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Customers wearing protective masks look inside a Hyundai Motor Co. Santa Fe sport utility vehicle (SUV) on display. (Bloomberg)
Customers wearing protective masks look inside a Hyundai Motor Co. Santa Fe sport utility vehicle (SUV) on display. (Bloomberg)

Hyundai expects bumper Diwali after a double-digit jump in Navratri sales

  • Ever since the lockdown measures were eased, Hyundai has reported substantial pickup in sales of its sport utility vehicles
  • Apart from its SUVs, Hyundai thinks the introduction of the new generation of its popular premium hatchback, i20, will also help increase sales during the festive period

After recording a 30% year-on-year jump in vehicle sales during the ten-day Navratri period, Hyundai Motor India Ltd – country’s second largest passenger vehicle maker - is expecting sales during Diwali festival to also scale new heights. The company expects pent-up demand amongst buyers to sustain decent growth in car sales beyond festive season, but a second Covid wave and lack of growth in the economy can derail the current momentum.

Ever since the lockdown measures were eased, Hyundai has reported substantial pickup in sales of its sport utility vehicles, Venue (compact) and the second generation Creta (mid-size), as customers started preferring personal mobility to avoid Covid-19 infections. These two products propelled Hyundai to eclipse Maruti Suzuki as the largest SUV manufacturer in the April to September period.

Apart from its SUVs, the company thinks the introduction of the new generation of its popular premium hatchback, i20, will also help increase sales during the festive period.

According to Tarun Garg, director, marketing and sales, Hyundai Motor, there was a lot of pent-up demand in the market since people have been delaying purchases since 2019, due to the confusion related to transition from BS 4 to BS 6 emission norms.

“Sales in October was the highest for us and there is high pent-up demand in the market. We had around 30% year on year growth in sales during Navratri and Diwali should be equally good. The new i20 will also add to the volumes. This festival season has been very good in terms of demand and customer preference towards personal mobility is also pushing sales," added Garg.

After two consecutive years of subdued sales during festive seasons, vehicle makers like Hyundai, Maruti, Hero MotoCorp, Bajaj Auto and others have increased production to record levels this year, expecting sales to surge during Navratri and Diwali.

Faster than expected rebound in demand in rural markets, gradual recovery in urban markets and shift towards personal mobility aided sales of two-wheelers and passenger vehicles.

Automakers, though, have been concerned about the demand for vehicles in the urban market, after the festive season, due to current economic downturn which has impacted affordability of customers.

“Sustained demand for vehicles is linked to factors like overall increase in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and possibility of a second Covid wave in the country. OEMs have learnt to live with Covid and have started planning on month-on-month basis. There are upsides and downsides to this," said Garg.

On Thursday, Hyundai launched the new generation of its popular premium hatchback, i20, at a price range of 6.79 lakh to 11.17 lakh.. The hatchback will be available with 1 and 1.12 litre petrol engine and 1.5 litre diesel engine options. Hyundai will also provide its connected vehicle software Blue Link with the new hatchback.

“Despite rising sale of SUVs, the compact premium segment held on to the 13% market share in the domestic market. Almost 18% of the total sales in this segment is for the top end. Hyundai will be offering both diesel and petrol options which will also help. So, there are buyers for such hatchbacks," added Garg.

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