March 8, 2021

Auto makers anticipate demand for compact SUVs to revive sector hit laborious by lockdowns

Auto makers are betting on compact sport utility autos (SUVs) to drive demand in future, going by previous numbers, because the trade works additional time to claw again gross sales misplaced through the months when the federal government imposed a nationwide lockdown to stem the unfold of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Performance, house and luxury — together with nice driving expertise and manoeuvrability – has led to extra customers preferring this class, based on trade specialists, with main automakers Maruti Suzuki, Mahindra and Mahindra, Hyundai Motors and Ford providing key fashions that cater particularly to this phase.

Rising participant Kia, an affiliate of South Korean Hyundai, is launching its compact SUV Sonet early subsequent month, whereas Japanese carmaker Honda is upgrading its present WR-V compact, making the phase extra aggressive. The recognition of this phase is borne out by the numbers within the earlier fiscal 12 months. Maruti Suzuki’s Vitara Brezza led gross sales with 114,000 models, adopted by Hyundai’s Venue at 93,500 models. Mahindra’s XUV300 – which is predicated on subsidiary SsangYong’s Tivoli platform – bought 37,500 models, whereas Ford’s Ecosport did retail gross sales of 37,800 models final monetary 12 months.

“Shoppers want this physique kind at an inexpensive worth, as it’s worth for cash,” mentioned Shashank Srivastava, govt director for advertising and gross sales at Maruti Suzuki.

In 2015-16, of whole SUV gross sales of 450,000 autos, gross sales of compact SUVs have been at 130,000. In 2019-20 nonetheless, 360,000 compact SUVs have been bought out of whole SUV gross sales of 730,000, a progress of 30% within the final 5 years, and accounting for nearly half of SUV gross sales, he mentioned.

The phase witnessed a 70% drop in gross sales within the first quarter of the continued fiscal 12 months, mainly due to the lockdown.

Whereas Brezza and Venue clocked over 5,000 models within the quarter, XUV300 bought 3,060 and Ecosport 1,500 models.

SUV gross sales at Hyundai now account for 50% of its whole automobile gross sales, up from 34% final 12 months.

“The diesel penetration for us continues to be excessive in SUVs. Greater than 60% for the Creta come from the diesel variant and, within the case of Venue, diesel accounts for 35%. The preliminary torque and long-distance driving proceed to be the main target for this phase,” mentioned Tarun Garg, director – gross sales and advertising at Hyundai Motors. Compact SUVs will see a gross sales spurt within the subsequent 3-6 months, mentioned Veejay Nakra, chief govt at Mahindra’s automotive enterprise.