Hatchbacks are slowly falling out of favour with Indians
Although over the past few years car buyers in India have begun steering towards larger cars like sports utility vehicles (SUVs), it is the small cars or the hatchbacks that ruled the roost.
This, however, is slowly changing. Hatchbacks seem to have taken a hit in sales post demonetisation in November 2016.
Car sales by body style February 2017:
The hatchback car body style, which accounts for more than half of the passenger vehicle market share in India, has seen a decline over the last few months from 54% market share in November 2016 to 50% in February 2017, according to data from Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).
Car sales by body style November 2016:
While hatchback sales stood at 1,30,057 units in November 2016, it declined to 1,26,509 units in February 2017.
Market share naturally declined in December 2016 and January 2017 to 52% and 50% in February 2017.
On the other hand, the market share for SUVs, sedans and multi utility vehicles (MUVs) have increased in the given period.
SUVs had a 14% market share in sales in November 2016, it now stands at 16% with sales increasing from 33,334 units in November 2016 to 40,311 units sold in February 2017.
Similarly, the market share of sedans and MUVs increased by 1% each from November to February.
While Maruti Suzuki Alto sales declined by 15.1% month-on-month (MoM) in February, Baleno saw a 26.9% decline in sales in the same month.
Even Celerio saw a 23.6% MoM decline in sales during the given month. Maruti Suzuki's popular hatchback Swift also saw a 15.2% MoM decline in sales during the month and WagonR sales dropped by 9.2% MoM.
India's second largest carmaker Hyundai Motor too saw a decline in sales for its hatchback models. The Elite i20 saw its sales decline by 9.1% from the previous month, while the Hyundai i10 Grand saw its sales decline by 1.1%.
While other hatchback models too had seen a decline in MoM sales during February, these cars account for the largest part of the hatchback market. This is as these models sell over 10,000 units on an average a month.
For instance, Alto sales have declined from a high of 23,320 units sold in November 2016 to 19,524 units in February 2017. The same is with Baleno sales as it declined from 11,093 units in November to 7,658 units in February. While Celerio sales dipped from 9,543 units in November to 8,315 units in February.
While Maruti Suzuki Swift declined from 14,594 units in November 2016 to 12,328 units in February 2017, WagonR sold 13,555 units in February 2017 from 15,566 units in November 2016.
These month on month decline in sales of these top cars in the hatchback space has resulted in a decline in its market share.