The Indian automobile industry has been recovering from the disastrous slump in 2020 due to the pandemic. Around the end of last year, we finally started seeing some positive growth in the industry and it has continued to 2021 as well. January was a very exciting month for our market with growth observed across all segments. February has been even more positive with almost all the car makers witnessing substantial YoY growth. This could be attributed to all the launches that were delayed last year and postponed to this year. Starting from around the last months of 2020 and going until February, there have been numerous new launches or facelifts in the market already. In a lot of instances, these new products have driver the sales for certain OEMs. That is precisely what we shall discuss in this post.
Let us start with the compact SUV which has been making headlines recently, because of its mega aggressive pricing. It not only competes against its direct rivals in Hyundai Venue, Kia Sonet, Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Mahindra XUV300, Tata Nexon and Nissan Magnite but also against the premium hatchbacks of the country including the Hyundai i20, VW Polo, Honda Jazz and Maruti Suzuki Baleno. The aim of Renault is to attract customers from across segments. On the very first day of sales in India, Renault managed to deliver over 1,100 Kigers to the customers. Now that speaks volumes about the popularity of the product. The Renault Kiger costs between Rs 5.45 lakh and Rs 9.72 lakh, ex-showroom, making it the most affordable compact SUV in the country.
Tata finally launched its much-awaited, flagship SUV in our market, the iconic Safari. It is available in 6 and 7 seat arrangements and with plenty of modern features and connectivity technology. Being a Tata, it has a ton of safety equipment as well and a powerful diesel engine with manual or automatic transmission options. A total of 1,707 units of the Safari have been shipped to the dealers in February. Harrier, on the other hand, saw 2,030 units being shipped to the dealers making a total of 3,737 units. This is extremely positive for the segment which has only one direct competition at the moment from MG. The Safari starts at Rs 14.69 lakh and goes all the way up to Rs 21.45 lakh, ex-showroom.
Also read: MG Motors witness 215% YoY growth in sales!
MG Hector Family
MG also recently launched the updated Hector products along with 6 and 7-seater Hector Plus in our market. The Hector has also been quite successful in our market since its launch and now it has become even more feature-equipped. The practicality and flexibility aspects have always been MG’s strength in terms of seating arrangements as well as engine-transmission combinations. In February, MG recorded its highest monthly sales and bookings, which reflects the reception of customers for the Hector family. The entire Hector product range managed to sell 3,662 units, which is quite impressive in the segment. MG has also planned to launch its mid-size SUV rivaling the Hyundai Creta, which is likely to be named Astor. Astor will be based on the ZS EV SUV.
The trend of the most affordable SUVs was started by Nissan with its Magnite at the end of last year. The Renault Kiger is also based on the same platform as the Magnite. Being extremely affordable made people buy the compact SUV over some of the premium SUVs. Since its launch in December last year, Magnite has garnered over 40,000 bookings. This popularity has seen Nissan cross the 4,000 sales mark for the month of February. Compared to the same month a year ago, the sales are up by over 300%. Magnite has been the sole reason for this spike in sales and it is continuing strong even now. The Nissan Magnite costs Rs 5.49 lakh to Rs 9.59 lakh, ex-showroom.