The SUV segment in India is fast emerging as one of the greatest drivers of the automobile industry. The increasing popularity of SUVs and ‘soft-roaders’ is actually causing a shift in customer preferences. Renault’s Duster, for example, has recently broken into the ranks of the top 10 car models sold in India for the second consecutive month. It sold an impressive 6,300-odd cars in March, 5,300 in April and that’s a big change for a car that has an average price in excess of Rs. 10 lakh. So, while the Duster and Maruti’s Alto are at opposite ends of the top 10, the amount of revenue generated on average is not too dissimilar.
The Alto sold 19,847 units in April 2013, with an average price of Rs. 3.21 lakh. The Duster, on the other hand, sold only 5,362 units in the same month but its average price of Rs. 10.91 lakh makes the average turnover of the model surprisingly high. Indian car buyers on average spent a total of approximately Rs. 637 crore on the Alto and Rs. 585 crore on the Duster. Considering the difference in sales figures, the SUV segment definitely seems to be raking it in.
Ford’s EcoSport will be the latest entrant in the segment and with its sub-four-metre length; it will be able to take advantage of tax benefits and is expected to be competitively priced. That the EcoSport has the potential to surge past the Duster, there is no doubt. India’s best-selling SUV at the moment, the Mahindra Bolero, comes in even higher up the list with 9,766 units sold in April. The potential in this segment is almost endless.