India's "Top 20" Best-selling Cars in 2018

Our last post on India’s “Top 10” Best-selling Car Brands showed that yet another year had passed by with no big changes in car-buying patterns in the country. It’s hard to believe but Maruti-Suzuki, India’s largest car-maker by a country mile, actually improved its market share in 2018. Yes, Suzuki’s Indian subsidiary now holds a massive 52% share of the market. 

With more than 3.34 million units sold in 2018, India is the only large automotive market where such a monopoly exists. Add this to the 16% held by Hyundai and the two car-makers have effectively locked 70% of the 3.34 million units out of reach of the remaining players. It’s no surprise then India’s “Top 20” Best-selling Cars comprise almost the entire Maruti-Suzuki portfolio, a slew of Hyundais and a few other brands making a guest appearance here and there.

So, here are the cars that topped the charts in India last year.


  • The top six best-selling cars are all from Maruti-Suzuki
  • Seven of the top ten best-selling cars are from Maruti-Suzuki
  • Ten out of the top twenty best-selling cars are from – you guessed it right – Maruti-Suzuki
  • Hyundai is the only brand apart from Maruti-Suzuki that features in the top ten
  • Tata is the only car-maker apart from Maruti-Suzuki and Hyundai to have more than one car in the top twenty
  • Mahindra, Toyota, Honda, Renault and Ford have one model each in the top twenty

Dzire is India's Best-selling Car 

'Back with a bang' is what comes to mind looking at Dzire’s sales performance last year. Thanks to a cohesive design (finally!), feature-rich interiors and a proven, frugal engine line-up, the third-generation Dzire that debuted early last year blazed the charts and ended 2018 as India’s best-selling car. While doing so, Maruti-Suzuki's compact sedan decimated its rivals selling more than all of them combined. Competitors are trying their best with constant refreshes and facelifts but the public hardly seem to care. This segment is all about the Dzire and a little bit about the Amaze. ‘Brand Dzire’ is so strong now the fact it started life as a suffix to the Swift tag seems a distant memory now. 

Swift, Baleno and Vitara Brezza shine

The ever-dependable Alto finished runner-up but sales remained flat vis-à-vis 2017. With Swift and Baleno right behind on steep growth trajectories and an improving economy boosting affordability and pushing first-time car buyers towards premium hatchbacks, there is a fact chance the Alto might go down further in the coming years. This is new territory for Maruti-Suzuki's entry level car as it's been leading the sales charts for more than a decade now. Maruti-Suzuki won’t be worried though. After all, the Swift, Baleno and the Vitara Brezza and Wagon-R that are right behind the Alto in terms of sales fetch more revenues and profits. 

Along with the Celerio that rounds up the top ten, Maruti-Suzuki's turf is heavily guarded and it would take something extraordinary from Hyundai or one of the other brands to breach it. Outside the top ten, three further models from Suzuki's Indian portfolio - Omni, Eeco and Ertiga - emerge best-sellers of 2018.

Hyundai's trio continue to take the fight to the leader

Hyundai's dependable trio of i20, Grand i10 and Creta did well in 2018 and are the only cars that aren't Maruti-Suzukis to feature in the top ten. The Creta, especially, has been doing a phenomenal job raking in volumes despite being priced higher. That the i20 and Grand i10 are keeping the Baleno and Swift honest respectively for years now is a commendable feat in itself. Having said that, it's high time the South Korean car-maker gets another car or two in the top twenty. 

The all-new Santro has started off well and Hyundai's upcoming Vitara Brezza rival looks promising. Question is, will they do what the Eon could never do?

Tiago, Nexon and Amaze put on an impressive show

Tata Motors had an impressive year with the Tiago and Nexon both gaining sales and share in their segments. While the former finished just 8,000 units short of the Celerio, the latter ended up beating the well-established EcoSport to become the second best-selling compact SUV in the country. 

Honda did a stellar job with the second-generation Amaze and Indians responded with their wallets. The Japanese compact sedan more than doubled its sales from 2017 with the improved, feature-rich interiors, the awesome diesel-CVT combo and Civic-inspired design winning hearts. 

Bolero's dominance in the rural and semi-urban markets continues unabated while Toyota's Innova Crysta found more homes in 2018, it's expensive positioning be damned. Ford's refreshed EcoSport started off well but went on a downward spiral towards the second half of the year. Renault's Kwid castle is crashing fast and the car-maker has got to do something quick to stem this free fall.

No comments:

Post a Comment