auto Information: International auto corporations switching off hatchback engine in India

Nissan pulled the plug on its hatchback — Datsun — final month. The ultimate batch of the globally profitable Volkswagen Polo has been produced. Subsequent 12 months, the Honda Jazz will even exit of the market.

The urge for food for hatchbacks is now largely restricted to the highest three gamers –

Suzuki, Hyundai Motor India and — as different automakers flip their consideration to utility autos.

The small automobile hub for international markets has clearly misplaced its appeal for some automotive gamers.

As sport utility autos (SUVs) muscle in, gross sales of hatchbacks, or small automobiles, are dwindling.

In actual fact, gross sales of SUVs overtook hatchbacks as the biggest phase in India within the earlier fiscal 12 months(FY22).

“Hatchbacks are going out of vogue,” mentioned Thomas Schaeffer, the worldwide chief government of Skoda Auto. For a automobile maker that not too long ago invested one billion euros and is lining up extra for India, the prospects of the two-box automobile within the native market appears modest in contrast with SUVs. “There are particular areas of the world (the place) sure shapes have disappeared, so it doesn’t make sense to reinvest,” Schaeffer mentioned.


It is a view echoed by many international auto conglomerates about India. After Nissan relaunched Datsun in January 2014 for India, the model ultimately made its means into Indonesia, Russia and South Africa. Tailor-made to fulfill entry-level patrons throughout markets, the model might, nevertheless, barely make a mark. The corporate produced about 470,000 models of the Datsun in its new avatar over the past seven years worldwide. The mannequin made up for two% of its complete gross sales globally in 2016.

Nonetheless, falling gross sales amid a serious reshuffle on the high led to Nissan discontinuing the model throughout markets within the final two years.

Restrictions on Size

A spokesperson for Nissan confirmed to ET that Datsun will not be being produced as a part of its international transformation technique whereby the Japanese automobile maker is specializing in core fashions and segments that profit clients and sellers probably the most.

“We will reassure all current and future Datsun house owners that buyer satisfaction stays our precedence, and we’ll proceed to supply the very best ranges of after gross sales service, elements availability and guarantee assist from our nationwide dealership community,” the spokesperson added.

Fewer Fashions

The variety of fashions within the hatchback phase has come right down to about 19 on the finish of FY22 from about 31 on the finish of FY17.

Maruti Suzuki dominates the area and has, the truth is, grown its share to over 60% within the small automobile area. This implies there’s a smaller taking part in discipline for others to take part and tougher to earn cash.


Low volumes, each in India and international markets, and restrictions on size — sub-4 metre automobiles — have ensured that small automobiles made in India are much less viable for international markets. Over time, many small automobiles from the likes of Honda, Nissan and Toyota have been discontinued.

SUVs, then again, are being seen as a robust various, not solely providing increased volumes however profitability as nicely.

Broadly, the share of hatchbacks has come down from half to one-third of the market within the final 5 years. The market share of sedans has halved from 18% to about 8-9% in the identical timeframe, whereas UVs have grown from 25% to nearly 50%.

Globally, automobiles are getting larger, and in India, patrons are prepared to pay extra for premium fashions on account of low rates of interest and simple availability of finance.

The brand new technology Jazz or Metropolis hatch is over 4 metres and Honda Automobiles India doesn’t wish to tailor the identical for India volumes alone, folks within the know mentioned.

Equally, Volkswagen Polo’s size can be now greater than 4 metres, and Europe’s largest automobile maker is anticipated to concentrate on sedans and SUVs within the foreseeable future.

In response to ET’s e mail, a spokesperson for Honda Automobiles India mentioned that the Jazz and WR-V fashions have been a part of its product line-up, as each fashions enchantment to a selected viewers and a distinct segment buyer base.

“We’re persevering with to provide and promote them within the foreseeable future,” the spokesperson added.

The mannequin is prone to stay in manufacturing until the top of this 12 months, however output is within the low three digits. Honda is anticipated to cease manufacturing of the Jazz subsequent 12 months, folks within the know added.

Sturdy Section

Regardless of the exits, the phase will proceed to be dominated by the highest three gamers, mentioned Ravi Bhatia, president of Jato Dynamics India.

“The hatchback market is sustaining gross sales regardless of market fluctuation. That is one-third of the full Indian automobile market, so it’s clear that the phase will not be going anyplace in a rush,” Bhatia added.

In response to knowledge shared by Jato Dynamics, the share of non-podium gamers – the market excluding Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai Motor India and Tata Motors – within the hatchback area has come right down to lower than 9% on the finish of 2021 from 29% on the finish of 2012.

He expects the phase to account for a 3rd of the market and to develop by 14% within the subsequent 5 years, albeit at a decrease charge than SUVs.

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