2011 Top Selling Cars - India

The figures that most of us have been eagerly waiting for over the past several days is here, and as usual, there are no surprises at the top. If you are still wondering, we are referring to the top selling cars in India. As it has been for the past half-a-decade, Maruti-Suzuki Alto continues its reign at the top of the charts with absolutely no challenge from any of its competitors. For the second straight year, the Alto has breached the 300,000 figure in a calendar year and has ended 2011 with a whooping sales figure of 311,367. This makes the Alto not just the largest selling car in India but also the largest selling hatchback in the entire world. Hyundai Eon, that was expected to take the fight to the Alto has not fired, leaving the Alto unchallenged as of now. 

Just as we predicted last year, the second and third positions are reversed with Maruti-Suzuki Wagon-R finishing ahead of Hyundai i10 in 2011. Make a few price corrections in the petrol variants, bring in the 1.1 CRDi and see the i10 flying off the showroom floors, we say. Is Hyundai listening? Maruti-Suzuki’s Swift continues its dream run and would have probably finished ahead of the i10 if not for the labour problems that crippled the company’s production for a couple of months. Tata’s Indica and Vista twins nudged ahead of the Swift Dzire, which again takes the title of best-selling sedan in India. There is something with the ‘Swift’ badge that attracts people to this car despite the bulbous looks and odd proportions of the sedan.

Mahindra Bolero continues to surprise us with a sales figure of 96,340 units in 2011, easily becoming the largest selling Utility Vehicle in India. We are sure even Mahindra would be surprised to see the continuous demand that this long-in-the-tooth model is generating year over year. Maruti-Suzuki’s box-on-wheels Omni comes in eighth ahead of Hyundai's premium hatchback i20 whichhas been a massive success for Hyundai. Tata’s Indigo and Manza twins completes the list, courtesy the Call Taxi fleets that are buying the Indigos in truckloads. Just like last year, the Top 10 selling cars in India consists of 5 Maruti-Suzuki models, 2 each from Hyundai and Tata and 1 from Mahindra.

If you had not observed it already, most of the models in the Top 10 are hatchbacks and entry-level sedans that are not much expensive to buy and maintain. At the other end of the automotive spectrum, BMW is still the undisputed king when it comes to luxury brands with Mercedes-Benz still playing catch-up. But, if their show at the recently-concluded Indian Auto Expo is any indication, Mercedes-Benz is pulling out all plugs to try and take the leadership back from BMW. Audi, with a much more impressive growth rate in 2011, is also closing in fast on these two brands. Going forward, the war for supremacy in the luxury segment is sure to heat up and it will be quite a treat to watch these German biggies slug it out in our market.

2011 Top 10 in India:
1. Maruti-Suzuki Alto - 311,367
2. Maruti-Suzuki Wagon-R - 147,299
3. Hyundai i10 - 138,470
4. Maruti-Suzuki Swift - 127,916
5. Tata Indica/Vista - 99,900
6. Maruti-Suzuki Swift Dzire - 99,515
7. Mahindra Bolero - 96,340
8. Maruti-Suzuki Omni 85,620
9. Hyundai i20 - 80,571
10. Tata Indigo/Manza - 75,790   

Star Performer of 2011: Mahindra Bolero
Expected Star Performer of 2012: Maruti-Suzuki Swift

Probably for the first time in more than a decade since it established itself in the Indian market, the Hyundai Santro has finished outside the Top 10. It just goes on to show that the model is in dire need of a facelift. With an astounding 22% increase in sales compared to 2010, Mahindra Bolero is undoubtedly the star of 2011. With labour issues sorted out, deal for supply of additional diesel engines signed with Fiat and the new second-generation model proclaimed as an improvement in every aspect over the earlier model, the all-new Swift is where we would like to place our bets on for 2012. Watch out, the new Swift might even zoom ahead of its younger sibling Wagon-R to finish 2012 only behind the mighty Alto.

(Source for Sales Figures: www.team-bhp.com)

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