Just when the auto industry ended FY2021 on a high after recording consistent growth for the second half of the last financial year, worsening Covid-19 infections and resulting lockdowns have once again considerably impacted passenger vehicle sales in the country for April 2021. With tightened restrictions and lockdowns in several states across the country, all aspects of the auto sector including production, wholesale, retail sales and even auto registration had to bear the brunt of the situation. Ford India, which has been struggling to establish a strong foothold in our car market for many years now, has been among the worse hit with the company recording 29.55% month-on-month de-growth, with each individual model posting negative sales.
We would particularly like to talk about the Ford Figo, of which the company sold just a single unit in the Indian market last month. Even in March 2021, Ford sold 219 units of the Figo, thus recording a massive 99.5% decline in sales in April 2021 on a month-on-month basis. It's worth noting here that the Figo-based Freestyle cross-hatch fared much better with 635 units sold in April 2021, even though it recorded a 7.84% dip in sales on a month-on-month basis. Given the fact that April 2020 was famously the month in which no automaker sold a single car in the country, a year-on-year comparison is not much relevant here.
In comparison, the Maruti Suzuki Swift, which is one of the main rivals of the Figo, sold 18,316 units in April 2021. The Maruti Swift has consistently been the best selling hatchback in its class and its sales figures are mostly miles ahead of the competition. The Swift had consistently been sitting at the top of monthly sales charts for several months in a row, but was only narrowly beaten by the Maruti WagonR in April 2021, coming out as the second best selling model in the country last month. Its worth noting that even the Swift posted a 15.65% month-on-month dip in sales.
The simple reason for the Ford Figo for not being so popular anymore is that it has become a dated product. Ford hasn't updated the hatchback in quite some time and that shows in its exterior and interior packaging, missing a few key features that the competition have moved ahead with. And that's despite the fact that the Figo is offered with two engine options, more importantly a diesel engine, which sure is a novelty in the segment. Engine options on the Figo include a 96PS, 1.2L NA 3-cylinder petrol engine and a 100PS 1.5L 4-cylinder turbo-diesel engine. Prices for the Ford Figo currently range between INR 5.82 - 8.37 lakh (ex-showroom).
Meanwhile, Maruti Suzuki updated the Swift with a mid-life facelift earlier this year. Although exterior and interior updates were only minor - with a subtly revised grille and inclusion of newer features such as cruise control, a coloured MID and auto-folding ORVMs - the new Swift got a comprehensive update under its hood. The 2021 Swift is solely powered by a 90PS 1.2L NA 4-cylinder petrol engine. Compared to the older Swift, power figure has gone up by 7PS and it even features mild-hybrid tech. Prices for the 2021 Maruti Suzuki Swift currently range between INR 5.73 - 8.41 lakh (ex-showroom).