The verdict is clear – The Indian market wants SUVs!
In a not entirely surprising turn of events in the Indian automotive market, Honda has managed to outperform its competitors Skoda and Volkswagen for the second straight month. And the Honda Elevate played a big part with 4,957 units sold. While this is certainly a notable achievement for Honda, they are still trailing behind the giants of the Indian auto industry, Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, and Kia.
According to the latest sales figures for October 2023, Honda reported total sales of 9,400 units, surpassing both Skoda and Volkswagen. Skoda recorded total sales of 4,566 units, while Volkswagen sold 4,089 units during the same period.
The key player in Honda’s recent success is the Honda Elevate SUV, which has proven to be a game-changer for the company. The Elevate managed to outshine its competitors from Skoda and Volkswagen, with the Skoda Kushaq selling 2,447 units and the Volkswagen Taigun selling 2,219 units in October 2023. This signifies a significant victory for Honda in the competitive SUV segment. In September, it was reported that 6 out of 10 Honda vehicles sold were Elevate.
Other SUVs, again beaten for the second month by Elevate, are the MG Astor and the Hector (which is a higher segment, please note).
Big rivals still ahead – Maruti Grand Vitara, Hyundai Creta and Kia Seltos
However, when considering the overall market landscape, Honda is still facing tough competition from the likes of Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, and Kia. Maruti Suzuki’s Grand Vitara, Hyundai’s Creta, and Kia’s Seltos continue to maintain their dominance, outperforming Honda’s sales figures.
Maruti Suzuki reported impressive sales of 10,834 units for the Grand Vitara, showcasing its firm grip on the Indian market. Hyundai’s Creta recorded even higher sales with 13,077 units, reinforcing its position as a leading player. Kia’s Seltos also performed exceptionally well, selling 12,352 units.
Apart from the Elevate, Honda’s other offerings in the Indian market, such as the Honda Amaze and Honda City sedans, have contributed to the brand’s overall sales. Skoda’s lineup includes the Skoda Slavia sedan and the premium SUV Kodiaq, with 179 units sold. Meanwhile, Volkswagen has seen success with its Virtus sedan, with 1,772 units sold, and the premium SUV Tiguan, with 98 units sold.
The success of the Honda Elevate proves that the Indian consumer market is highly receptive to innovative SUVs. This achievement will further motivate Honda to further invest in the SUV segment and work towards capturing a larger share of the Indian market. The company has already indicated that they would focus on SUVs – and not sedans – in the future, though we believe that this would not affect the Honda City or the Amaze sedans in anyway as they bring in decent numbers.
As the Indian automotive industry continues to evolve and grow, competition among manufacturers remains fierce. While Honda’s recent success is commendable, it still has a long way to go to challenge the market dominance of Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, and Kia. The battle for supremacy in the Indian auto market is far from over, and consumers can expect to see more exciting developments and new models in the coming months.
What explains the success of the Honda Elevate?
We believe that pent-up demand for a Honda SUV is definitely a factor. India has no dearth of Honda fans thanks to their reputation built during the days of the Honda Accords, Civics and Citys. After the premium SUV CR-V was discontinued, the demand for an SUV from Honda was clear. Honda delivered on that, with the Elevate. Even after the pent-up demand is exhausted, we expect the Elevate to continue selling in decent numbers.
The weakness of the Elevate is its lack of engine and transmission options – The Hyundai Creta and Seltos have many more. And Maruti Grand Vitara has a petrol-electric hybrid. The competition has more items to sell, which Honda currently lacks. But the focus on SUVs by Honda should change all that. Let’s wait and watch!