You know the good times are on a roll when the demand for larger, more feature-rich cars outstrips that for budget drives. Last month, Maruti's compact sedan Dzire beat Alto, its entry level small car stablemate, as the bestselling car for the month. In fact, Dzire was able to maintain its No. 1 ranking in sales for the third consecutive month in February, while maker Maruti Suzuki monopolised the best-selling chart. It accounted for all the top five bestselling cars in the country in February, and six of the top 10.
Dzire, which was given a full model change in 2017, registered a 26 per cent growth in sales in February at 20,941 units compared to 16,613 units sold in the same month last year. In comparison, Alto could grow its sales by only 1 per cent at 19,760 units. Dzire has now outsold the long-time best-selling car in the country in six of the last seven months. It, however, still lags behind Alto in this fiscal so the battle is far from over.
The launch of the Swift's new avatar last month failed to help the model recover lost ground. Maruti's one-time bestseller only came third at 17,291 units, despite registering a 40 per cent growth over the last year. According to MoneyControl, the current Swift, the third generation model since its debut in 2005, has already garnered close to 100,000 bookings in less than two months.
At the No. 4 slot was Maruti's premium hatchback Baleno, which registered a blistering 106 per cent growth in sales at 15,807 units last month. This was the first time in eight months that Swift outsold the Baleno. Nonetheless, the mass appeal for the Baleno can be deduced from the waiting period of up to a month for it, despite having hit the road three years ago. Wagon R, with sales of over 14,000 units followed at the 5th spot.
Hyundai's Elite i20, i10 Grand and Creta managed to grab the 6th, 8th and 9th ranks respectively. But the i10 Grand was the only car in the top 10 to register a year-on-year decline, with sales dropping 21 per cent at 10,198 units. Even the Creta did not fare well, with its volumes growing just 3 per cent. The Elite i20, however, was up 28 per cent y-o-y, selling over 13,300 units.
The report adds that SUV specialist Mahindra & Mahindra broke into the Top 10 list after a hiatus of over a year, thanks to the Bolero, which sold 8,001 units (up 24 per cent y-o-y). A popular model that fell off the charts last month was Tata Motors' Tiago. Last January, the compact car became the first Tata car in six years to break in to the Top 10 ranking, but volumes dipped to 6,718 units last month, dragging it down to 12th spot.
The battle in the mid-size sedan segment saw Maruti Ciaz claim the top spot followed by the Hyundai Verna and Honda City. Things could look very different in this space once the sales figures for March are out.