20% drop in new car buyers considering small cars in India – Report


Riza Rizvi, Hopelessly in love with everything on four wheels. Interested in cars since my formative years, with an unhealthy affinity for exotics and tuners. Fondness for the open road with high-octane machinery for company!

Sales of sedans and Utility Vehicles have increased over the years.

The Indian market has been witnessing a lot of launches lately. The hatchback segment in particular has seen the entry of premium models that are packed with features and offer a premium experience. This has led to a drop in consideration for small cars by first-time buyers from 65 per cent in 2012 to 45 per cent in 2015, a new study released by JD Power concludes.

Hyundai Elite i20 Petrol Review
Premium hatchbacks like the Elite i20 has contributed to the fall in the appeal of small cars.

The entry of premium hatches has narrowed the divide between small cars and bigger sedans, the reason being the consumer feels that he can get a bigger vehicle by stretching his budget just a little more. And statistics show that to be the case; apart from the decline in small cars, a noticeable trend has emerged in the last four years that shows increase in consideration of sedans and UVs by 7 and 12 per cent respectively.

The wave of new launches has compelled buyers to consider new vehicles that have just entered the market. Previously buyers would refrain from contemplating a newly-launched vehicle as they would not be sure about its quality or reliability. Now, that is slowly changing, as the percentage of buyers opting for newly-launched vehicles has climbed up from 7 per cent in 2013 to 10 per cent in 2015.

Suzuki Swift RX front at the 2015 Bangkok Motor Show
Despite fluctuating consumer preference, Maruti Suzuki has stayed the most dominant player.

Amid the changing trends and customer preferences, India’s largest car maker by volume – Maruti Suzuki – has maintained its dominance. Because of the reputation of being fuel efficient and of having a widespread sales and service network, it has managed to be the most considered brand for the 11th consecutive year, with 40 per cent of new car buyers choosing its vehicles.

J.D. Power Escaped Shopper Study 2015

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