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Which is the largest selling car? Read the fine print

09-April-2005
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Which is the largest selling car? Read the fine print

Which is the largest selling car in India? Is it Santro, as Hyundai claimed in recent full-page newspaper advertisements? Or is it Alto? Or Indica as Tata Motors has declared in a press statement?

Hyundai Motor claimed in its advertisement that Santro sells more than any other car "made in India". Maruti quickly followed it up with its own advertisement that claimed that Alto is the largest selling car in the country. Tata Motors, which declared its sales figures on Thursday, says that Indica, which registered all-time high sales in March, is the largest selling compact car in the Rs 3-5 lakh price category.

Confused? Now read the fine print. While claiming that Santro sells more than any other car "made in India", Hyundai has included the export sales of the model.

The ad claims sales of 1,78,483 units (2004-05) that includes 75,182 units exported. But the break-up is in the fine print at the bottom of the full-page advertisement. And the company is indeed right when it claims Santro is the largest selling car "made in India" because the country is the global hub for the model which is not produced anywhere else.

Alto, at 1,26,223 units (2004-05) is indeed the largest in terms of volumes of any other model sold in the country.

It beats the leader till now, Maruti 800, which sold 1,16,262 units in 2004-05.

Now, where does that leave Indica? As Tata Motors rightly claims, it is the largest selling car in the Rs 3-5 lakh category with a volume of 1,05,521 units.

It beats the only other big volume model in that price range, Santro, that sold 1,03,301 units in the domestic market.

The three companies are right in their respective claims as their respective models come on top as per the definition given by them.

Analysts point out that consumers have to read between the lines as car manufacturers fight for their attention with innovative advertisements.

Alto comparing itself with Indica and Indica redefining its category and Santro redefining it further by including export figures are all part of the car wars in the market, they say.

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