It is a known fact that Indians are head in heels with SUVs, and the numbers too support the claim. To cater to this huge demand, the makers too have launched their products in the respective segments and the average SUV customer in India today is spoilt for choice. The sales of smaller SUVs were soaring as compared to bigger SUVs, or even hatchbacks or sedans. However, as is with all good things, the SUV segment too is witnessing a slowdown in growth.
A report by ETAuto stated that in the year 2013-14 the sales percent for UVs in India was around 20%, this rose to 25% in 2016-17, and reached the highest point of 28% in 2017-18. Take the numbers from 2018-19 and they show a net decrease of 0.8%.
Taking on the monthly sales stats we notice that it was last year’s November that the sales started to go south. A resurgence piggybacking on MPV sales was seen in February, however this was not enough to stem the tide of decline and the overall sales still are in decline as compared to the last fiscal year.
The decline is not limited to UVs, the car sector overall is looking at a sluggish year as far as sales are concerned. In the past eight months, February witnessed a seventh decline of car sales, a decline of 1.11% to quote the figure. The decline in sales in UVs is not just limited to smaller players, segment toppers such as Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza and Hyundai Creta have been at the sharper end of stick as well.
Take the sales of segment-champion Maruti Vitara Brezza for instance, the sales of best seller of the SUV segment saw a fall of 4711 units in December as compared to November. Another major seller of the segment Hyundai Creta’s sales in December fell by 2,046 units as compared to November.
Not just being limited to two examples top 10 selling SUVs of India such as Mahindra Bolero, Mahindra Scorpio, and Tata Nexon among others, all of them posted negative sales figures in January 2019 as compared to January 2018.
So is the reign of the SUVs finally over, not so quickly. Recent data from February shows that SUV sales are indeed making a comeback, but looking at the upcoming election season, and the new norms that are soon to be enforced, the comeback not be that strong. However, auto makers have their hopes up as there are a lot of SUVs such as Tata Buzzard and MG Hector among others that are scheduled to be launched this year.