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2018 was a bumper year for SUVs with a host of new vehicles premiering at Auto Expo and further on as the year passed. However, at the end of 2018, when the sales figures were finally tallied, one SUV stood head and shoulders above the rest of the crowd - the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza.
In the year 2018, Maruti Suzuki sold a total of 1,55,466 units of the Vitara Brezza sub-4-metre compact SUV. Such is the dominant grip of the Brezza on the SUV that its closest competitor in the SUV market, the Hyundai Creta sold nearly 35,000 fewer units in the same 12 month period. Hyundai, in the year 2018, sold a total of 120,905 units of the Creta, which was 34,561 units less than the Vitara Brezza.
2018 also saw sales of the Vitara Brezza rise by 10% compared to 2017 when Maruti sold 1,40,945 units of the compact SUV that debuted at Auto Expo 2016. The dominance of the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza in its own segment is almost comical.
The Vitara Brezza's two closest rivals in the sub-4-metre SUV segment of the Indian car market are the Tata Nexon and the Ford Ecosport. Tata Motors sold 52,519 units of the Nexon compact SUV in the 12 months of 2018. Ford, on the other hand, sold 51,973 units of the Ecosport, which underwent a facelift in 2017 and spawned an S variant in 2018, which is powered by the American carmaker's tiny 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine. Even when combined together, the sales numbers of the Ford and Tata SUVs still fall short of the Vitara Brezza by more than half a lakh units.
What makes the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza's numbers even more astounding is the fact that it is not offered with a petrol engine, something all of its rivals both larger in size (Creta) and in the same segment (Nexon and EcoSport) offer, with the ford offering two petrol burning powerplants.
Thoughts on the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza topping the SUV sales charts in 2018
The Vitara Brezza has shown that the popularity of the Maruti brand can help the carmaker dominate segments which traditionally would not be considered its stomping grounds.
The Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza though could be in for a tougher 2019 as Hyundai is readying the Styx compact SUV for launch sometime in the middle of the year. With Hyundai expected to keep prices of the Styx competitive and also offering a petrol engine option, Maruti will have to pull an ace out of their sleeves to continue its quest for dominance. Perhaps, we'll finally see the rumoured petrol Brezza finally putting its wheels down on Indian roads?