In a freak of sorts, Toyota’s sedan Etios, launched last December, has emerged the leader among entry-level sedans in June sales, beating Maruti’s Swift Dzire as the latter suffered a production hit due to the 13-day worker’s strike at its Manesar factory.
The Etios saw its best month in June, selling 5,004 units, and was comfortably ahead of the Dzire, which sold only 2,486 units. This was the Dzire’s worst month and came on the back of blockbuster sales of 10,000 units a month for 3 successive months.
With Maruti shifting the production of Dzire to its Gurgaon plant this month, the Dzire is tipped to regain its position."The Etios has been well received in the market and it gives us satisfaction that among petrol sedans it is a clear leader," said Sandeep Singh, deputy managing director (marketing and sales), Toyota Kirloskar Motor Ltd. "Maruti is a very big company in India and we are not looking at beating them on sales just yet."
The Dzire, which replaced the Esteem 3 years ago, was developed by Indian engineers based on the Swift hatchback. It has dominated the entry level sedan space from the start. Sales of the Etios have risen steadily from under 1,000 units in December to over 5,000 last month.
“The worker’s strike led to a production loss of over 12,500 vehicles,” said a senior MSIL official. “(Later) Swift production took precedence and Dzire suffered. But we are moving Dzire to Gurgaon now it should be back to its leadership position.”