Most of the manufactures in C-Segment are confident that the positive momentum will continue as people started to prefer sedans once again
Until few years ago, three box designs were so popular among Indian customers as they were considered as premium. This is why India became the hub for compact sedans. But the introduction of compact SUVs changed the game completely as the global trend of SUV reached Indians also and we always had a soft corner towards high riding models traditionally, thanks to our roads.
The compact SUVs started to eat into the sales of sedan and the segment which was affected the most was C-Segment which was in the same price bracket as compact SUVs. Because of the sales rush in compact SUV segment, manufacturers also began to give importance for this segment and most of the launches were only in SUV segment.
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Even MPVs were also affected with the rush of SUVs. But one of the major reasons for people choosing SUVs were the lack of new products in C-Segment. All the major products were due in for an update and usually the popularity began to come down once the model started to reach the end of its life cycle or mid-life cycle update.
Honda City was the king of C-Segment and the company decided to introduce a mid-life facelift for City last year. This update helped the City to bring back numbers and top position. But the major boost for C-Segment came with the introduction of new generation Verna in August, 2017. The Verna quickly began to attract buyers with its long list of features and VFM pricing.
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The C-Segment sedan come with lots of premium features which are not available in compact SUV and they offer better performance along with good efficiency also. With the help of new Verna, City and Ciaz which is a steady performer every month helped the sales to improve in C-Segment. Toyota is one of the most reputed brands in India and the Japanese manufacturer introduced Yaris in April, 2018.
The strong brand value along with class-leading safety features and automatic option from base variant helped the Yaris to get a good start in the C-Segment. Maruti is expected to bring a major update for Ciaz next month with new engine and more features. With the help of new launches and updates, current products are helping the C-Segment to bring back its glory days.
Most of the manufactures in C-Segment are confident that the positive momentum will continue as people started to prefer sedans once again. We are expecting monthly sales of C-Segment likely to touch over 15,000 units in coming months. Volkswagen and Skoda are not playing major part in the C-Segment but they may bring MY updates to keep people interested in C-Segment.
Like C-Segment, the compact sedans are also witnessing good growth on the back of new product launches. Maruti Suzuki Dzire is the segment leader and the company introduced new generation model last year in India. The new model is setting the sales chart on fire and it has often been the best selling car since the launch.
The success of Dzire is giving confidence to other manufacturers to invest and develop new models. Honda recently introduced second generation of Amaze, which is doing really well as the Japanese manufacturer sold close to 10,000 units in the first month. The Amaze is the only car in its segment to come with CVT transmission for diesel engine which is its big USP.
Honda has priced the new Amaze well against the established competitors. The frugal engine with excellent interior space and long list of features are helping Honda to get back on track. Tata Motors launched Tigor last year and it is the third attempt of the company to crack compact sedan segment which is bringing decent numbers now.
One of the reasons for the success of Tigor is its design as the company has given fastback design which is attracting lots of customers. Hyundai also introduced an update for Xcent with revised design and some new features, bringing good volumes for the company.
The market share of sedan is just 6 percent in India right now and with the introduction of new launches along with change of customer sentiment towards three box design, we can expect the market share to increase considerably over the next few years.