C-Segment Sedan Sales Falling Again, New Compact Sedans The Reason?

New Compact Sedans

We analyse how the midsize sedan segment performed this year and explain to you why the sub-four-metre sedans are winning over

Honda City and Maruti Suzuki Ciaz can be credited with firmly putting the C-segment for sedans right on the map because of their ever existing rivalry. Sensing the popularity of the Honda City over the years, Maruti Suzuki showcased the Ciaz concept at the 2014 Auto Expo and carried on the momentum by introducing the production version in October 2014.

With Honda bringing in the much-awaited i-DTEC diesel engine into the mix, the competition between the two midsize models skyrocketed. The City and Ciaz traded top position in the monthly sales chart and the former received a mid-cycle update in early 2017 to have a refreshed appeal over the Ciaz. Maruti Suzuki, on the other hand, shifted the Ciaz’s sales to Nexa before launching the comprehensive facelift.

In theory, the debut of another top contender, new-gen Verna, in August 2017 and the updated Ciaz a year later, should have pumped more volumes into the segment. But it did not turn out to be the case. The facelifted Ciaz did start its tenure well with segment-topping 6,246 units in September but in the following couple of months, it registered only below 3,900 units each time.

2018 Maruti Suzuki Ciaz Price Comparison

The Honda City, on the other hand, managed to average less than 3,500 units monthly through this year. Courtesy of the brand new generation, the Verna has in fact narrowed down its gap to the City and Ciaz. The sales numbers do suggest that the segment’s volume is not as high as it used to be. This could be partially down to the less than desired growth encountered during the festive season.

However, the expansion of the sub-four-metre sedan segment can be accounted as the main reason as customers are preferring top-end variants with packed features instead of opting for the C-segment altogether. Take the third generation Maruti Suzuki Dzire for instance, it is setting records in succession and 20,000 units per month is an easy target.

2018 honda amaze-1

Even the new Honda Amaze recorded average of more than 9,000 units a month four times in the last seven months. The midsize sedan segment saw a new arrival in Toyota Yaris and in the near future the Skoda Rapid and Volkswagen Vento will have their replacements based on MQB A0 IN platform. We reckon 2019 will give a clearer idea of where the segment stands!