The crossover segment is literally on fire. All of a sudden, there is a spike in people wanting SUVs. This drastic demand has caused the creation of the most heated segment in the country and almost all automakers want a piece of that cake.
Kia saw this as a golden opportunity and bagged on it. If you look back a year, no one knew about Kia in India. But now Seltos is the chart-topper in terms of overall sales! Smart marketing and a few tricks up its sleeve is the ingredient for Seltos's success.
As per the official data, despite being a sluggish year for major auto manufactures in India, Kia managed to top the charts with a wide gap. Bear in mind that, Kia just has a year’s experience in India. In 2020 alone, Kia Seltos sold about 36,490 units of the Seltos and making it the segment topper. It was followed by its twin, Hyundai Creta, but by a considerable margin.
Mahindra Scorpio made a surprise entry into the top five as its sales peaked in January. MG Hector which was riding high on the “internet inside” train saw a steep decline in sales figures for 2020. Tata Harrier after getting an incremental update and eliminating all underlying issues managed to rack in commendable numbers and make it in the top five, but it still has a lot of ground to cover. COVID-19 pandemic, however, took the best of the automotive industry with automakers not selling even a single unit nationwide in the month of April.
The secret formula is nothing special, as Kia did what every other automaker has been doing for a long time. But the major difference was its timing and smart marketing strategy which made it raze like a wildfire. It's not even a year since Kia entered India and it has already achieved which many automakers have been trying hard for a long time now. Kia Seltos starts at an ex-showroom price of Rs. 9.89 lakhs which goes as high as Rs. 17.34 Lakhs. Kia has now sold over 81 thousand models of Kia Seltos in India since its launch.
A wide range of variants with flexible powertrain options and an impressive feature listing makes the Kia Seltos an irresistible package. And to top it all, the value for money proposition is spot on, which is of keep importance for Indian consumers.
Hyundai Creta manages to get up close and personal with Kia Seltos because of its relationship. Both the cars are the same, as they share the same powertrain and platform. It's only the difference in clothing and branding, of course, that helps both of them maintain distance. Another reason for this closeness is because Kia is a sister company of Hyundai.
The second Gen Creta is a complete overhaul as compared to the first generation and we believe that Hyundai was closely observing the attention and success that Kia was feasting on. The only dividing factor between the two is the design language and that is subjective.
Mahindra Scorpio is one of the longest-running SUV nameplates in India and it enjoys a fair share of attention and respect about this matter. The Scorpio gravely needs a major overhaul as it is now a grandfather in front of the new lot in terms of features and design language.
It's flexible and goes anywhere chassis is what is keeping the Scorpio alive in this modern era. But Mahindra needs to act up before things bland out.
This is yet another automaker that came into the country like a storm and is causing quite the buzz. We would call it the attention grasper of this bunch as the storm before its launch in India was intense. One key reason was its much-hyped “Internet Inside” tag that supposedly had the features of a connected car and voice control over more than 50 functions. It also has an eSIM provision which makes it a unique proposition.
All of this and a larger than life footprint made the MG Hector a successful newcomer. But it has now slid down to the fourth position due to Kia and Hyundai bringing in major changes in their cars. Also, there have been reports about the technical issues in the MG Hector.
Tata Harrier is an impressive car and the amount of work that has gone into the development of this car makes it the most hardworking one of this lot. But abruptness and roadblocks tend to run deep with Tata as the first batch of Tata Harrier had some serious mechanical issues which made for a dull first impression.
Sales started to plummet and Tata quickly grasped the matter. A second iteration with improved mechanics was launched but the damage was already done which made getting up to the mark, a tiring task. But the Harrier is bearing fruits now for the impressive vehicle it is and stands at the 5th position with humble sales figures.
As of now, we will not be able to deduce a probable future reading as the rapid spread of COVD-19 pandemic and lockdowns has brought almost all businesses to a standstill. After the lockdown is lifted, sales will be sluggish and will take at least a year for the auto industry to get back on track. Automakers are already diverting to more dynamic methods of selling cars with the exploration of the digital medium. But for now, the numbers mentioned above shows us how important strategy is and how pricing plays a crucial role in banking in sales.