Over the past five years, Indian automakers have introduced 36 new models, and purchasers’ affinity for SUVs has grown.
Waiting periods for some of the most popular models already exceed two years, and new orders continue to pour in, which demonstrates the steadily increasing demand for SUVs in India. Car purchasers who are ready to pay more for their own method of transportation increasingly favour upscale models with sunroofs and linked systems.
In a market where hatchbacks once dominated sales, the entry-level and mid-sized sports utility vehicles (SUVs) are gaining appeal, leading to more product debuts in the class.
As per Maruti Suzuki India Senior Executive Director (Sales and Marketing) Shashank Srivastava, the SUV segment has experienced significant growth over the past few years, with the segment’s contribution increasing from 19 percent to 40 percent in 2021-22 and the growth percentage continuing to rise. Moreover, he stated that customers’ preference for cars with a high stance and excellent road visibility is one of the primary reasons for the expansion of the SUV market in the country.
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Last year, entry-level SUVs accounted for 6.52 lakh units out of a total volume of 30.68 lakh. Intriguingly, the majority of new passenger car models introduced during the past five years have been compact and mid-size SUVs.
Mr. Srivastava stated that the preference for feature-packed cars has increased from 17 percent in 2016-17 to 24 percent in 2021-22 and that new-age millennials prefer to purchase high-end variants that are equipped with a variety of comfort and convenience features. He also stated that the top variants account for 70 percent of the total bookings for recently unveiled models such as the Breeza. He noted that studies indicate that spending will climb more now that individuals are more eager to spend.
Shailesh Chandra, Managing Director of Tata Motors Passenger Vehicles, cited differentiated design, evolving lifestyles, a shift from public to private transport as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic, and a growing awareness of safety and convenience features as factors driving growth in the passenger vehicles market.
According to Mr. Chandra, automakers are continually working to supply customers with precisely what they want through their often updated product lines. He also added that the company made a comeback in the fiscal year 2021, reclaiming third place in terms of volume and becoming a challenger brand, by introducing the full potential of a new range of cars and SUVs that were developed after an in-depth study of the market and an understanding of evolving customer needs.
According to the Chief Sales Officer of Kia India, Myung-sik Sohn, the increasing demand for SUVs among Indian consumers demonstrates a clear preference for bold and beautiful automobiles. Mr. Sohn stated that over 30,000 units had been sold in less than five months since the introduction of the Kia Carens earlier this year.
He also remarked that an increasing number of consumers are purchasing high-end automobile trims, adding that 47 percent of all Kias sold in India are high-end models, demonstrating that buyers now desire the finest. Mr. Sohn stated that Kia currently has more than two lakh connected vehicles on Indian roads, with a 97 percent activation rate, and added that the modern digitally aware client is increasingly seeking the whole experience of automobile ownership with minimum physical interaction.
According to Atul Sood, Associate Vice President (Sales and Strategic Marketing) of Toyota Kirloskar Motor, the high rate of urbanisation and economic growth is driving the market for SUVs. He went on to say that SUVs have one of the strongest lineups in the automobile industry today, with a large number of models currently available in response to demand, and that new product releases and refreshes generate customer enthusiasm and interest.