While the Indian car industry has been gripped by a sales slowdown for many months now, there’s no denying the continued growth in terms of new car launches and ever-expanding sales networks of the carmakers. In fact, even after a dip in performance, the local car market continues to be one of the fastest-growing markets in the world. Last year, cumulative sales of passenger cars stood at over 3 million units, which, alone, speaks volume of the huge market that India presents to all manufacturers who have set shop in the country. Moreover, this market looks poised to grow to never-seen-before levels in the coming years, which is the very reason for new companies, like MG, Kia, and Citroen, to step on our shores.
While the SUV segments of the Indian market have seen unprecedented growth in recent years, there are many carmakers who aren’t shying away from introducing new sedan, hatchback and MPV models to try and catch the fancy of Indian car buyers. In spite of all the new model launches and heavy promotions, not many carmakers have so far been able to post great sales figures and earn big profits. However, there are definitely a bunch of carmakers that have been pretty successful in the market. Here is a look at the top 5 car brands in India.
Maruti Suzuki India Ltd (MSIL) has been one of the most popular carmakers in the country, with a total market share of more than 50 percent. Maruti Suzuki started its Indian innings with the Maruti 800 and later followed it with models like the Omni and Gypsy. Today, however, it offers a wide range of models ranging from the Alto to S-Cross. Currently, the carmaker has more than 1,500 facilities situated across the nation. Other than having regular dealerships, which are responsible for the retail of models like the Alto and Celerio, the company also has premium Nexa outlets for the sale of models like Baleno and S-Cross.
Right now, ahead of the advent of BSVI emission norms, the company is preparing to launch a slew of CNG models in the lower segment and BSVI-compliant diesel models in the higher segments. Other than this, the carmaker is also working with Toshiba and Denso to prepare hybrid and electric vehicles in cooperation with Toyota. As a part of its strategic partnership, the company has already started supplying Baleno to Toyota Kirloskar Motor, which is then rebadged and sold as the Toyota Glanza. Next, the company will supply Ertiga to Toyota. From the looks of it, Maruti Suzuki will continue to enjoy the numero-uno status in the market for a long time to come.
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Hyundai, the Korean carmaker giant, started its Indian innings with the launch of the Santro in the late 90s. Next, the tallboy was followed by the Accent and even premium products in the form of Tucson, Sonata and Terracan. Today, the carmaker has a wide lineup that ranges from the second-gen Santro to the Elantra and the third-gen Tucson. Right now, it is the second most popular carmaker in the country, with a market share of about 18 percent. While at a distant second from Maruti Suzuki, the carmaker definitely enjoys a huge edge over all other carmakers.
In the coming times, Hyundai will be seen launching BSVI-compliant versions of its petrol and diesel engines. Moreover, it will also release more electric products after seeing the great response that Kona has received from the Indian car buying lot. Hyundai will even focus to further bolster its sales and service network by adding more touchpoints to its already strong network. That said, the carmaker doesn’t look likely to be able to close in on the gap between Maruti’s and its own sales performance anytime soon.
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The next carmaker in our list is Toyota Kirloskar Motor, the Indian subsidiary of the Japanese carmaker giant. Toyota has been officially present in the country since the late 90s, when it initiated its Indian innings with the launch of the Qualis. Since there, there has been no looking back for the carmaker. Currently, the auto manufacturer has been laughing to the bank with a great response to models like the Innova Crysta and Fortuner. Also, its models like Etios Live and Etios have been able to find a fan following among a select group of private car buyers and fleet operators.
Toyota Kirloskar Motor has been the winner of JD Power Quality Survey for several years in a row and has been quite famous for offering the best after-sales service experience in the country. In future, it will consolidate its partnership with Maruti Suzuki India Ltd and launch more jointly developed models like the Glanza. Also, it will work in close ties with MSIL, Toshiba and Denso for the development of hybrid and electric vehicles tailor-made to suit the Indian conditions. In all likelihood, Toyota, together with Maruti Suzuki, will emerge out as a far stronger player in the coming years.
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Next in our list is Mahindra and Mahindra, the homegrown UV specialist, has been fairing pretty well in the MPV and SUV segments of the country. While not as popular as Maruti and Hyundai, it’s surely a force to reckon with in Tier II and Tier III markets of the country. Its models like the Bolero, Scorpio and XUV500 has been well-received by the Indian audience. A huge reason for this is that these models have been developed keeping the Indian market in mind and are further supported by easy maintenance and the company’s wide-spread service network.
In the coming times, the company is about to launch a slew of new models, including new generation models of the XUV500, Bolero and Scorpio. Other than this, the company will even introduce an electric version of the XUV300 to cash in on the fast-growing EV trend. Also, the company will come up with new-gen platforms and engines in accordance with the upcoming stricter emission and safety norms. All these developments should help the carmaker bolster its place in the market.
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The last carmaker on our list is another homegrown manufacturer that has performed well in the SUV segments. Tata Motors, in recent years, has even managed to make some place for itself in the highly competitive small car segment with the Tiago. On the other hand, the Safari Storme, its small SUV, has been losing out on popularity. Thankfully, however, the Harrier has been received well in the market and is likely to help the carmaker stay afloat in the SUV segment. The same can be said for the Nexon, which takes on some much-loved models like the Maruti Vitara Brezza and Hyundai Venue.
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In the coming times, the carmaker will introduce the Altroz, a new premium hatchback that will rival Maruti Baleno and Hyundai Elite i20. The new model will be followed by the Nexon EV and Gravitas, with the latter being the much-awaited 7-seater version of the Harrier. Thanks to a strong R&D and design team, the latest crop of Tata vehicles are world-class products that have a high appeal. Keeping that in mind, the future seems prosperous for our homegrown manufacturer.
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