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India February 2020: Kia secures first brands podium after just 7 months in market, overall volumes down -7.2%

Kia has sold 76.588 units in India in 7 months, including 74.518 Seltos.

It’s another weak month for Indian new car wholesales, down -7.2% year-on-year to an estimated 252.400 units, pulling the year-to-date tally down -6.3% to 517.396. As the market was bracing for a transition towards stricter BS6 anti-pollution norms, the coronavirus outbreak has disrupted the supply chain of most local carmakers, for which a lot of suppliers are based in China, with parts shortage hampering production and therefore ex-factory dispatches (wholesales). Maruti (-2.3%) manages the impressive feat of losing a lot less ground than the market, improving to 53% share as a result which is its highest since November 2018. Hyundai (-7.2%) exactly follows the market at 15.9% share, just above 40.000 units.

The Maruti Wagon R breaks its volume record in February (18.235)…

The event of the month is the arrival on the Indian brands podium of Kia thanks to a record 15.644 wholesales and highest-ever 6.2% market share. Kia has now delivered 76.588 vehicles to its dealerships in its first 7 months of activity in the country, which remains by very far the most successful brand launch in Indian automotive history. For perspective, the most successful launch in China is Volkswagen’s low-cost brand Jetta which sold 66.656 units in 5 months and is expected to reach the 100.000 mark after 7 months. Figures that are not that much bigger in volume terms in a market ten times larger. Kia’s entrance is reminiscent of sister brand Hyundai’s arrival in India in 1998. At a time when sales volumes were a fraction of what they are today and competition virtually non-existent, Hyundai reached #4 spot for its first full year in market in 1999 with 61.135 sales and 8.5% share. Kia seems comfortably headed towards the #3 spot instead, and a 8.5% share over FY2020 is a definite possibility.

…as does the Maruti Ertiga (11.782)…

Renault (+40.7%) is the only Top 8 carmaker to show year-on-year improvement in 2020 thanks solely to the new Triber. In contrast, Mahindra (-56.1%) was particularly affected by the coronavirus outbreak and Honda (-46.3%), Tata (-31.4%) and Toyota (-12%) all fall apart. Ford (+5.2%) edges up at #9 and MG rounds out the Top 10 for the 6th time in its 8-month career but crumbles at -56% on January. If Skoda (-0.6%) resists, Volkswagen (-86.6%), Datsun (-66.2%), Nissan (-53.9%) and Jeep (-48.9%) all but fade on the horizon. Model-wise, even though the overall market is relatively weak, no less than three Top 10 models break their all-time volume record. The Maruti Swift (+2.6%) climbs up two spots on January to snap its third win in the past 10 months after last May and November. Only 461 units below is the Maruti Wagon R (+16.4%) smashing its volume record from September 2016 (16.645) to 18.235 thanks to the new model launched mid-2019. The Maruti Alto (-27.6%) remains in great difficulty yet pulls back up onto the podium at #3 for the month and YTD.

…and the Hyundai Venue (10.321).

The Baleno (-7.6%) ensures the Top 4 is 100% Maruti for the 14th consecutive month but the extraordinarily successful Kia Seltos is getting more and more threatening and breaks into the Indian Top 5 at #5. The Maruti Ertiga (+47.7%) shoots up 12 spots on January to hit its highest-ever ranking (#6) and volume (11.782), eclipsing its previous bests of #8 and 9.222 established in July 2019. The Maruti Eeco (+46.5%) continues to surprise at #7, with the Hyundai Grand i10 (+14.8%) also very strong above the Hyundai Venue up 5 ranks on last month to #9 and a new record volume at 10.321, writing off the 9.665 it sold last November. The Maruti S-Presso (#10) secures a 4th Top 10 finish in a 6-month career. Finally, in February we welcome the MG ZS EV at #58 with a timid 158 units.

Previous month: India January 2020: Maruti DZire #1, Baleno breaks record, Kia Seltos hits 15.000 units in market down -5.4%

One year ago: India February 2019: New XUV300 lifts Mahindra up 19.8% in 6th market decline in past 8 months

Full February 2020 Top 23 All-brands and Top 80 models below.

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