2014 Top Selling Cars - India

Having stepped into the new year, it’s time for us to look at what clicked and what didn't in the Indian market last year. For those who have been regularly following our automotive industry, 2014 would be hardly surprising. Maruti-Suzuki continues to be the undisputed leader but, that apart, the year belonged to Hyundai, Mahindra and Honda with all three brands enjoying successful new launches on top of the established best-sellers that they roll out.

Suzuki might have packed their bags from the United States of America, they might be fighting hard to keep their market share from falling in Europe and Australia, they might lag far behind Toyota, Honda and Nissan in their home country Japan, but their vice-like grip over the Indian market seem to be only getting stronger and stronger with each passing year. 2014 was another fantastic year for Maruti-Suzuki, with the company scaling new heights in an increasingly competitive market flooded with brands from across the globe. And that, dear folks, include the behemoths Toyota, Volkswagen and General Motors. With the exception of Hyundai and, of late, Honda, every other global car-manufacturer seem to be struggling to gauge the pulse of discerning Indian consumers the way Suzuki did.

When the cumulative sales figures of 2014 were put together, the list of top-selling cars was surprisingly similar to the year before.

Like 2013, Maruti-Suzuki dominates the list with five out of the top ten best-sellers wearing the ‘S’ badge. The country’s long-time best-seller Alto continues its reign at the top with cumulative sales of 264,544 units. With the Alto K10 equipped with a more powerful engine and an Automated Manual Transmission (AMT) joining the line up recently, we wouldn't be surprised to see Alto’s numbers going up further in 2015. Flanking the Alto in the podium are the Swift siblings, with both models selling more than 200,000 units each. Here’s the surprise - the compact sedan Dzire outsold the hatchback and is the second largest selling car in India.

Wagon-R comes next, clocking close to 160,000 units. More than the figure, what’s impressive is the amazing consistency with which this Japanese tallboy successfully fends off competition from newer models in the market. At number nine, the other Maruti-Suzuki in the list is the one we wish doesn't sell as much as it does, the venerable Omni. Launched almost three decades back with bare-bones interiors and questionable safety, the ability to carry upto eight passengers at the cheapest cost is what makes this minivan appealing to cost-conscious semi-urban and rural Indians.

As we predicted last year, Hyundai’s Grand i10 lived up to its promise and was the best-selling non-Suzuki car in India at number five. Finding 103,749 customers last year, the Grand i10, along with the Eon and i20 that also make it to the top ten with around 150,000 units between them, puts Hyundai in a very good position in the Indian market. To be honest though, we expected the Grand i10 to post much higher numbers and challenge the Wagon-R, which hasn’t happened. Nevertheless, the new Elite i20 is setting the sales charts on fire and is already the best-selling Hyundai model for two months running. Watch out for it, and the upcoming ix25, in 2015!

We aren't sure if Mahindra has decoded what clicks for the Bolero in India yet, but the rugged utility vehicle posts yet another stellar year with sales a notch over 100,000 units. At number six, the Bolero is India’s most popular UV by a country mile. With the development of its successor already underway, the Bolero's graph could climb further north. Honda replaces Toyota in the top ten list with the City finishing 2014 as the eighth best-selling car. It not only outsold the competition by a big margin, but also is the most expensive car in the list.

2014 Top Selling Cars in India:

1. Maruti-Suzuki Alto - 264,544
2. Maruti-Suzuki Swift Dzire - 210,882
3. Maruti-Suzuki Swift - 202,831
4. Maruti-Suzuki Wagon-R - 159,260
5. Hyundai Grand i10 - 103,749
6. Mahindra Bolero - 102,045
7. Hyundai Eon - 80,346
8. Honda City - 77,320
9. Maruti-Suzuki Omni - 74,498
10. Hyundai i20 - 69,116

Source for sales figures: www.team-bhp.com (Monthly Sales Charts)

| Star of 2014 - Honda City |
| Promise of 2015 - Hyundai i20 |

A perennial best-seller since its launch in 1998, the City, then in its third generation, was finding the going tough due to the absence of an oil-burner under the hood. Just when the competition got a bit complacent, Honda launched the all-new City, this time with a diesel engine too. That was it. The City decimated its opponents including the top-selling Verna, at times selling more than all its competitors combined, making it our star of 2014. Similarly, Hyundai’s second-generation i20 is rewriting the rules of premium hatchback segment with never-seen-before sales. With Hyundai’s production capacity cited as its only constraint and the discontinuation of Santro freeing up space, the Elite i20 holds a lot of promise for 2015.

Outside the top ten, Maruti-Suzuki’s Celerio and Ertiga had a good outing last year, as did Honda Amaze, Toyota Innova, Hyundai Xcent and Ford Ecosport, each of them selling more than 50,000 units. Toyota proved its mettle with it's Innova, Corolla and Fortuner topping their respective segments convincingly.

In the higher echelons, Audi continues its stint at the top as the best-selling luxury automotive brand in India. Having crossed the 10,000 units milestone in November, Audi has distanced itself well from its challengers. But, it was the three-pointed star that shone bright in 2014, with sales of 10,201 units, an all-time record. True to its name, it really was an 'Year of Excellence' for Mercedes-Benz that is quickly closing in on Audi. Both these brands are quick to launch their new models in India, relegating the relatively sluggish BMW, the top-selling luxury brand not so long ago, to the third spot. Jaguar and Volvo continue to remain fringe players, unable to crack the strong brand image enjoyed by the three Germans.


  1. No words to describe Maruti... they are the king in India..

    1. Yeah, we agree. The way they are going from strength to strength despite increasing competition is mindblowing.