India's love for Japanese, Korean cars continues

  • Sumant Banerji, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Apr 14, 2014 23:37 IST

India’s love for Japanese and Korean cars continues as Maruti, Hyundai and Honda monopolised the top positions in the domestic passenger vehicle market in 2013-14.

While the top five positions remained unchanged from last year with Maruti’s Alto, Swift, Dzire and WagonR and Mahindra’s Bolero sharing the spoils, Honda’s best-selling car Amaze and Hyundai’s Grand i10 were the new entrants in the top 10.

Alto retained its pole position for the tenth consecutive fiscal year but sales fell for the third straight year while Swift barely managed to stay ahead of its compact sedan version Dzire.

The ageing WagonR witnessed a robust 15% growth at a time when many of its contemporaries such as Zen Estilo and A Star have been phased out.

The list was conspicious with the absence of any American or European car, with Ford’s EcoSport and Renault’s Duster selling less than 50,000 units in the full year. Also for the first time, no car from Tata Motors figures in the top 10 as the Indica, Indigo and Nano suffered a 29.3%, 27.8% and 60.8% fall in sales, respectively.

"The market was tough last fiscal and we cannot say any particular segment saw significant growth," said Vishnu Mathur, director-general, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM). "Only a a few models like Amaze, Grand i10 or Swift Dzire did well in their particular segments."

Utility vehicles bore the brunt of the slowdown after witnessing stellar growth in previous three fiscal years. Toyota Innova saw sales decline by 28%, enough to edge it out of the top 10, while Maruti Ertiga also saw a 21.7% fall.

New models including Renault Duster and Ford EcoSport performed better but not at par with sedans or small cars.

"Companies with new models have witnessed better traction even in this depressed market," said Rakesh Srivastava, senior vice-president, sales and marketing, Hyundai Motor India Ltd.

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