The green lobby may see them as giant polluters, but SUVs have powered their way into the Indian passenger vehicles industry, accounting for one out of every four new vehicles sold in the market. The data for vehicle sales, released by industry grouping Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, shows the growing clout of SUVs and utility vehicles when it comes to new purchases, a trend that seems to be getting stronger with each passing year. Against a 14 per cent share in the overall passenger vehicle sales at the end of March 2010, the same has crossed 25 per cent at the end of March this year. The pace of growth in the demand for SUVs — where diesel is the preferred engine option — has been nothing short of spectacular. SUV sales shot up by 30 per cent in 2016-17, a remarkable performance when compared to the 4 per cent growth in sales of cars. "SUVs are a global trend and very much liked in India as well. The large and varied spread of the country, with strong challenges when it comes to road infrastructure, makes them a necessity when one wants a stronger, safer and high-seating vehicle," said Rakesh Srivastava, senior VP (sales & marketing), at Hyundai India.