The Kia Seltos sold over 45.000 units in just 5 months.
The Indian new car market sees five years of continuous progression and four consecutive all-time record volumes come to an abrupt end in 2019 with wholesales sinking steeply at -12.3% to fall below the 3 million unit mark for the first time since 2016 at 2.968.351. Political uncertainty, a banking crisis, poor consumer confidence and slowing growth in upcountry markets due to below-par Monsoon forecasts have played a role in this very rare counter-performance in India. If the market seems to have stabilised over the last Quarter with October up 1%, November down -0.5% and December down -0.6% which is a very encouraging sign, the fall was particularly harsh towards the middle of the year in May (-20.5%), July (-30.2%), August (-30.6%) and September (-22.9%).
The new Triber propels Renault up 7.9% in 2019.
In this whirlwind of a market, Maruti (-14.2%) manages to remain above 50% share for the 2nd straight year and only the third time in the past 21 years (52.3% in 1999). Hyundai (-7.2%) on the other hand improves its share by one percentage point to 17.2% which is understood to be its highest share in India, also hit in 2015. In contrast Tata (-28.7%), Honda (-23%) and Toyota (-16.2%) would rather forget 2019. Renault (+7.9%) is the only mass manufacturer to gain ground in 2019 thanks to the arrival of the new Triber (see further down).
Successful (re)launch for the MG brand in India in 2019.
The main brand event in India in 2019 is the very late launch of Kia which managed to accumulate an incredible 45.000 wholesales in just 5 months, making it by far the most successful brand launch in Indian history volume-wise, this with only one nameplate: the Seltos crossover. In fact, these figures would also be records in China, a market almost 10 times larger. In terms of market share, the Kia launch is equivalent to that of sister brand Hyundai which achieved a 1.6% share in 4 months in 1998 thanks to 8.447 sales, a score also achieved with a single nameplate: the Santro. Kia peaked at 14.005 wholesales in November (#4) – but worryingly fell to less than 5.000 in December. Another newcomer in 2019 is Chinese MG landing in July with the Hector (a rebadged Baojun 530) and also hitting the mark with over 15.000 units in 6 months and five monthly Top 10 finishes.
The Maruti Alto is back to #1 in India.
After being interrupted in 2018 by the Maruti DZire (-24.8%), the Maruti Alto (-18.9%) reclaims the annual pole position in 2019 and this for the 14th time in the past 15 years. Maruti monopolises the Top 6 for the second year in a row – and ever – with the Swift (-14.2%) at #3, the Baleno (-12.5%) at #4 and signing its first ever monthly win in December, the Wagon R (+2.6%) at #5 and securing its first ever monthly pole position in July and the Vitara Brezza (-18.2%) dipping out of the Top 5. Both the Alto and the DZire won 4 months in 2019, with the Swift winning twice and the Baleno and Wagon R both winning once. Never before had that many nameplates (5) managed to win at least one month in India, demonstrating the market is fragmenting itself more and more, with less difference between the best-sellers. The antediluvian Maruti Eeco (+34.9%) posts a stunning gain and is up 6 spots to #8, in a Top 10 only composed of Maruti and Hyundai models for the third consecutive year and ever (add the Elite i20, Grand i10 and Creta).
The Maruti Wagon R signs its first ever monthly win in India in July.
Below, the Hyundai Santro (+161.6%), Maruti Ertiga (+65%) and Mahindra Marazzo (+28.7%) post the largest gains but the big news are the handful of very successful newcomers without which the Indian market would have dived even deeper. In the lead is the Hyundai Venue (#13) peaking at #7 and 9.665 sales, followed by one of the most spectacular nameplate launch in Indian history, the Kia Seltos (#22) peaking at #6 and 14.005 sales in November, the Mahindra XUV300 (#23) peaking at 5.113 units, the Maruti S-Presso (#25) peaking at 11.220 wholesales, the Renault Triber (#29) hitting 6.071 units, the Toyota Glanza (#37) peaking at 2.773, the MG Hector (#39) hitting 3.536, the Maruti XL6 (#42) hitting 4.328 and the Tata Harrier (#43) lifting to 2.492. That’s 9 new launches ranking inside the 2019 Top 50, once again launch performances that would be at home in China.
Full Year 2019 Top 25 All-brands and Top 110 All-models vs. Full Year 2018 figures below.