After a brief reprieve in October, the domestic automobile industry slid back into the negative zone in November resulting in significant changes in the list of bestselling cars.
Maruti Suzuki India, the country's largest carmaker dominates the list accounting for all of the top 5 cars. It accounts for 7 of the top 10 cars. Swift was the bestselling car with 19,314 units followed by its sedan counterpart Dzire at the third spot with 17,659 units. The cars were separated by Maruti's premium hatchback Baleno in the second spot with 18,047 units.
The biggest drop in sales was registered by Alto, India's bestselling car for over 15 years. With Maruti's new launch S Presso giving it stiff competition, Alto saw a decline of over 19 per cent in November 2019 over last year with sales of just 15,086 units. The S Presso itself was one of the bright sparks with sales of 11,220 units in the second month. It was the eighth highest selling car in the country last month.
The other car to register impressive sales was the new entrant Kia Seltos, which bettered its performance from October to clock its highest ever sales in a month at 14,005 units. It was the 6th largest selling car in the month. Seltos is not only a clear segment leader with rivals like Hyundai Creta selling well below the 10,000 unit sales mark in November, it was also the highest selling SUV at large during the month. It outsold the more compact and cheaper entry level SUVs like Maruti Brezza, Hyundai Venue, Nexon and Mahindra XUV3OO.
The Hyundai i10 Nios, which got a full lifecycle facelift in August, and was at number 10 was the only car in the list after Wagon R to register a growth year on year. Its sales of 10,186 units were 10 per cent more than its tally last November.
Every other car in the list including the leaders at the top registered a decline in sales mirroring the slowdown in the industry. Swift, despite being in the pole position, saw a 13 per cent drop while Dzire and Baleno were down 16 per cent and 3.2 per cent respectively.
Brezza, which has been facing headwinds both due to decline in demand for diesel vehicles as also stiff competition from the Hyundai Venue also registered a 16.3 per cent drop in sales. Thanks to high discounts and a five year warranty scheme on diesel vehicles by Maruti, it seems to have recovered from the trough it had hit in the middle of the year. Its tally of 12,033 units made it the seventh largest car in the country. More importantly it stayed ahead of the Venue as the segment leader.
Brezza is one of the few cars in India that comes only with a diesel engine. In May, Maruti had announced its plan to exit the diesel segment entirely when the industry moves to the more stringent BS VI emission norms from April next year. These norms are expected to make diesel vehicles more expensive -- possibly pricing them out of the market in the compact vehicle segments. Maruti had said its entire line up of cars would be BS VI compliant by January. A BS VI compliant petrol engine has already been developed for the Brezza expected to be launched at the Auto Expo early February next year.