The compact SUV segment registered growth of 42 percent in September 2020 as compared to sales in September 2019
When taking the Korean car makers into account, the compact SUV segment is their stronghold. Hyundai has the Creta in top order along with the Venue, Kona and Tucson, while Kia Motors, their affiliated company, commands this compact SUV segment with the Seltos and recently launched Sonet.
SUVs are preferred over hatchbacks especially where buyers in big cities are concerned. However, the hatchback and compact sedan segment finds more favour in smaller cities and towns. SUVs are regaled not only for the fact that they command a strong road presence but also for their added safety and advanced technology that immediately appeals to the demanding urban buyer.
When assessing monthly sales, it can be seen that the compact SUV segment is clearly taking over hatchbacks. This is more so for Hyundai wherein the company has noted total domestic sales of 74,892 units of SUVs (Creta and Venue) in the April to September 2020 period as against 69,261 units of hatchbacks (Santro, Grand i10, NIOS and i20) sold in the same period of 2019.
When including sales of Kona and Tucson in this, sales of Hyundai UV segment increases by about 600 units. It was for the first time that the company’s SUV sales scored over sales of its smaller compact hatchbacks that include the Santro, Grand i10, Nios and Elite i20. The Hyundai Creta has gone on to be the largest selling SUV in India with the Hyundai Venue in second spot.
MG Motors and Kia SUVs
It is for this outstanding demand for SUVs, that newcomers such as MG Motors and Kia have not even launched a single hatchback in the country. MG Motors has the Hector, Hector Plus, ZS EV and recently launched Gloster in this segment and has registered sales of 2,537 units in September 2020.
Hyundai’s sister concern, Kia Motors, entered India in mid 2019 and have two models, the Seltos and Sonet both in the SUV segments. With sale of 9,266 units in 12 days of launch, the Kia Sonet was the most sold compact SUV in the past month, surpassing sales of the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Hyundai Venue, Tata Nexon and Mahindra XUV300.
Hatchbacks Getting Replaced By SUVs
Other automakers in India have also tried to increase market share but with focus on every segment have failed to keep up with the Korean automakers causing them to withdraw some of the smaller hatchback models. Honda pulled out the Brio from production while Toyota discontinued the Etios Liva.
Even in the near future, more and more cars in the SUV an UV segment are planned for launch by almost all car makers in India. Tata has atleast 3 UVs planned (Gravitas, HBX, Sierra based Creta rival); Maruti has the new gen Brezza, new MPV planned; Mahindra has new gen XUV500, Scorpio, electric XUV300; Citroen has plans to launch small SUV, and so on.