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Vans buck trend to top auto charts

Vans recorded the highest sales volume in the Indian market in five years with 2.2 lakh units finding buyers, against 1.9 lakh units in FY18.

Apr 12, 2019, 09.00 AM IST
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Vans mostly run on CNG fuel and can seat up to eight passengers, offering the best cost per passenger for public transport.
MUMBAI: There’s a surprise winner in the struggling Indian passenger vehicles market: vans, which emerged as the fastest growing class of passenger vehicles in the just-concluded fiscal with an annual growth of 13%.

Vans recorded the highest sales volume in the Indian market in five years with 2.2 lakh units finding buyers, against 1.9 lakh units in FY18.

The charge was led by market leader Maruti Suzuki that sold 1.8 lakh units of its Omni and Eeco vans, accounting for 82% market share — highest for a company in any of the major sub-segments in the Indian automotive industry. Mahindra and Mahindra and Tata Motors accounted for 8% and 10% share of the segment, respectively, with their products like Mahindra Gio, Supro, and Tata Venture.

Overall passenger vehicle sales growth slowed to a five-year low of 2.7% in FY19 at 3.4 million units, as per industry body Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers.

Vans mostly run on CNG fuel and can seat up to eight passengers, offering the best cost per passenger for public transport.

“It is used extensively by people who are doing trips to the mountains or to other destinations for pilgrimage because it has a lot of space…it is economical,” R C Bhargava, chairman of Maruti Suzuki, told ET.

A lack of options from the competition and increasing penetration in major cities in public transportation helped Omni and Eeco grow their sales. The Omni registered a growth of 8% while the Eeco grew at 23%.
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