View From The Top - Riding The SUV Wave

Shashank Srivastava, Senior Executive Officer, Marketing & Sales, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, writes for car&bike on the growth of SUV market in India and how does the future look like for the segment.

By Shashank Srivastava


3 mins read


18-May-23 08:14 PM IST



    In the past decade, there has been a paradigm shift in the Indian automobile industry, with buyers increasingly showing an inclination towards SUVs. Factors such as design, appearance, spaciousness, practicality, a commanding driving stance and a price overlap with premium hatchbacks and entry-level sedans have come into play predominantly for the popularity of SUVs. The new trend has resulted in this segment now becoming the largest-selling vehicle body type in the country. Although, the growth of SUVs in the Indian automobile market was anticipated, the pace at which the popularity of this segment has been gaining momentum is phenomenal. The segment which accounted for about 16% of the total passenger car space in FY16, has now grown to nearly 43% in the past year. 


    Brezza subcompact SUV has been one of the highest selling cars in India in recent months.


    With parameters like high ground clearance and better road presence being among the many determinants in the car buying process, the surge in demand for SUVs also alludes to the increasing income levels of middle class and upper middle class in the country, offering better spending ability when it comes to buying cars. 


    Also Read: Maruti Suzuki Fronx Launched At Rs 7.46 Lakh; Available With Two Engine Options


    The SUV segment has been constantly driving innovation and fueling competition among OEMs. Manufacturers are now developing vehicles with more features, better performance and greater fuel- efficiency than ever before. This has led to the creation of sub-segments across categories and a more dynamic market space that is sure to benefit both customers and manufacturers alike. Even in the future, customers will continue to reap the benefits of a tightly contested SUV space, with OEMs competing to deliver the best product in the market. With increasing environmental consciousness, vehicles with greener fuel options like CNG, electric and hybrid technology are making their mark across segments. With SUVs reigning presently, these parameters are what these segments have to focus on. 


    There are more than 46 SUVs currently available in the Indian market, across segments.


    Interestingly, the maximum model launches in the last five years in the entire passenger vehicle segment have also been in the compact and mid-size SUV space. There are more than 46 SUVs currently available in the Indian market, across segments (and across brands). This year we expect over ten SUV body style launches in the country. The demand for SUVs is growing each year, with most of the popular models across OEMs having long waiting periods and fresh orders still flooding in.


    Also Read: SIAM Sales April 2023: Passenger Vehicles Sales Highest Ever For April, Two-Wheeler Sales Up 15%


    According to Shashank Srivastava, SUV sales in India might plateau in the future.


    There are no two ways about the fact that SUVs are here to stay, and the progressively increasing demands of the customers are a testament to it. Bringing in comfort and versatility, this segment can be expected to see continued demand for years to come. 

    The SUV trend has had a profound impact on the automobile industry. It has not just moulded customers’ choices and preferences but has also driven changes in production and sales, encouraged technological advancements and altered the competitive landscape of the market. As a future projection, we might see this trend plateau, but for now, this seems to be the way the industry is headed for the next few years at least.

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