SUVs are becoming increasingly popular around the world, but their popularity has risen in India as well, owing to our poor road conditions.
The Utility Vehicle (UV) or Sports UV (SUV) segment is one vehicle category that has made the Indian and global auto industries sit up and take notice. Even the pandemic has had a much smaller impact on this group than on others.
The rationale is simple to understand. UVs, particularly compact SUVs, have enjoyed a surge in demand in recent years, in accordance with a global trend. As a result, it’s no surprise that most passenger vehicle (PV) manufacturers have recognised this enormous opportunity and are rushing to introduce new products or expand their SUV lineup.
- UV market share has grown from 16 percent in FY2007 to 39 percent in FY2021
- Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai have been the two largest contributors in this segment
- Almost every second PV currently sold in India is an UV
SUVs have been crunching numbers since FY2007
UV sales in India reached a million, or 10 lakh units, for the first time in FY2021 (April 2020-March 2021). The 10,60,750 units sold represented a 12 percent increase year over year (YoY) over the 9,41,461 units sold in the previous financial year (FY2020). The million-unit sales barrier will be easily broken this year as well, with a total of 8,70,894 units sold from April to November 2021, just 1,29,106 units shy of the million-unit mark, which might have been crossed as early as December.
The analysis of 16 years of UV market sales in India offers some noteworthy highlights. UVs accounted for 16 percent of overall PV sales in FY2007, but demand soared to 10,60,750 units in FY2021, accounting for 39 percent of total PV sales (27,11,457), up from 34 percent in FY2020.
|UTILITY VEHICLE SALES IN INDIA OVER 16 YEARS|
|Fiscal Year||Utility Vehicles||Year-on-Year Growth %|
From April to November 2021
According to Autocar Professional’s 16-year UV sales data research, a total of 9,30,77,859 units, or 9.3 million UVs, were sold in India from FY2007 to FY2022 (April-November 2021). A deeper examination of the data-heavy chart reveals that while the first four million units took ten years to produce, the next four million units took only five years. Of course, the shift in customer preferences and demand, as well as the fact that there are now more than 80 UV models in FY2022, and counting, contributed.
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SUVs are the vehicles of choice for all occasions and seasons
It’s easy to understand the SUV’s all-encompassing attraction. They are larger and taller than conventional cars, providing the driver with a better vision of the road ahead, which is critical in a country like India. In addition, the increased ground clearance is always beneficial while driving in rough terrain.
They also have greater storage capacity than hatchbacks and some sedans since they are larger. But, with the introduction of the sub-4-metre compact SUV category in India, these SUVs can easily negotiate through busy traffic and also fit into tight spaces, especially now that they are equipped with driving assistance.
Moreover, unlike with SUVs in the past, filling up is not prohibitively expensive. Automobiles, and especially engine development, have come a long way over the years, which is why SUVs have become more fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly in recent years.
When it comes to ride and handling, SUVs are the vehicle to have when travelling in inclement weather or on unfamiliar roads. They provide increased grip and stability due to their substantial weight, larger and wider wheels, and rugged character. Most SUVs currently come equipped with ABS, EBD, ESP, and, in certain cases, hill-hold and hill-descent control.
|UTILITY VEHICLE SALES IN INDIA|
|Carmaker||Apr-Nov 2021 (units)||Apr-Nov 2020 (units)||Change||Market Share Apr-Nov 2021 (%)||Market Share Apr-Nov 2020 (%)||Change|
How the OEMs compare in terms of market share
In a booming vehicle industry, competition can only be fierce, as evidenced by the UV market’s share in the April-November 2021 period (see detailed table above).
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With 1,86,734 units sold, Maruti Suzuki leads the UV market with a 21.44 percent share, followed by Hyundai Motor India with 1,62,031 units sold and an 18.61 percent share. With 1,31,434 units sold and a 15.09 percent market share, Mahindra & Mahindra has reclaimed third place.
Kia Motors India is in fourth place, with 1,18,928 units sold and a 13.66 percent market share, a remarkable achievement considering the company just debuted its first model, the Seltos, 29 months ago. With 72,120 units sold, Tata Motors is positioned fifth with an ultraviolet market share of 8.51 percent, up from 4.39 percent a year ago. However, because Tata Motors does not submit monthly sales figures, this figure may be altered.
When the sales and market share of Hyundai and Kia are combined, things get interesting. With a combined total of 2,80,959 units sold, the two Korean OEMs control 32.26 percent of the UV market.
The most significant contributors
The top performers in the UV growth narrative, which has surged in the last decade, have been identified. A quick review of some of the leading contributors to these sales data over the last 16 years reveals the standouts. In the time period under consideration, the Mahindra Bolero, a tough workhorse that has sold over a million units since January 2009, leads the Top 20 (see data table below) (10,73,598). If you include revenues from FY2007 and FY2008, the Bolero’s total will be much higher.
|TOP-SELLING UVS IN INDIA|
|Maruti Suzuki Ertiga||7,07,967|
|Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza||6,98,770|
From January 1, 2009, through November 30, 2021
The Toyota Innova, now with the Crysta suffix, has sold 7,73,806 units, but what’s surprising is that the popular Innova MPV is one of the most expensive vehicles on the Indian market, with a price tag that has never changed.
The current UV market leaders, Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai Motor India, are not surprisingly among the top contributors to the 9.3 million sales total. The Maruti Ertiga and Vitara Brezza, as well as the Hyundai Venue and Creta, are among them.
Things can only get better in the future, according to the growth outlook
The SUV craze will continue in India, following worldwide patterns, as consumers seek a vehicle that can do it all. SUVs are increasingly being selected for their extra benefits on Indian roads compared to hatchbacks or sedans, as they are less prone to traffic in the city due to their muscular design and have the innate capability to roam anyplace on weekends.
UVs account for nearly every second passenger vehicle sold in India (47 percent), which is why automakers are doing everything they can to keep up with demand. The aggregate sales numbers would have been higher if it hadn’t been for the semiconductor crisis, which slowed down all vehicle manufacturers’ sales.
Carmakers will go all out in CY2022 (January-December 2022) to introduce new SUVs, ranging from the Maruti Suzuki Jimny, new Mahindra Scorpio, and facelifted Hyundai Creta to the luxury Audi Q3 and Maserati Grecale. Get ready for even more thrilling times as this burgeoning but fiercely competitive industry continues to see the SUV-vival of the fittest.