Contrary to expectations, most hatchbacks have shown an increase in sales even though the volumes decline in December due to the recently concluded festive season and year end.
November is considered as the last money making month of the year for automakers as the festive season comes to an end during this time. Most buyers have bought their cars while companies offer a ton of discounts and schemes during the auspicious period. This is the reason December never proves to be good for manufacturers. However, the story was different for December 2015 as most hatchbacks registered increased sales.
Let us start with entry-level hatchbacks, the Maruti Alto once again becomes the unchallenged leader of the sales chart. Sales increased by 2.7 percent from 21,995 units in November 2015 to 22,589 units last month. The Renault Kwid now grabs the second spot replacing the Hyundai Eon, registering a growth of 26 percent with 6888 units sold. Sales for the Eon dropped by 8.26 percent last month to 6563 units. Certainly, Hyundai needs to consider updating its small car. Things did not go so well with the Tata Nano with sales dropping by 39.28 percent from 2263 units to 1374 units. The Datsun GO on the other hand saw sales improve by a good 71 percent from 494 units to 846 units but the numbers are still too less.
Coming on to the very competitive mid-size hatchback segment, Maruti is also ruling here with the Wagon R with sales increasing by 3.71 percent to 14,645 units. The Swift is back to the second place with a growth of 22.67 percent by selling 14,548 units, but saw an overall decline in numbers, cannibalised by the Baleno. The third to come is the Hyundai Grand i10 with 12,749 units with a marginal decrease of 1.16 percent. The Maruti Celerio saw a 15.28 percent hike in volumes from 6956 units to 8019 units while the new Ford Figo managed to sell 2191 units which is 21.47 percent less than November sales. The Hyundai i10 is also doing good with cabbies finding it appropriate. However, sales have decreased by 11.52 percent with 2186 units sold.
The Tata Indica also did a good job in December 2015. Considering its age, 1677 units are not bad at all. The Etios Liva is also catching up with a 20.08 percent hike by selling 2219 units. The poor Maruti Ritz is struggling at the bottom with an 18.45 percent drop and sales at 1039 units. The Chevrolet Beat has scored 731 units which is 6.04 percent less than 778 from November. The Tata Bolt is still down there with a 45.87 percent fall from 944 units to 511 units. 690 units of the Nissan Micra were sold in December. The Honda Brio, Renault Pulse and Chevrolet Sail U-VA sold 221, 209 and 161 units respectively. The Mahindra Verito Vibe remains last with 32 units compared to 47 units in November.
The premium hatchback segment has also marked a positive movement with the Maruti Baleno taking the top spot. The newest premium hatchback sold 10,572 units in December last year, while moving down a spot was the Hyundai Elite i20 with 10,379 units sold. An extremely close battle by all means. The third to come on the list was the Honda Jazz with 2602 units and the only premium model to see negative sales in the month. The Volkswagen has done a good job of retailing 1658 units of the Polo with a 42 percent hike while the Fiat Punto registered a 73.37 percent increase in sales with 664 units moving out.