Maruti Suzuki Alto and Hyundai Eon in an epic battle since 9 months
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The rivalry between the Maruti Suzuki Alto and Hyundai Eon has been an epic one. Both the cars have been competing fiercely with each other since nine months without much outcome. However, the competition which begun quite furiously has dampened over the time. Ironically, the toughest competition posed to the best-selling Alto by Eon was only in October 2011. With more than 6,000 units sold during the first two weeks of the said month, Eon rattled the sales of Alto as the latter registered its lowest ever figures in the last three years. Alto's sales dropped to less than 20,000 units for the first time in the whole year. It was then that the speculations regarding Eon being capable of overstepping Alto gained momentum.
However, the reality was far from the speculations as it was only in February 2012 that the Eon clocked sales in five digits. It continued with the poor performance and sold 7,000 units on an average every month after selling a record 12,500 units in March 2012. Meanwhile, Alto has been consistently generating sales volume, which is three times than that of its rival. The rise in the petrol prices is major factor behind the failure of Hyundai's car. Alto too went through a bad phase when it sold far less than its highest volume of 32,000-35,000 in a month.
In case the fuel prices remained stable, majority of buyers in India would have thought over replacing their two-wheelers with a car. This would have benefited Eon; however, since the customers postponed their plans to go for a car, the assumptions went wrong. Hiked petrol prices was not the only woe for the Eon, since its rival from Maruti Suzuki has been selling over 20,000 units every month with more than 30,000 units sold in February and March 2012. What went against the South Korean car maker was the price of its small car. Even though the basic variant of the car could be bought for just Rs. 2.7 lacs, the car was devoid of any noteworthy features in its three bottom variants. Only when the customers spent Rs. 3.11 lacs, they got both the options of power steering and air conditioner.
This was the main factor that went against Hyundai Eon and created negative sentiments about the car. The company realised the mistake as well but by then it was too late to rectify. Hyundai did try to heal up by launching a feature-loaded new variant at a price of less than Rs. 3 lacs; however, it did not help it much. The auto maker had to invest a huge amount of money in the market and was required to promote the vehicle as well. Just when the things were starting to look bright for the car, the recent massive price hike of petrol applied brakes on its progress.
In Indian market, it is a norm that if a new launch fails to gain momentum in the beginning itself, it only faces hardship then onwards. Hyundai Eon was no exception, in spite of being a contemporary, performance oriented and feature packed car in its respective segment. Now that the Maruti Suzuki is considering replacing the Alto with an all-new 800 cc car, it would not be an exaggeration to say that Hyundai Eon may not get the desired attention.
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