Kochi: The sale of 6/7-seater multipurpose vehicles or MPVs which dithered in the SUV wave has rebounded.
Compared to 1,80,000-1,90,000 cars sold prior to Covid years, last year the sales in this category recorded a high of 2,60,000 vehicles. The share of MVP which was 6 per cent of the total vehicle market has now increased to 8.5 per cent.
n 2012-13 when there was mainly Toyota Innova in the market, the MPV category was just 2.5 per cent.
But with the coming in of the Maruti Ertiga, this category has grown further. With the entry of modernised Maruti Ertiga, Maruti XL6 and Renault Triber, the market grew to 6 per cent.
The launch of KIA Carens last year, there was further momentum in the growth. As many as 50,000 bookings were received for KIA Carens in just two months. The bookings for XL 6 launched by Maruti recently, crossed 8,500 within days.
Maruti Suzuki Executive Director Shashank Srivastava told Manorma that the MVPs acceptance grew as it could transform from a Taxi category vehicle to family car and lifestyle car.
KIA India sales marketing head Harpreet Singh said the practice of only young couples and children travelling together has changed. Now parents of the couples also accompany them on the weekend trips.
The facilities of MVPs are not the ones that were once aimed at the taxi-fleet category. KIA Carens and Maruti XL have modern features which are similar in appearance to stylish vehicles like SUVs (Sports Utility Vehicles). At the moment the vehicles in these categories are competing with the SUVS.
KIA Carens has even avoided the name "MVP" and now it is called a "recreational" vehicle. Renault India Sales and Marketing vice president Sudhir Malhotra told Manorama that Triber became popular among the customers because of flexibility to use the vehicle as a simple vehicle of two-layer seats and a big car of three-layer seats.
The success mantra of the MVPs will be to attract the customers who wish to buy an SUV. In 2019-20 the SUVs constituted 26 per cent of the total market. At present it's 40 per cent.