The only premium hatchback with a positive MoM growth in May 2019 was the VW Polo.
All other cars in the segment register weaker demand in May compared to April 2019.
Glanza’s dispatches started in May 2019. More than 2,000 units were shipped to dealers.
Maruti Suzuki Baleno and Hyundai Elite i20 register lower sales than their average monthly demand calculated for the last six months.
Together, Honda’s Jazz and WR-V account for over 7 per cent of the market share in this segment.
The premium hatchback segment saw a MoM drop in demand by 3.25 per cent in May 2019. Barring the Volkswagen Polo, all existing cars in this segment experienced a drop in sales. There’s a new entrant in the segment in the form of the Toyota Glanza, which is essentially a rebadged version of the Baleno. We expect it to make a substantial impact in the segment rankings in the future given that it’s priced at par with the Baleno in all variants except the one with the mild-hybrid tech, which is in fact more affordable than the corresponding variant of its donor car.
Below is a detailed analysis of the demand for each and every car in the segment.
Glanza’s sales don’t reflect the demand yet: The Toyota Glanza’s prices were announced in June 2019, but its dispatches began in the month of May itself, which is why you see it in this list already. Given that Toyota has priced the Glanza attractively in comparison to the Baleno, which has been leading the popularity chart in this segment for quite some time, we expect the Glanza to remain in the top three in future. What remains to be seen is whether it will negatively impact the Baleno’s popularity or not.
Baleno, Elite i20 still the top two cars, but…: While both the Baleno and Elite i20 have nothing to worry about in terms of their positioning in the segment w.r.t. popularity, both these cars have registered relatively weak demand in May 2019. Against a 3.25 per cent drop in the entire segment’s sales volume, both these cars have seen their monthly demand drop by over 10 per cent!
Honda twins at number three together: While both these cars have a lot of dissimilarities, the Jazz and the WR-V are not unrelated. Together, these cars take the number three spot in the segment in terms of sales volume. If the Glanza is a threat to anyone’s position in this segment, it is to both these Honda cars together.
What’s Volkswagen cooking?: The Polo is the only car in this segment to have seen a positive impact on its monthly demand in May 2019. And the increase in demand is not negligible, it has witnessed a staggering MoM growth of ~86 per cent. Not only is the Polo the only car in this segment to have registered positive growth on the sales chart, it is also the only premium hatchback that has bettered its average monthly volume (calculated for the last six months). Could it be the Polo Cup Edition being rolled out from the factory and shipped to the dealers? It will be interesting to see whether the Polo continues with the momentum in the month of June 2019.
Upcoming cars: While Tata has not announced a date yet, we know for a fact that the Altroz is India-bound in the middle of the year 2019. It will be the second Tata car based on the Impact 2.0 design philosophy and the first to be based on Tata’s ALFA ARC platform. Despite drop in popularity of diesel engines in this segment, Tata will offer a diesel engine on the Altroz.
Apart from Tata, Renault will also enter this segment with the Triber, which won’t be a conventional premium hatchback, but one with the genes of an MPV. Unfortunately, there’s nothing more that we know officially other than the fact that it is likely to be equipped quite generously and is set to be launch very soon.