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India’s Automobile Sales by Segment: Despite Overall Market Decline, Compact and Small SUVs Rose in 2020

The Indian automobile market fell 23.2% from the previous year to 2.95 million units (the combined sales of manufacturers affiliated with SIAM and major premium brands not affiliated with SIAM) in 2020. The entire market shrank drastically due to the effects of the new coronavirus, most models falling double digits. However, sales of compact SUVs, which have seen marked growth in popularity, grew in 2020.

There is a clear shift in demand from passenger cars such as sedans and hatchbacks to SUVs and MPVs, which are called “utility vehicles” in India. Looking at sales performance in 2020, passenger cars shrank 23.5% to 1.36 million units, while SUVs fell only 2.3% to 775,000 units and MPVs declined 16.1% to 189,000 units. The share of SUVs in the overall market rose 5.6 percentage points to 26.2%, driven by the growing popularity of small SUVs.

Looking at the number of vehicles sold in 2020 by segment, in sedan and hatchback-type passenger car class, the mini (A) segment decreased 27.4% to 198,000 units, and lower compact (A / B) segment dropped 17.2% to 326,000 units. In the B segment, which is the best-selling segment in the Indian market, compact hatchbacks decreased 15.9% to 567,000 units. Meanwhile, sales of compact sedans with an overall length of less than 4.0m decreased 33.7% to 203,000 units, and sales of small sedans with an overall length of 4.0m or more fell 47.3% to 65,000 units, indicating a significant decline in sales of sedans compared to hatchbacks.

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