By Sohini Das
As new launches pep up the utility vehicles (UV) space, the Gujarat market seems to be warming up to UVs, with sales up by almost 30 per cent this year, industry sources claimed.
Around 19,000 UVs were sold in the Gujarat market last year, informed industry sources. In comparison, this year, monthly UV sales have been hovering around 2000 units, and with latest launches of the Tata Safari Storme (November) and the Mahindra Quanto (September), industry insiders estimate by the fiscal end overall sales number would cross 25,000 units.
Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) had strategically launched its multi-utility vehicle Quanto, right ahead of the Dusshera and Diwali, which boosted the company's sales in the region.
M&M managed to sell over 2300 cars during October, up 35 per cent from last year's 1700 cars in the same month.
"Sales in the Ahmedabad market was up 28 per cent. We sold around 360 Quantos and over 350 XUV500s last month", informed Jacob Varghese, senior general manager, west zone, M&M.
Vishal Sharma, regional manager, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd said that a lot of existing Maruti customers are opting for its new MUV offering Ertiga. "The Ertiga is a big car at an affordable price, a lot of existing Maruti vehicle owners are opting to upgrade to the Ertiga. It has created an entire new segment and we have seen very good response for both the petrol and diesel variants of the vehicle", he explained adding that the company has sold around 5,000 Ertigas in Gujarat since its launch in April.
Maruti, which is primarily a hatch and sedan player, has seen Ertiga contribute around 8 per cent of its net monthly sales in the state.
Tata Motors too launched the Safari Storme in the Gujarat market on Wednesday. Terming it the 'real SUV', Neeraj Garg, vice president, commercial and passenger car business unit, Tata Motors said, "The new Safari Storme will create a new segment altogether. It is not a small SUV or a multy-utility vehicle. It is aimed at customers who are looking for the real offroad experience of an SUV. We have tried to give a international look to the vehicle."
The company has launched the Storme in the National Capital Region (NCR) market around three weeks back, and has already received around 1500 bookings.
Priced between Rs 9.95 lakh to Rs 13.91 lakh, the Storme is expected to cannibalise some market share from the existing Safari Dicor and the Tata Aria.
"We do not expect much cannibalisation though. While the Storme might take some market from the existing variants, it will create a segment of its own", Garg said adding that customer expectations are changing very fast.