The Indian auto industry is witnessing a rapid change is the consumer preference in the current times. And the change is becoming more evident for the first time buyers. Whereas in olden times, first time buyers would only concentrate on small hatchbacks like the Maruti 800, the Alto and Hyundai Santro, the modern generation first time buyers are looking up the ladder to bigger cars. Earlier, high demand for the small cars carved an explosive market for all the auto manufacturers and made India a small car hub with every automaker introducing at least 1 model in the small car segment in their product portfolio. It that drove the passenger car segment for over a decade and carved a unassailable 50 per cent of the market share.
Now leaving these behind, people are opting for Maruti Swift, Swift Dzire, i20, Figo, Brio and Etios. This shift in consumer preference can be attributed to 2 things- rise in disposable income and lack of diesel powertrains at the ground level. The steady rise in the difference between prices of petrol and diesel has indeed sparked off such a change and coupled to it is today’s rapidly changing lifestyle.
If we focus on the sales figures between April and September 2012, the total share of the small car sales (this includes Maruti Suzuki’s Alto, 800, Wagon R, Zen Estilo; Hyundai’s Santro, Eon and i10; Tata’s Nano and Indica and Chevrolet Spark) dropped to 32% from 52% it enjoyed back in 2007-08. On the other hand, the share of premium hatches has jumped from 9% to 20%.
Commenting on such a change in trend, Mayank Pareek, COO, marketing and sales, Maruti Suzuki India, says,
“The action in the compact car segment has been much more than the entry-level segment due to the new model launches. It has been growing on a low base, so numbers will look big. But Alto and Wagon R continue to be the top two selling models in the country and going ahead too, they will form a sizeable chunk at the entry level.”
This comes as no surprise now that automakers are diverting their focus to SUVs and MPVs with only diesel options now a days.
via – ET
Report by – Joy Chatterjee