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

Hyundai Elite i20 India August 2014. Picture courtesy of mid-day.comThe Hyundai Elite i20 has revitalised the i20 nameplate in India.

* See the Top 60 best-selling models and Top 14 brands by clicking on the title! *

Second month of euphoric news for the Indian new car market: after gaining 10% in July, it improves by an even more satisfying 16% year-on-year in August to 209,006 registrations, lifting the year-to-date total to 1,662,437 units, up 2% on 2013. In the brands ranking, Maruti breaks a leg and gains 29% on August 2013 to a mammoth 47% market share, followed by Hyundai up 19% to 33,750 sales and 16.1% share. In third position, Honda has established itself as a blockbuster player over the past few months, up a huge 88% on August 2013 to reach 8% share, well above Mahindra at #4 and 6.4% (-16%)… There are no other gainers inside the Top 10, the next brands in positive territory are Nissan up 16% to #11 and Fiat up 12% to #13.

Honda Amaze India August 2014. Picture courtesy of motortrivia.comNew to the Indian Top 5: the Honda Amaze (Thai model pictured).

Model-wise, the Maruti Alto reclaims the pole position it holds year-to-date off the Maruti Swift DZire thanks to 21,553 sales and 10.3% vs. 19,129 and 9.2% with the Maruti Swift and Wagon R stable at #3 and #4 respectively. The Honda Amaze shoots up 11 spots on July to break into the Indian Top 5 for the very first time at #5 with 9,198 sales, its 2nd best monthly volume in the country below the 9,564 units it sold in October 2013, also earning it a market share record at 4.4%. The Hyundai Eon is back above the Grand i10 at #7 while the Maruti Celerio lodges a 2nd consecutive month inside the Top 10 at 6,656 sales, its 2nd best monthly volume below the 7,323 units reached last February.

Honda Mobilio India August 2014. Picture courtesy of autox.inThe Honda Mobilio is already knocking on the Indian Top 10’s door this month.

Rounding up the August Top 10 with 6,627 units is the Hyundai Elite i20, the 2nd generation of the model it replaces in the ranking, up 22 spots on July. The Elite i20 delivers the i20 nameplate’s first Top 10 ranking since September 2013, its strongest volume since March 2013 and best share since February 2013. Another very successful recent launch is the Honda Mobilio, up 7 spots on July which marked its very first appearance in the Indian ranking, hitting an outstanding 11th place with 5,530 sales and 2.6%, a 64% improvement on last month.

Tata Zest India August 2014. Picture courtesy of rediff.comCapital launch for Tata: the Zest.

An extremely important launch occurred in India on August 12: the Tata Zest. On this model and its hatchback variant (the Bolt which will pop up later in the year) rest the brand’s future at home, no less. So far so good: the Zest lands at #24 with 2,671 sales – already Tata’s best-seller above the Indica (#25) and Indigo Manza (#26). Recent reports announce 10,000 bookings for the model and Tata has put their money where their mouth is for this brand-new nameplate: a revamp of dealerships, a new 3+3+3 program (free 3 years warranty + 3 yrs maintenance + 3 yrs Roadside Assistance), features/claims overload including “cheapest diesel automatic” and attractive price. The next few months will be crucial to establish this car aimed at the Maruti Swift DZire and Honda Amaze.

Fiat Punto Evo India August 2014. Picture courtesy of zigwheels.comLeft to die at home in Italy but facelifted in India: the Fiat Punto Evo.

Finally, a very interesting development which demonstrates the importance of the BRIC (Brazil-Russia-India-China) markets nowadays in the automotive world. Destined to die and left agonising without any design tweaks at home in Italy even though it topped the sales charts for 18 consecutive years between 1994 and 2011, the Fiat Punto just enjoyed a facelift and name refresh (to Punto Evo) in… India where Fiat struggles to get past 0.5% market share – it did so only twice in the past 12 months! Result: Punto sales are up 78% on July to 985 sales, granted still very shy but earning it a #40 spot, its highest since January.

Previous month: India July 2014: Is the Datsun Go a flop?

One year ago: India August 2013: Honda Amaze continues to amaze: up to #7

Full August 2014 Top 60 models and Top 14 brands Ranking Tables below.

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