Utility vehicle major Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) has seen its marketshare in the segment, once considered to be its forte, fall below 50% for the first time since 2008. The reason. New entrants like Renault Duster and Maruti Ertiga have expanded the segment, making it difficult for Mahindra to keep pace.
The company had seen its share gallop in the last few years as it ate into Tata Motor's pie and expanded its reach with the XUV5OO two years back. However a relatively subdued showing of the Quanto, its cheapest offering in the country, this year has dampened its prospects.
"We don't chase marketshare but our focus is more on how to continue to be the market leader, which we have done very well this year," said Pravin Shah, chief executive, automotive division, Mahindra and Mahindra. "It is always a desire to keep a 50% share but in a scenario where so many new products have come in and expanded the market and the industry growth is so high, it can happen."
"We still grew by 28% this year so it is not that we suffered. Given the circumstances, even Quanto has done well and created a new segment," he added.
The Duster and Ertiga have been stellar performers of this year. The former has registered sales of almost 33,000 units in 7 months, averaging over 4,500 units per month. It accounts for more than a third of all Renault cars sold in India.
The Ertiga has notched up sales of over 71,000 units in 10 months so far. It has single-handedly pushed Maruti's share in the segment to 14.5%. Quanto recorded sales of 14,577 units in 5 months.
"To be fair, Quanto's sales have been moderate and well below expectations," said a senior automotive analyst. "It is the cheapest offering from Mahindra and a seven seater. Yet, its sales are half that of the XUV, which is on the other end of the spectrum. That itself says a lot."
Mahindra is not alone to register a decline in marketshare though. The second-largest player in the segment, Toyota also saw its share fall from 19% to 16.7% even though sales grew by 36% during the year.
With more new products like the Ford EcoSport, Maruti XA Alpha and Hyundai Hexa Space in the offing, incumbents may find it even harder to retain their hold in the segment.