Infographic: Sameer Pawar There was a time when owning a sedan, such as a Toyota Corolla, Chevrolet Optra or Honda Civic, was a big social statement. But with the surge in the SUV segment, the definition of a badaa gaadi has changed; sedans are no longer that fashionable. Research from IHS Automotive Consulting shows that as recently as 2011, sales figures for sedans stood at almost twice of today’s levels.
Even the recently launched Skoda Octavia, with four engine types at a price of Rs 16 lakh, met a lukewarm response. The decline can be attributed partly to the accessibility of SUVs. Locally assembled SUVs can compete with sedans on price and, with good ground clearance and more space, they are both a psychological and practical fit for Indian buyers, says Puneet Gupta, principal analyst of IHS. “Earlier car manufacturers were more focussed on sedans than SUVs,” he says. “The trends are changing. It is visible.” And this isn’t limited to India, it is happening globally; sedan customers are buying SUVs even in developed markets like Australia.