In an intense battle for leadership in the fast-growing compact SUV segment, South Korean carmaker Kia's latest offering Sonet has nudged ahead of rivals Hyundai Venue and Maruti Suzuki Brezza in November.
Kia sold 11,417 units of the Sonet, which accounted for more than half of its overall monthly tally of 21,022 units, and was more than Venue's 9265 units and Brezza's 7,838 units. Since the launch of the Sonet in late September, the battle between the three brands has been tight. In its first month in September, Kia managed to sell 9,266 units, which was just a shade ahead of Brezza at 9,153 units with the Venue further back at 8,469 units. In October, Brezza surged ahead with 12,087 units to Sonet's 11,721 units and Venue at 8,828 units.
Unlike the Venue and Sonet, Brezza is no longer available in diesel after Maruti decided to discontinue all diesel models in the BS-VI emission regime, and comes only with a 1.5-litre petrol engine. This engine also disqualifies it for the lower 29 percent GST slab for small cars that its direct rivals enjoy. It also had to contend with a new challenger in the form of Toyota Urban Cruiser, which is essentially just a rebadged version being sold under the Toyota brand.
"I am delighted to witness the wide acceptance we have received in India for our vehicles. Since the Covid-19 outbreak, we were quite hopeful about the festive month and the results are overwhelming. Not only urban, but customers from tier II, III, and IV markets too are acknowledging the need for personal mobility to maintain personal safety," said Kookhyun Shim, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, Kia Motors India. "While there is still a lot of uncertainty in the market due to the pandemic, the overall consumer sentiment has significantly improved and we are all prepared to offer a safe and hassle-free ownership experience to our customers. We are expecting the market sentiment to improve more in coming months and we are confident that we will be able to continue this positive momentum in future as well."
The Sonet is priced between Rs 6.71-12.99 lakh and the Venue is similarly priced at Rs 6.75-11.65 lakh. The starting price point of the Brezza is relatively higher at Rs 7.34 lakh and it tops out at Rs 11.40 lakh. The Venue and Sonet also get a range of engines including a 1-litre turbocharged petrol engine and transmission options like the DCT gearbox which the Brezza lacks.