2019 was witnessed as the worst year for the automobile industry in 2 decades. Reasons are quite a few, one was rolling out of BS-IV and replacing them BS-VI compliances and quite a few others.
But this slowdown fails to cease the premium SUV market in India. Despite the slowdown, consumer’s taste and preferences were inclined towards premium SUV’s like MG Hector and Tata Harrier.
Approx. 61336 premium SUVs took the Indian road in 2019 as compared to 46107 units in the previous year. Tata Motors and MG Hector together contribute to half the sales in the premium SUV segment.
Tata Motors sold 15269 units last year while December was the month when they witnessed the highest sales for this segment. MG Motors started its operations in July last year and managed to sell 15930 units last year and 90% of its sales came from top-end versions.
Passenger vehicle sales have dropped to 13% sharpest fall since the automobile industry started reporting sales data since 1997. Wile compact SUV segment comprises 16-17% passenger vehicle sales, premium SUV segment account for 2% of India’s passenger vehicles.
But with consumer’s taste and preferences changing, with technological advancements, premium SUV is yet to show its true colors in the Indian market. More product innovations are expected from companies in the INR 10-20 lakh premium SUV range in the coming years.
“Consumers who opted for compact sports utility vehicles 7-8 years back are now looking at bigger, better products. These are high net worth individuals, with strong credit ratings, unaffected by interest rates hikes and the financing tightening in the market.” – Mayank Prateek, president of PV Tata Motors.
For a long time, India remained a small-car market where consumers preferred hatchbacks, sedans and other small-cars. But with disposable incomes rising and advancements in automobile engineering, consumers were observed shifting their choices to a more upgraded version.
Automobile experts have placed their bets on premium SUV cars and they are confident that this segment will emerge and should account for 8-10% passenger vehicle sales in the next few years. Which is 2% for now.
2020 will be an interesting year to keep an eye on. Not only we will be observing the sinking automobile industry and how it tries to elevate in the coming time, but we will also be looking at the premium SUV segment that is said to rule other segments in the coming time.