Segment Analysis: Hatchbacks
Published On Dec 17, 2014 04:57 PM By Bala Subramaniam
When you consider that hatchbacks rule over 50% of the Indian passenger car market, then you will realize the seriousness of them. Every mass manufacturer who wants to succeed in our market has to have one of these small cars in their lineup and that is the reason leading manufacturers have more than just one of them. Car manufacturers have understood the huge business of hatchbacks and created many segments within the hatchback group. We take a deeper look into the different hatchback segments and dig around how they are able to reign over other segments?
The A segment has the smallest of the cars that you can find on the road. Tata Nano, Maruti Suzuki Alto, Hyundai Eon and Chevrolet Spark come under this segment and they are present at the lowest end of the pricing table. Tata Nano story is a well known one where the company aimed literally for stars while settled for much lower target. Still, Tata sold around 1900 units of Nano in November this year, a number much higher than the same month last year. Maruti Suzuki Alto has been on the top of the best selling cars list in India for a long time. With the new versions of Alto and Alto K10, Maruti Suzuki is looking to extend the Alto rule longer. Hyundai Eon has been doing steady numbers and comes with the best feature loaded car here. Chevrolet Spark is the smallest car from the bow tie brand but it has started to lose its shine with new and better models from the competition.
Though A segment cars are the cheapest, focus of the customers is now shifting more towards the bigger hatchbacks. Maruti Suzuki’s Wagon R lead the segment with unwavering sales month after month while the new Celerio also sold in decent numbers thanks to the AMT option. Old favourite Hyundai Santro comes under the same segment but the model has been losing its tempo and will be retired soon. Chevrolet Beat is the brand’s best selling model and one of the best looking cars too. But the Beat too is crumbling under the brand’s failure to market its products. Tata’s Indica and Vista are now finding more customers in the commercial fleet but the soon to be launched Bolt aims to turn that around. Datsun Go is the latest entrant from Nissan and promised big things. But after the initial spark, the Go’s sales has gone down to 500 units a month in November.
Now, this is where big bucks go into. The models in the B2 segment are wide in range and budget. Maruti Suzuki again has the leader in the segment with the Swift while Ritz too is present in the segment. Hyundai has a much larger lineup with i10, Grand i10 and Elite i20. The Elite i20 has been posting amazing numbers since its launch while the Grand i10 proving its competence every month with great sales. Honda Brio and Toyota Liva are able to find some buyers but not as much their manufacturers would want them to. The refreshed Volkswagen Polo has now got the much needed 1.5-litre diesel unit and we have to wait to see the results. Fiat Punto Evo, Ford Figo, Nissan Micra, Renault Pulse and Chevrolet Sail U-VA are other choices you get in the segment.