* See the Top 60 best-selling models and Top 14 brands by clicking on the title! *
The Dusshera and Diwali festivals is traditionally an auspicious season a lot of car buyers wait until to make their purchase. Not this year. The Indian car market is down 5% year-on-year to 216,808 registrations, however the year-to-date total is still in positive land at 2,097,750 units, up 2% on 2013. Out of the Top 14 manufacturers in the country, only Maruti (+1%), Hyundai (+6%), Honda (+18%) and Fiat (+13%) gain ground year-on-year, with the other 10 in the red including Skoda (-40%), Nissan (-43%) and Chevrolet (-47%).
Last week, the zero stars scored by both the Maruti Swift and Datsun Go at the Global NCAP crash tests made the news and prompted Global NCAP Max Mosley to publicly ask Carlos Ghosn to withdraw the Datsun Go from the Indian market! Max Mosley also said: “India has the potential to be a world leader in the automobile industry, but Indian consumers are not aware of how unsafe they are in case of a crash. We are pleased that India is launching an NCAP consumer testing programme. If this happens, every new car sold in India would have a proper crash structure and airbags.” See the harrowing crash tests above. It will be interesting to see how much impact these horrendous results will have on Indian sales. For now the Maruti Swift is down 31% on September to #4 as consumers await the refreshed model and the Datsun Go is back up 33% to a still tiny 1,354 units and 0.6% share vs. 1,654 for the Tana Nano.
The Maruti Alto tops the Indian models sales charts for the 10th time in the past 12 months thanks to 21,443 sales and just under 10% share, while the Swift DZire is very robust once again at 17,950 units and 8.3%, cementing its #2 YTD rank. The Maruti Wagon R benefits from the weak performance of the Swift to climb to #3, the Mahindra Bolero is up one spot to #5 and the Hyundai Elite i20 is the brand’s best-seller in India for the 2nd straight month at #6 ahead of the Grand i10 at #7 and the Eon at #8. The big news in the models ranking this month however is the amazing 9th spot of the all-new Maruti Ciaz. It sold 1,375 units in September for its first month but wasn’t reported at the time, and now surges to 6,345 sales in October!
This is Maruti’s first entry in the compact sedan category and the Ciaz already smashes all its competitors, including the Honda City at which it is squarely aimed: the City ranks 13th with 5,124 sales this month, with all other competitors in the segment way below: the Hyundai Verna is #31 at 2,248 units, the VW Vento is #37 with 1,533 sales and the Skoda Rapid is #43 at 1,047 units. Another newcomer that is worth following carefully is the small sedan Tata Zest on whose slim shoulders rest the future of the brand, no less. The Zest breaks into the Indian Top 20 for the first time in October at #20 with sales up 6% on last month to a best-ever but still relatively shy 3,524 units.
Previous month: India September 2014: Hyundai Elite i20 up to 5th place
Full October 2014 Top 60 models and 14 brands Ranking Tables below.