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India January 2017: All-new Ignis helps Maruti across 50% market share

The Maruti Ignis targets Indian millennials. Picture

* See the Top 22 All-brands and Top 90 models by clicking on the title *

Excellent start of the year for the Indian new car market with wholesale registrations up 14% to 264.716. Market leader Maruti manages to almost double the market growth rate at a stunning +26% to 133.768 sales, crossing the symbolic 50% share at 50.5% for only the third time in history after last November (52.2%) and July 2015 (50.4%). Hyundai trails the overall growth at +11% to 15.9% share, one percentage point below its FY16 level, with Mahindra rounding up the podium despite deliveries down 7% and Honda back up 3 spots on December to #4 in spite of sales down 9% year-on-year. Both Tata and Toyota beat the market with a 21% each, while Renault (+9%), Ford (+13%) and Datsun (+129%) are also in frank positive territory. Luxury brands all drop by double-digit figures including Mercedes (-25%), Audi (-27%), BMW (-27%) and Porsche (-39%).

Some Indian millennials already see in the Ignis a neo-retro version of the 1980s Maruti 800… 

The Maruti Alto (+7%) and DZire (+3%) remain atop the models charts, with the Wagon R (+17%) back above the Swft (+3%) for third place. The Hyundai Grand i10 (+31%) and Elite i20 (+19%) both post very solid gains, but not as impressive as the Maruti Celerio (+52%) and Baleno (+36%) ranking just below. The Vitara Brezza – once again India’s best-selling SUV at 8.932 – and Omni (+48%!) make it an astounding 8 Marutis in the Top 10. The Hyundai Creta (+20%) and Renault Kwid (+16%) are relegated to #11 and #12 respectively, despite market-beating performances Notice also the Maruti Ciaz (+20%) confirming its newfound position as premium sedan segment leader above the Honda City (-21%), the Tata Tiago remaining solid at #17 with 5.399 sales and the Toyota Innova Crysta up a whopping 50% to #20.

The Tata Hexa is the brand’s most expensive nameplate to date.

Helping Maruti across 50% market share is the all-new Ignis landing directly at #21 with an imposing 4.830 sales. Targeted at Indian millennials (all 440 million of them), it will be interesting to follow the career of the Ignis in India as its innovative format could either trigger a new segment trend or fall flat with very discerning Indian customers. We will know in the next few months whether the Ignis is deemed cool or lame by India. The second newcomer for January also holds big hopes for Tata, on the mend since the launch of the Tiago last year. The Hexa MPV is the brand’s most expensive nameplate to date at 11.99-17.49 Lakh (US$17.965-26.200). It enters a deserted segment as it slots in below the Toyota Innova Crysta and at the same price level as the previous generation Innova. If successful, the Hexa could help turn around the cheap and unreliable image the brand has been handicapped with since the Nano came out. For now, the Hexa lands at #38 with 1.498 deliveries.

Previous post: India Full Year 2016: The year Renault cracked the Indian market

One year ago: India January 2016: Mahindra hits the mark with the KUV100

Full January 2017 Top 22 All-brands and Top 90 models below.

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