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Kia launched the Seltos compact SUV last month as its debut product in India. Despite being such a new vehicle in the market, the Seltos has beaten every other vehicle in the compact SUV game to take the mantle of the segment sales leader. Kia sold 6,236 units of the Seltos in August, which is higher than 6,001 Creta SUVs Hyundai sold in the same time period. Other rivals like the Renault Duster, Maruti Suzuki S-Cross and Nissan Kicks were left even behind in August sales. Till date, the Hyundai Creta was the reigning king of the compact SUV segment in India but the arrival of the Seltos has changed things for sure.
Talking about Creta, Hyundai sold 10,394 units of the SUV in August last year as compared to 6,001 units this month, indicating a fall of 42% in Creta’s sales. Renault, on the other hand, sold 967 examples of the Duster in the same time period while its August 2018 sales stand at mere 613 units. The French manufacturer has been able to record a growth in Duster numbers despite the industry slowdown due to the new facelifted model that was launched in July.
Coming to the Maruti Suzuki S-Cross, we see a drop of 27% in year on year sales as the manufacturer sold 666 units of the car in August 2019 compared to 914 units in August 2018. Nissan’s card in the compact SUV segment didn’t go as planned as the Kicks was able to round up only 172 buyers in August this year. It is the hardest hit by the industry slowdown which is clearly visible in its numbers.
Coming to the Kia Seltos, the compact SUV recorded high sales last month due to various factors, including the low starting price of Rs. 9.69 lakhs (ex-showroom, Delhi). The Seltos is an attractive looking vehicle and gets an array of engine and gearbox options. This helps everyone find a variant and trim level according to their own preference which is definitely a bonus. Further, it comes loaded to gills with features along with several segment-first features which create a sense of attraction among the buyers. The large number of Kia dealerships and service centers further helped people to put their faith in a brand that is barely a month old in terms of product launch.
Another important point to notice here is that being a new and radical product, the Seltos isn’t much affected by the industry slowdown as its rivals. This is usually the case with most newly launched vehicles that offer good value. What will be interesting to see if the Seltos is able to maintain these numbers after 2-3 months. The Hyundai Creta is a pretty good vehicle in its segment but it has clearly begun to show its age, especially in front of newer rivals like the Seltos.
Therefore, it is not likely that the Hyundai Creta will be able to beat the Seltos now, though the latter may drop after 2-3 months if the condition of the auto industry does not improve. Also, Hyundai will launch the new generation model of the Creta in the Indian market during the first quarter of 2020 and that’s when the Kia Seltos will get a true rival. To let you know, the Kia Seltos and new-gen Hyundai Creta will share the same platform as well as engine options and hence it will be interesting to see which among them will be preferred by the Indian buyers.