New Delhi:

India's largest selling car for 15 straight years, which is also its bestselling car historically, witnessed a steep 54.5 per cent fall in sales in August 2019 at just 10,123 units. This was Alto's lowest tally in a month since April 2004 when 9,350 units were dispatched to the dealers.


However, following that, it had become the country's best selling car for the first time in a month in May 2004 when its tally stood at 10,373 units against the then bestseller Maruti 800's 10,016 units. It was also the first fiscal (2003-04) when Alto went on to end Maruti 800's nearly two decade long hold at the top. It is a position it hasn't relinquished till date.


The crash in sales in August has seen Alto lose four slots to stablemates Dzire, Swift, WagonR and Baleno and drop down to number 5 in the bestseller's list for the month, another low since 2001. It is symptomatic of the consumer's shift in preference in India towards more feature-rich and powerful cars which has been aggravated by an unprecedented downturn in the overall automotive industry in the country.


The bestselling car for the month, Maruti Dzire, registered a 40 per cent decline in sales followed by Swift at 35 per cent, WagonR at 16.5 per cent and Baleno at 37.52 per cent. The only two cars in the list that bucked the trend were Maruti Eeco, which registered a 32.26 per cent growth at 8,658 units, and the Ertiga MPV, which posted a 139 per cent jump in sales at 8,391 units on the back of the refreshed version in November 2018 and the addition of a more premium variant in the XL6 last month.