Sales performance of cars that won the TeamBHP Car of the Year

Kia Seltos is the most successful TeamBHP Car of the Year.

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Sales performance of Team BHP CoTY

  • Hyundai, Maruti, and Toyota never won Team BHP CoTY title despite delivering some real sales champions in a few segments.
  • Despite bringing in some enthusiast-appealing cars, VAG never won Team BHP CoTY title.
  • Two cars of the year were flops: the Tata Nano and the Mahindra Marazzo.
  • SUVs always got over 40% of the votes while winning the yearly contest.

CoTY is awarded in the launch year, however, products have to live long and sustain sales throughout the product-life-cycle (PLC) and even after generation changes. Here is the analysis of PLC sales volume to review actual sales performance.

2009 Tata Nano & 2016 Tata Tiago

The Tata Nano was one of the most innovative but overhyped product, which gave a lot of nightmares to Osamu Suzuki (Chairman Suzuki Motor) before 2010. Nano was supposed to sell around 2.5 lakh units annually; however, total lifecycle sales could reach only 3 lakh units as Nano was completely rejected by the Indian audience. Even Tiago’s sales were higher.

Tata Tiago was the spiritual successor of Tata Indica, however, it never attained the market share that Indica had in the past. Tata Altroz, launched in 2020, attained a higher market share than Tiago in 2021. So as a turnaround project, Tiago served its purpose but was not quite a match for its predecessor or a sales benchmark in the industry. Despite being cost-competitive, Tiago has established the appropriate safety standard in the industry.

2010 Ford Figo

The first generation Figo was a success until the facelift, after which the Figo lost its way, and the second generation was a disaster, leading to Ford's exit from India.

Rise and fall of Ford India

2011 Mahindra XUV 500 & 2021 Mahindra XUV 700

The XUV 500 was a runaway success, and so is the XUV 700. However, PLC management was not that great for the XUV 500, and it suffered a lot towards the end when the next generation was desperately needed. If Mahindra had ramped up the production capacity of the XUV 500 to the 2011 wholesale level, then the underutilization of plant capacity would be over 1.6 lakh units till 2021.

With a 5-star crash test safety rating, powerful and diverse drivetrain choices, better suspension, and a tech-loaded package, Mahindra has provided much stronger armour to the XUV 700 to stay competitive in the long run. Despite a strong order bank, it is time for Mahindra to not get complacent and strive for a higher market share.

2012 Renault Duster

If a product strikes the right chord with a potential customer segment, then what’s in the name? Duster was a definitive product that gave birth to a soon-to-be hot and aspirational segment and did well in the early part of PLC. Renault, however, failed to properly plan and execute the Duster's lifecycle, resulting in the product's discontinuation in 2021.

Duster couldn’t score a four-star rating in the GNCAP crash test; however, successive products like Triber and Kiger scored well despite having a very low entry price point.

2013 Ford Ecosport

A definitive product that never lost its appeal despite increasing competition. If Ford India hadn’t become so complacent on Ecosport, then it could have done even better.

Rise and fall of Ford India

2014 Tata Zest

As a turnaround and bridging project, Zest simply served its purpose. A four-star safety rating in the GNCAP crash test was a commendable achievement for Zest.

2015 Renault Kwid

Maruti, Hyundai, and Tata have commanded 84% to 97% of the hatchback market share between them since 1998, thus leaving less room for others to succeed. So Renault came up with a path-breaking product and achieved remarkable success with a 7% hatchback market share in 2016. But then complacency set in, and Renault, being the typical poor parent, again forgot to manage the PLC of the Kwid well, resulting in poor sales after 2017.

2017 Jeep Compass

Besides being compact premium offerings, the Jeep Compass, Skoda Yeti, and Hyundai Tucson have one thing in common: a 2L diesel engine option. Compass is locally manufactured in India and exported to other RHD countries, whereas other two had a CKD operation. Thus, Jeep Compass pricing was competitive (relatively) at the time of launch, thus creating a much bigger market for itself than others. The rest of the PLC is simply a roller coaster ride, as the graph suggests.

2018 Mahindra Marazzo

Kia Carens has done what Mahindra couldn’t do with the Marazzo. That is, finding a place to live and thrive even while sandwiched between the Maruti Ertiga, the XL6, and the Toyota Innova. Marazzo had the safest rating among all competitors, with a four-star GNCAP crash test rating.

2019 KIA Seltos

Kia Seltos is perhaps the most successful TeamBHP CoTY, as demand is still strong even after three years of existence and cars are selling without discount. It checked all the boxes that Indian customers value, except for safety. It seems that particular box doesn’t exist. Still, it could not topple the Hyundai Creta in 2020, as the latter has changed the rules of the game with the first panoramic sunroof in the segment.

Together, Hyundai and KIA have decimated the competition in 2020.

Challengers have re-emerged, but they expanded the segment rather than hurting Hyundai-KIA’s volume.

2020 Mahindra Thar

The changed value proposition—easy to live with every day as an off-roader—of the Thar second generation has changed the game for Mahindra. Now, it appeals to city dwellers with different lifestyle aspirations. In reality, Thar is purchased more for show than for any serious off-road adventure. However, Mahindra has correctly identified a previously unseen emotional need and has shown the courage to develop and deploy a petrol engine for Thar, along with an automatic transmission. Some are trend followers, and some just create one with the Jeep Wrangler concept and design rip-off. What differentiates the Thar from the Wrangler is a good score in the safety crash test rating.

Team BHP CoTY GNCAP safety rating

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