Maruti Alto retained its top position amongst cars for the fifth straight year in 2008-09, but there have been widespread changes in the pecking order beneath it.
Nine-year-old Altos contemporaries, Indica and Santro, suffered at the hands of its siblings Wagon R and Swift to relinquish the 2nd and 4th positions, respectively. Maruti now has five models in the top 10 and three in the top 5 best selling cars of 2008-09 in the domestic industry.
The performance of the cars by and large mirrors that of the companies during the year. While the i10, which was launched late in 2007, has been a success and finds itself in the fifth position, has eaten into Santros marketshare which has for the first time in a decade slipped out of the top five.
The two major gainers during the year remain the Swift, which is now selling more than some of its lower priced competitors, and the Dzire. The latter is now the undisputed leader in mid size sedans displacing the Honda City and has expanded its predecessor Esteems presence in the segment.
Maruti, however, also figures prominently in the list of laggards with its Zen Estilo and the once hot selling SX4 losing their sheen during the year.
Hondas Civic also lost its numero uno position in the executive A4 segment to arch rival Toyota Corolla. There are some surprises in the sports utility vehicle segment with the Endeavour and CR-V retaining their top two positions, while new entrant Chevrolet Captiva has captured the third spot ahead of Mitsubishi Pajero.