In the dwindling conditions of the Indian auto market, the premium hatchbacks have failed to pull the attention of masses in the month of May 2013. Reportedly, the hatchback segment, which was once said to be the fastest growing platform in the Indian industry, has declined by almost 14 per cent during the first four months of 2013 as the buyers have switched to new cheap entry level cars. Between January and April, the demand for premium hatchbacks dipped to 38,640 per month as against 44,730 units recorded in the corresponding period of last year.
However, Hyundai India’s flagship i20 model reported a brilliant success in the market with a growth of 19 per cent. The much appreciated Maruti Swift witnessed a fall of 6 per cent in its demand, whereas Volkswagen Polo recorded a dip of 5 per cent during four months to April. As per Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), the sales of Toyota Liva collapsed by 28 per cent and Ford Figo performed even worse at 38 per cent. On the same lines, Nissan Micra was hit the most with a down of 62 per cent during the period.
As the demand for premium hatchbacks fell by 7 per cent during fiscal 2013, the sales of entry level models like Maruti WagonR and Hyundai Eon came as overwhelming for the auto makers. Expressing his views on this, the Executive Director at TNS Automotive, Pradeep Saxena was quoted as saying, “India has a large proportion of first-time car buyers that are withering away due to the grim economic conditions.”
Speaking on the success of i20’s sales figures, the Vice President (Marketing and Sales) of Hyundai Motor India, Rakesh Srivastava commented, “The i20 has been a strong performer with diesel and petrol power train. Its uber life positioning with sporty styling, premium features helped us differentiate to create a premium compact segment and increase our market share in the compact segment.”