concentration of Indian customers’ choices. The Maruti Swift is up 20% at #3, the Wagon R up 32% at #4, the Hyundai Elite i20 is up 6-fold on the old model at #5 with the Hyundai Grand i10 (+24%), Maruti Celerio (+22%) and Omni (+17%) also shining.

Honda Jazz India July 2015The Jazz is already Honda’s best-seller in India (Japan model shown)

The big events of the month are found just below: dubbed “one of the most anticipated cars in recent history” in India, the Hyundai Creta aka ix25 doesn’t disappoint: up 313% on its opening score last month and 23 spots to crash into India’s 10 most popular vehicles at #9 with 6.783 deliveries to dealers  as India sales figures are wholesales. Although it doesn’t compete directly with it, the Creta absolutely kills the Ford Ecosport down 28% to 3.885 sales this month but most importantly the Renault Duster (-64%) and Nissan Terrano (-60%) are swept out of the picture with a paltry respective 1.005 and 645 sales.

Tata Zest India July 2015. Picture courtesy carwale.comAfter the Nano and the Bolt, the Zest is the latest in the list of Tata flops.

Another newcomer from last month, the Honda Jazz is up an equally impressive 15 spots and 186% on its June arrival figure to land at a beautiful 10th spot with 6.676 sales, instantly making it the brand’s best-seller above the City (5.180) and Amaze (4.589). We weldome the Maruti S-Cross in the Indian ranking at #31 with 1.510 sales this month. Thanks to the arrival of an automatic variant called GenX, the Tata Nano is slowing creeping up the ladder with a still slow 2.120 sales at #26 (+142%), that’s much better than the newer Tata Zest (1.458) and Bolt (433) now officially flops, while both the Datsun GO and GO+ remain outside the Top 40.

Previous post: India 1st Half 2015: Maruti, Hyundai and Honda impress

Previous month: India June 2015: Maruti DZire leads, Hyundai Creta lands

One year ago: India July 2014: Is the Datsun Go a flop?

Full July 2015 Top 15 brands and Top 60 models below.

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India 1st Half 2015: Maruti, Hyundai and Honda impress

Hyundai Elite i20 India March 2015. Picture courtesy of zeegnition.comHyundai cracked the Indian code with the Elite i20.

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The Indian market is back on the up in 2015 at +5% over the First Half of the year to 1.321.367 registrations to dealers. Even though it is already ultra-dominant, Maruti – the Indian subsidiary of Suzuki – manages to outpace the market at +9% to 623.000 units, as does Hyundai up 8% to 224.000 sales. Snipping at the heads of Mahindra (-8%), Honda gains an outstanding 15% to 102.400 units and 7.7%. In 5th place, local manufacturer Tata is up an impressive 23%, however the launch of the Bolt/Zest couple has disappointed so far as we’ll detail further below. Toyota and Volkswagen both gain 19% and while Datsun is up 38%, its on a small base as the brand just launched at the same time last year and at 10.831 sales it only accounts for 0.8% of the Indian market.

Maruti Alto K10 India 2014. Picture courtesy of cartrade.comThe Maruti Alto is headed towards 11 consecutive years in the Indian pole position.

In the models ranking, the Maruti Alto is quietly headed towards an 11th consecutive year in pole position even though it hasn’t ranked #1 every month so far in 2015 (#2 in June) with stable sales at 138.800 units. The Maruti DZire (+8%) and Swift (+4%) are catching up but remain at a fair distance. The main change atop the Indian sales charts comes from Hyundai: the Korean manufacturer cracked a difficult segment with the Elite i20, up 3-fold on the old model to 5th place and 66.217 sales. The Maruti Celerio at #11 and Toyota Innova at #14, both up 12%, also make themselves noticed.

Maruti Ciaz India October 2014. Picture courtesy of zigwheels.com2The Maruti Ciaz is the most popular all-new nameplate in 2015 so far.

A very dynamic market, India welcomes no less than 8 all-new nameplates inside the H1 2015 Top 60, but most are disappointments. The Maruti Ciaz is the best ranked at #15 with 29.000 sales and has now found its cruising rhythm at a very satisfying level, allowing Maruti into a new segment. The Tata Zest (#28) and Bolt (#34), if they somewhat enable Tata to catch up on lost time, have failed to convince and the Bolt even fell to a paltry 447 sales in June. Similarly, the Honda Mobilio and Datsun GO+ have not managed to replicate their Indonesian success in India: they rank #31 and #39. The Renault Lodgy on the contrary is opening new sales potential for the French manufacturer: it was Renault’s best-seller in April and May. Finally, the Honda Jazz (#55) and Hyundai Creta (#57) were introduced in June and already feature in the Top 60 for H1 2015, a good sign for the remainder of the year.

Previous post: India June 2015: Maruti DZire leads, Hyundai Creta lands

Q1 2015 update: India 1st Quarter 2015: Maruti and Hyundai dominate market up 2%

FY 2015 update: India Full Year 2014: Datsun GO underwhelms in market back up

One year ago: India June 2014: Maruti Wagon R up to 2nd place

Full H1 2015 Top 15 brands and Top 60 models vs. Full H1 2014 figures below.

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India June 2015: Maruti DZire leads, Hyundai Creta lands

Hyundai Creta India June 2015Hyundai Creta

* See the Top 15 best-selling brands and Top 60 models by clicking on the title *

The Indian new light vehicle market marks a pause in its recovery in June: down 0.5% year-on-year to 217.642 deliveries to dealerships – Indian data doesn’t track end-customer purchases. The year-to-date total stands at 1.321.367 units halfway through 2015, up 5% on 2014. Maruti (47.2% share) and Hyundai (16.7%) both outpace the market and stay in positive, but the most impressive evolution is posted by Honda, up one spot on May and 13% year-on-year to now round up the podium at 8.4% share. Tata is up 30% but stays 6th, Renault is up 1% at #8, Volkswagen up 31% at #9 but Ford (-38%), Chevrolet (-41%) and Nissan (-43%) implode.

Honda Jazz India June 2015. Picture courtesy team-bhp.comThe Honda Jazz returns to India.

Model-wise, thanks to sales up a splendid 37% year-on-year to 21.866, the Maruti DZire – a Suzuki Swift sedan – is the best-selling vehicle in the country for the 4th time ever after May 2013May 2014 and July 2014. It distances the Maruti Alto at 21.115 (-31%) while the Maruti Swift also shine at +27% to 17.313 units. Below the Maruti Wagon R, the Hyundai Elite i20 holds onto the 5th spot while the Maruti Celerio is boosted up 66% by the new diesel and CVT variants to a record 7th place with 8.078 registrations (previous best: 7.323 in Feb 2014). With the new generation finally available in India, the Honda Jazz makes its return in the Indian sales charts at #25 with 2.336 units and the locally-produced Hyundai Creta lands at #32 with 1.641 deliveries to dealerships ahead of its national launch on 21 July, India being the second market in the world where this small SUV goes on sale after China where it is baptised ix25.

Previous month: India May 2015: Maruti Alto up 31%, Lodgy Renault’s best-seller again

One year ago: India June 2014: Maruti Wagon R up to 2nd place

Full June 2015 Top 15 brands and Top 60 models below.

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