The True Picture of the Indian SUV/MUV Market
Kaustubh Shinde, They say sooner or later your passion finds you. Sometime in late 2009, I started writing for IAB and ever since then it has been a roller coaster ride for me. An amazing experience that has taught me a lot, taken me to new places, driven some great cars and met some amazing people. When you don't find me on IAB (very rarely), you will find me either at a coffee shop or an eatery or at the nearest gadget store. Hope you enjoy IAB as much as we do!
We did it for the Sedans and Hatchbacks, clearly you must have seen this coming. By now you must be aware of the rules and regulations of this comparo. But this time, the segmentation was very difficult owing to the range of different products in the market. So without wasting any further time, here is a detailed analysis of the Indian SUV/MUV market.
- The Number 1 Seller – Mahindra Bolero
Bolero is clearly the winner in this specific market by nearly selling twice as much as its closest rival –Toyota Innova. The raw simplicity coupled with a fantastic price tag is the key USP of the Bolero. Mahindra has done a brilliant job by giving minimalistic but necessary features and keeping the price tag low as much as possible. This MUV may not be a ‘City Slickster’ but can and will get the job done whenever required.
- Best Entry Level SUV/MUV – Mahindra Bolero
Being an overall winner, the Bolero wins in this segment hands down. The closest rivals – Tata Sumo and Chevrolet Tavera are locked in battle with Sumo overall faring better. But actually the Tavera is not BS4 compliant so it cannot be sold in Metro. If despite of that, the Tavera is managing to prove a tough competition for Sumo, then certainly there is something wrong in Tata Motors camp. Oddly, there are no new launches planned for this particular segment.
- Best C segment MUV: Toyota Innova
The Toyota Innova has been the best seller since its launch in the Indian market. The Innova is certainly a quality product that stands out in this segment. A brilliant product coupled with Toyota’s legendary reliability means that every month 4000 new Innovas land up on the Indian streets. The closest rival Xylo did manage to shake up but couldn’t manage to overthrow the leader. The soon to be launched Nissan NV200 and the 4×2 version of the Aria will hopefully manage to shake this segment more.
- Best C segment SUV: Mahindra Scorpio
The Scopio has worked wonder for the Mahindra since it launch. No longer was Mahindra&Mahindra viewed has milkman’s vehicle manufacturer. The Scorpio certainly made a dent in the Tata Safari’s Sales pushing it way down the order. Hopefully, the new Safari Merlin will pack enough punch to regain its position. Also, if reports are to be believed, then the new Force Motors SUV will be entered in the same price band and will give a stiff competition to the other contenders.
- Best Premium 7 Seater SUV: Toyota Fortuner
This is clearly a Fortuner territory. Toyota delayed its plans of launching the Fortuner by almost 2 years but it seems like the wait was worth it. The Fortuner, since its launch, has dominated the SUV territory; not once being triumphed by any other premium SUV. If you consider the Aria as an SUV, then it started with being the second best in this segment but has slowly and steadily forgone its numbers to the other SUVs.
The Ford Endeavour, after a lack luster performance in the first half of the period is fighting back aggressively. We presume it is the 4X2 version that is raking in the volumes. The Pajero and the Montero have suffered from Mitsubishi lack of interest in the Indian Market. The Santa Fe is doing very low numbers simply because it is a CBU and there’ production constraints at Hyundai’s end. Mahindra is betting big on this market. It has planned 2 major launches for this segment – the World SUV and SsangYong Rexton.
- Best Premium 4 Seater SUV – Skoda Yeti
A very niche segment of the population has chosen the Skoda Yeti for their daily commutes. Earlier this segment was dominated by Mitsubishi’s Outlander, but the Skoda Yeti has slowly and steadily made a niche for itself in the market selling in good triple digit figures. Other Contenders such as Grand Vitara, Honda CRV have nearly forgone this segment. Hopefully, the Renault Duster and Koleos will shake up this segment in the near future.
Another surprise may come from Mahindra if it manages to make the small cab Xylo a premium offering by premium fit and finish and good level of equipments. The SsangYong Korando will also be launched in the same segment.