When Renault India launched the Kwid hatchback for a starting price of Rs. 2.5 lakh in September 2015, the biggest prediction among automobile analysts was it would make a dent in the sales of India's bestselling car, Maruti Suzuki Alto. It seems the prediction has come true, given the sales reports of the first four months of this year.
According to sales data released by ET Auto, Maruti Suzuki Alto is still the bestselling model in India. The small car found 16,583 takers in April 2016. However it registered a 23 percent decline compared to the 21,531 units sales in April 2015. Alto had found 22,101 takers in March 2016 in comparison to the 24,961 units sold in March 2015 — an 11 percent drop in sales. The situation in February and January was no different. Maruti Suzuki sold 21,286 units of the Alto in February 2016, registering a 17 percent drop, and 21, 462 units in January 2016, recording a 6 percent drop in sales.
On the other hand, Renault Kwid has seen a consistent increase in sales. Renault's small car found 7,544 takers in February 2016, which rose to 9,743 units in March. Last month, Renault sold 9,795 units of the Kwid in the country. The number is expected increase further as the car has over 1.25 lakh bookings now, and the company recently increased its production. It is evident that Maruti Suzuki Alto's loss has been Renault Kwid's gain in the entry-level hatchback segment.
It seems Maruti Suzuki is well aware of the threat from Renault, and the Alto facelift has been spied recently. The Alto 800 facelift is expected to be launched this month. Renault India is also planning to launch the Kwid with a 1,000cc engine very soon. Apart from Maruti Suzuki and Renault India, Datsun will launch the redi-Go hatchback in the entry-level hatchback segment in June. That makes it clear that this segment will see the biggest completion in the coming months.