Japanese car maker Honda Car India’s mid-size sedan City has drawn first blood against arch rival and segment leader Hyundai Verna, outselling the latter in the first two months this year.
The Verna had overtaken City to become the largest selling mid-size sedan in India in 2011 exploiting Honda’s lack of diesel engine and retained the pole position till last year.
Verna’s sales during 2013 stood at 49,715 units, more than double the sales of City at 21,530 units and Volkswagen Vento at 22,290.The launch of the fourth-generation City in January, has seen the car regain its hold in the segment. Its sales in the first two months at 14,397 units was more than double of Verna’s 7,145 units.
“City’s position in the segment in petrol was never disputed but we suffered because we did not have a diesel engine. We are happy to see the huge demand for the all new City where we have introduced a diesel engine as well,” said Jnaneswar Sen, senior vice-president, marketing and sales, Honda Cars India Ltd.
Hyundai is also revving up. Soon after the launch of the City, it added extra features in the Verna to maintain its relevance in the market.
“We have established our leadership position in the sedan space over the years and though a new entrant does excite the market, the Verna remains a very contemporary product,” said Rakesh Srivastava, senior vice-president sales and marketing, Hyundai Motor India Ltd.