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India April 2016: Leader Alto down 23%, hit by Kwid?

Renault-Kwid-Vs-Alto India April 2016. Picture courtesy gaadiIs the Renault Kwid responsible for the Maruti Alto’s 23% drop this month?

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The Indian light vehicle market is enjoying a speedy recovery this year with April volumes up 12% to 241.720 units, lifting the year-to-date total to 958.752, up 7% on the same period in 2015. Gains have been restricted to the cities though, with the countryside still lagging behind according to local publication Autocarpro.co.in. The big news this month is the 23% drop of the Maruti Alto to just 16.583 sales, its lowest monthly score in almost three years (since May 2013). Two theories on this drop: either Maruti is slowing down production in preparation for the facelifted version coming up shortly, or its direct competitor and recently launched the Renault Kwid (another record 9.795 sales this month) has hit it at its core. Given vehicle sales in India are ex-factory deliveries to dealerships, the latter option is well within the realm of possibles: dealers are now reacting to a possible Alto weakness by ordering less.

156372The Renault Kwid has eaten into Maruti Alto sales since its launch last September. 

Impressively, the Alto drop as well as those of the Swift (-15%) and DZire (-28%) do not affect Maruti’s results in the least: the manufacturer even beats the market with sales up 16% to 117.045 for a mammoth 48.4% market share vs. 47% so far in 2016. This is the result of very strong performances by two nameplates launched in the past year: the Baleno is up 3 spots on March to #8 with 9.562 sales and, most interestingly, the Vitara Brezza launched last month is up to an excellent #12 with 7.832 units, missing out on the “#1 SUV in India” title by a mere 68 units to the Hyundai Creta (7.900). On top of it, the Wagon R resists well (+10%), the antediluvian Omni is up 28% in 10th place and the Ciaz up 22% to 5.702 sales, threatening the Honda City, segment leader at 5.793 units (-29%).

Maruti Vitara Brezza India April 2016. Picture courtesy gaadiwaadi.com2nd month on sale and just missing out on the #1 SUV in India title: the Maruti Vitara Brezza. 

Hyundai (+10%) improves slightly slower than the market but still manages a strong 17.5% share vs. 16.9% year-to-date while Mahindra is up 22% in third position to 21.108 units and 8.7% thanks to the success of its new range of small SUVs: the KUV100 up to #19 with 5.097 sales, the TUV300 ranks #31 with 1.928 but the NuvoSport is down a worrying 13 spots for its 2nd month in market at #54 with 553 sales. The Bolero suffers though: it is down 34% and longer the best-selling SUV in the country, a title that now goes to the Hyundai Creta for now.

Ford Endeavour India April 2016. Picture courtesy motortrend.inThe Ford Endeavour outsells the Toyota Fortuner to lead its segment.

Taking advantage of a particularly weak month by Honda down 17% to #6 despite the arrival of the BR-V (#50), Renault signs a fantastic 4th place overall with 12.426 sales, more than triple its April 2015 volume (+211%) and the brand’s new monthly record, beating its March result by two units. One culprit: the Kwid. It is now time for Renault to crank up its production again to see whether it can truly threaten the reign of the Maruti Alto, which would be an incredible performance for the French manufacturer. In 5th position, Tata is up just 3% as its much-anticipated (and -needed) Tiago is back in the charts at #24 with 3.022 sales. This is still meagre in a segment where it would need to reach at last 8.000 monthly units to play with the big boys. Notice also Mercedes up 16% and Ford up 37% thanks to the Aspire (#40) and Endeavour up 11 spots on March to #51 and now segment leader above the Toyota Fortuner (-69%).

Previous month: India March 2016: Renault Kwid officially a hit, breaks into Top 5

One year ago: India April 2015: Renault Lodgy lands with 2.032 sales

Full April 2016 Top 20 brands and Top 80 models below.

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