The Toyota Fortuner appears to have secured a solid leadership position which would be hard to shake in the near future
The premium SUV segment has been the primary beneficiary of the Indian customers’ steadily increasing spending spree. And this segment has been witnessing regular influx of new models. However, so far, the battle is pretty much one sided with the venerable Toyota Fortuner sitting at the very top.
Top selling premium SUVs in February 2020
With 2,053 units on the board, the Toyota Fortuner has developed an insurmountable leadership as things stand now. Over the generations, the Japanese ladder frame SUV built a strong brand image with its rugged appeal, powerful engine, off-road capabilities and a dominating road presence. Toyota’s track record of positive after-sales experience and terrific resale value only helped the Fortuner consolidate its leadership in this segment.
Finished second is the Ford Endeavour which also has been in the market for several years. While the Endeavour does’t enjoy the same sales success as the Fortuner, it has to be credited for keeping its rival on its toes and rising the segment benchmark consistently. In its latest avatar, the Ford Endeavour emerges as a properly premium and tech-laden SUV with strong capabilities. In February 2021, the Endy clocked 801 units at a YoY growth of 44%.
The MG Gloster which brings a tempting size-to-price ratio to the premium SUV table has been making inroads steadily. With 463 units sold last month, the massive ladder frame contender takes the final spot on the podium, and it looks poised to close the gap to the leaders in the coming months.
Interestingly, the crossovers in the premium spectrum of the SUV segments are losing out to the more traditional ladder frame counterparts in our market. The crossovers have a modern appeal, better dynamic characteristics on road and sportier design. However, it turns out, the somewhat unrefined and rugged character of the ladder-frame SUVs strike a chord with Indian buyers a vast majority of whom will hardly take their vehicles off the road.
The Hyundai Tuscon managed to find 152 takers in February 2021. Being a 5-seater could be a disadvantage at this price segment. The VW Tiguan which is a bit too compact for this segment clocked only 67 units.
The Mahindra Alturas G4 which started off strongly has now been relegated to sixth spot with only 36 units leaving the factory last month. The rebadged SsangYong Rexton with Mahindra badge does not evoke the same premium appeal as the Toyota Fortuner or Ford Endeavour even though it has got what it takes to stand shoulder to shoulder with them purely on the basis of specifications.
Coming in last is the Honda CR-V which has not been discontinued. Only 1 unit was dispatched last month as Honda shuttered its Noida plant and discontinued its CKD models.