India's "Top 20" Best-selling Cars in 2020

From my previous post, it was clear the CoVID-19 pandemic had a lasting impact on automobile sales for more than a quarter last year with the industry hitting the rock-bottom in April with zero units sold. With Maruti-Suzuki and Hyundai holding their positions, the rest of the car-makers fought hard for the one-third of the market that was left out.

Of course, India's best-selling car in 2020 was a Maruti-Suzuki. But which of the many cars wearing the 'S' badge finished on top? Where did the Hyundais end up in the pecking order? Did cars from any other brand apart from these two manage to break into the top ten? 

Here's the answer for all those questions:

  • The top six best-selling cars are from Maruti-Suzuki
  • Seven of the top ten and ten of the top twenty best-selling cars are from Maruti-Suzuki too
  • Two cars from Hyundai and a Kia are the only other brands to feature in the "Top 10"
  • Mahindra's Bolero, a trio of Tatas and Renault's Triber round out the "Top 20"
  • With the exception of new launches, none of the models reported growth over 2019; Creta, Wagon-R and Nexon did a brilliant job of minimizing the fall compared to the previous year

Swift was India's best-selling car in 2020

  • At India's largest car-maker, the fight for supremacy is not with cars from rival brands. Cars within the brand slug it out and trade positions. In 2020, the Swift came out on top trumping the smaller Alto and bigger Baleno by a few thousand units. 
  • As a first car for a young couple or the daily runabout for urban dwellers, the Swift is just perfect. That the car is capable of doing it keeping the person behind the wheel 'smiling' makes this little Suzuki a big winner.
  • While the Alto came runner-up in the race, Baleno and Wagon-R aren't far behind. Remarkably, the Wagon-R lost just 5% of its sales compared to 2019. 
  • Dzire bore the brunt of Maruti-Suzuki moving to a petrol-only line-up post BS6 implementation with a steep fall of 37%. Vitara Brezza suffered a similar fate for the same reason.

Hyundai and Kia SUVs take the market by storm

  • From being a fringe player in the segment in 2014 to India's leading seller of SUVs/Crossovers, Hyundai (and now Kia!) has come a long way.
  • Creta continues its dream run in its second generation, reporting just a 3% drop over 2019.
  • Sibling Kia Seltos finished close behind more than doubling its 2019 sales tally.
  • Add the numbers of Venue and Sonet (launched in the second half of 2020) and the two Korean brands have decimated competition in this 'hot and happening' segment.
  • All's not well with Hyundai though with the i20's 40% drop despite the launch of a new generation model sure to ruffle feathers internally.

Tata makes quite an impression

  • Despite it's age and boxy nature, Mahindra's Bolero continues its incredible run outselling all other newer models in the brand's line-up.
  • Tata Motors had a stellar year with the Tiago, Nexon and Altroz bringing in consistent numbers through the year. With eye-catching styling and an impeccable safety record across the line-up, Tata's success is very satisfying to watch.
  • Renault Triber sneaked in at number twenty, becoming yet another success story for the French brand in the country.

Just outside the "Top 20", Kia's Sonet is waiting to break into the list while the Kwid was a casualty of the success of Renault's own Triber.

Watch this space. 2021 is going to be very interesting!

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