Demand for utility vehicles, especially sport utility ones (SUVs), have soared after a string of launches of the compact type by manufacturers, despite increased activism against their primary fuel, diesel.
According to data from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, utility vehicle (UV) sales rose nearly 43 per cent last month (including multi-utility ones), the best growth in a little more than three years. UV volumes closed at 62,170 units in April, first month of financial year 2016-17, as against 43,526 units in the same month last year. The growth was significantly higher as compared to the segment’s average growth of 6.25 per cent in FY16 to 586,664 units, as against 552,135 units in 2014-15. UV growth in April was fuelled by high demand for the newly launched Vitara Brezza from Maruti Suzuki and the Creta from Hyundai, both with waiting periods. The Brezza and Mahindra Nuvosport, a compact SUV, which debuted last month, are sold only with diesel engines. Mahindra’s KUV100 and TUV300, with its all-diesel variants, contributed to the record growth. Honda also debuted in this space with the launch of the BR-V last Friday, with a diesel engine option.