The financial year 2017-2018 was an eventful one for the automotive industry in India. From the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime and the country’s transition to the BS IV emission norms, there were many new propositions that changed the rhythm of sales in the sector. The introduction of new passenger cars from luxury brands in the Indian automotive space was a highlight as well. The government’s intention to convert to an all-electric fleet by the year 2030 also received a push last year.
Here, we take a walk (or rather a drive) down memory lane and analyse all the new models of cars and SUVs that raked in the profits for car manufacturers in 2017-18.
- Maruti Alto - Maruti retained the pole position in the passenger vehicle segment in the year 2017-18, outselling most other auto brands by a good margin. The total number of units of the Alto sold were 2,57,732 in the calendar year 2017. The month of June 2017 saw the least number of vehicles sold, but the YOY growth recorded for the model was 13%.
- Maruti Dzire - The new generation of Dzire was introduced in the market in May 2017. The vehicle sold a whopping 30,934 units in the first two months of its introduction. The total number of units sold last year was 2,25,043, with an average sales figure of 18,754 units.
- Maruti Baleno - The Baleno recorded a sales growth of 81%, selling a total of 1,77,209 units last year. This is an average of 14,767 units each month. The RS variant of the Baleno was introduced last year, and it is quickly gaining popularity.
- Maruti Swift - The Swift has been one of the most popular cars from the Maruti stable in India. The vehicle has seen several special editions, each carving a niche for itself. 1,67,371 units of the car was sold last year, which is effectively an average of 13,948 units per month.
- Maruti WagonR - The WagonR has been a very popular offering from Maruti in the Indian automobile market. The WagonR was chosen by 1,66,815 car buyers in the calendar year 2017. The car also hit a landmark 2 million unit sales figure in the month of September 2017.
- Hyundai Grand i10 - The Hyundai Grand i10 was the top-selling car from the car manufacturer in the year 2017-18. The company sold 1,54,787 units of the hatchback in the calendar year 2017, averaging 12,900 units per month. The reliability of the vehicle is one of its key features. The vehicle also received an upgrade in February last year when it was equipped with a bigger diesel engine.
- Maruti Vitara Brezza - The Maruti Vitara Brezza, apart from winning the 2017 ICOTY award, also sold more than 1,40,945 units in 2017. The average monthly sales observed for the vehicle was 11,745 units. It also offers the highest mileage among all crossovers in the country.
- Hyundai Elite i20 - The Elite i20 is the second best-seller from the Hyundai fleet. The car manufacturer observed sales of 1,34,103 units of the hatchback in 2017, averaging 11,175 units each month. The vehicle saw a mid-life update in 2017 with a dual-tone paint scheme and additional features. The hatchback will get another makeover in 2018 as well.
- Hyundai Creta - Among the crossovers that recorded smashing sales in 2017-18, the Hyundai Creta stands at second position. It sold 1,05,484 units the last calendar year, with an average of 8,790 units each month. Despite the price tag of Rs.10 lakh, the Creta has managed to stay within the top 10 most selling cars consistently.
- Maruti Celerio - Last year, the Maruti Celerio sold 1,00,860 units, averaging 8,405 units each month. The car outsold the Swift in October 2017, but finished the year at the 10th position. Towards the end of the calendar year 2017, the car received a cosmetic upgrade. The Celerio X edition was also launched by Maruti in 2017.
The facelifted version of the Swift was launched early 2018. The new Swift is characterised by LED projector headlamps with DRLs, precision-cut alloy wheels, and LED rear combination lamps. The SmartPlay infotainment system, auto gear shift technology, push button for start and stop, automatic climate control facility, steering mounted audio controls, and smart key are other highlights of the 2018 Maruti Swift. The petrol version of the car (with automatic or manual transmission) provides fuel economy of 22 km/l. The car also made history when it received 1 lakh bookings within 2 weeks of launch in February 2018.
A car that just missed a spot in this list was the Renault Kwid, and it deserves an honourable mention. The top-selling car from Renault sold 92,440 units in 2017. The average sales per month was 7,703 units. The Kwid also managed to outsell the Celerio several times last year.
Traditionally, the hatchbacks from Maruti have been the top choices for the prospective Indian customer. But there is now a segment shift with the crossovers outselling hatchbacks. This trend was seen with the Creta selling more units than the Kwid or Celerio last year.
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