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Old 4th April 2013, 13:46   #1
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Default March 2013 : Indian Car Sales Figures & Analysis














NOTES:

1: Only cars that sell 500+ units (and thus, the relevant ones) have been included in the gainers & losers chart.

2: A big shout-out to parrys for preparing these beautiful charts & graphs!
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Old 4th April 2013, 13:46   #2
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Default Re: March 2013 : Indian Car Sales Figures & Analysis

Movers & Shakers

Being the last month of the Indian financial year, March usually sees a spike in demand from corporate houses & businessmen looking for depreciation benefits. No surprise that last month’s 2.43 lakh shipments were the highest in 12 months. Still, manufacturers aren’t entirely satisfied, simply because that’s a massive 37,000 cars lower than March 2012. Everyone works for year-on-year growth, some accept a flat year, but a shrinking market gets your goat.

An ICRA report states that dealers are reporting a worrisome drop in customer inquiry rates. This drop has been observed both in urban markets as well as in smaller towns and rural areas. ICRA says that profitability metrics of the industry will be impacted over the near term in view of:

(a) Higher expenses related to the launch of new models
(b) Increase in employee costs as several manufacturers have announced substantial wage hikes
(c) Likely sustenance of discounts-led sales push
(d) Restricted pricing power in the wake of intense competition.

Because of cars based on the Swift platform (Swift, Dzire & Ertiga) and the ever dependable Alto + WagonR, Maruti did the best it could, closing the month at 1.07 lakh dispatches. While that’s 5K units down from last March, the % fall is lower than the overall industry…Maruti actually gained market share points YOY. The Dzire is on a roll, touching a whopping 20,000 units, with Maruti clearly trying to minimize waiting periods of the diesel variant. After all, it’s finally met a formidable competitor in the Honda Amaze. The Ertiga crosses the 6,000 level after 3 months of trying. Its upcoming CNG variant should expand the customer base a little. Speaking of UVs, the Omni isn’t doing too bad for being a petrol-only 30 year old van.

Despite a smaller base, Hyundai also lost 5K cars year on year. In fact, the Korean giant didn’t realise any gains from the month of March, with overall sales being lower than Jan & Feb! Even though the Eon, i10, i20 and Verna put up a respectable show (as always), and the Elantra does lead the D1 sedan segment, Hyundai hasn’t expanded its product portfolio in tune with the times. The next-gen i10 diesel still isn’t here, and there is no compact SUV, sedan or MUV coming up in the near future either. Manufacturers that quickly adapt & react are kings of the future.

No year-on-year losses for Mahindra which continues to go from strength to strength. If you thought the Bolero had peaked, well, you were just plain wrong. The rugged UV sells near 12,000 copies in March! The Scorpio has a great month at 4.6K sales, but the XUV500 is no longer outselling its cheaper sibling. Mahindra ought to be concerned about the XUV’s slide for the 3rd month in a row. The Quanto is outsold by the bigger, more expensive Xylo after a long time. The premium Rexton is an unexpected success, second only to the indomitable Fortuner in the 20-lakh SUV category. For a niche 4x4, 700 units is a cause of celebration for the Thar.

Toyota is equally on a roll. One of the few manufacturers to record year-on-year gains, the big T has its best-ever month in India. Improvements to the Etios & Liva appear to be well-received and there is no stopping the Innova and Fortuner who attain all-time highs. Interesting to see how the Corolla demonstrates a massive improvement in performance, missing segment leadership by merely 2 units to the Elantra. I’m also pleasantly surprised by the Rs. 1 crore Landcruiser (my perennial favourite SUV) moving 30 pieces! The 1st April party sure must have run long into the night at Bidadi.

No such celebrations in Pune though, as Tata Motors loses 2/3rd of the sales volume from last year. March 2012 had 37,000 Tata cars shipped, March 2013 saw a mere 12,000. These are incredibly trying times for Tata. The competitive scenario has intensified and mess-ups of the past 3 – 5 years are catching up. It’s depressing to see a competent vehicle like the Aria move a mere 13 copies, and the brilliant Nano only 1,500. The Indica & Vista do bring some sunshine while the Sumo remains a consistent performer. The Storme doesn’t appear to have made any difference to the Safari range.

After struggling with under-utilization of its factory for a year, things are finally brightening up for Honda. The company has made use of its entire production capacity in March 2013. The Brio’s score of 4,000 is its best in 6 months. The City goes up to the No.2 spot in the C2 segment, defying the market’s obsession with oil-burners. As if to match, the Accord has quite a recovery too. We’ve bid adieu to two cars from Honda’s portfolio, the Civic and the Jazz. That’s not the real news though: The upcoming Honda Amaze is. Hope you’ve read our detailed review elsewhere on Team-BHP.

It’s nice to see the competent Beat climb back up to the 3,000 mark. The entry-level Sail sedan outsells its under-performing hatchback sibling for the 2nd month in a row. Both cars however look old and this doesn’t go well with the market. The Tavera remains one of Chevrolet’s most consistent performers. Yet, the company knows there is no real good news in these numbers. Chevrolet is very close to getting lost in the crowd and it’s going to take some marketing brilliance to get its otherwise competent products gain traction again. The Spark, Beat and Cruze have sold a fraction of what they did in the same month last year. Along with Tata, Chevrolet faces the biggest branding challenges.

Last year, Renault was second from last in the manufacturer rankings. This year, it’s moved up the grid to position no.8. What’s more, year on year volumes shoot up an astonishing 8 times! Reason? One word = Duster. The surprise performer from Renault’s portfolio is the Fluence which has recorded a sharp increase in volume, having outsold cars like the Cruze, Jetta and Laura. That’s quite a feat. The backseat-oriented Scala sees 4-digits for the first time in its life.

The all-rounded VW Vento goes past the 3K milestone after a long time. VW’s premium range of cars move up, with the Jetta, Passat and Touareg having a strong month. On the other hand, the Polo is missing a cylinder and records its 3rd month of decline. A cutting-edge TSI engine is coming up later in April, albeit pricey petrols don’t usually get far in India. While VW’s performance has improved over the recent couple of months, year-on-year growth is in decline. The brand has lost over 20% in volume.

Not much of a month for Ford and Nissan. Compared to March 2012 numbers, they’ve lost 42% & 64% respectively. Within Ford’s portfolio, the Figo is a respectable sales performer. For Nissan, there isn’t a single car that can be termed even as an average success.

Skoda’s numbers have dropped to a dismal average of 2,000 / month since July 2012. Trouble is, there are no signs of improvement. After spending 13 years in the country, the company doesn’t have 1% market share; later entrants like Renault & VW enjoy a share that’s 3 – 4 times higher. Tough times that call for tough measures, if you ask me.

There’s only one happy face at the back of the classroom and that’s Hindustan Motors! HM's report card shows year-on-year growth yet again. The vintage Ambassador and 20+ lakh Pajero Sport are doing well for their respective market positions. Whatever Fiat does, it just isn’t enough for the market.

Last edited by GTO : 4th April 2013 at 14:16.
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Old 4th April 2013, 13:47   #3
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Old 4th April 2013, 13:47   #4
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Old 4th April 2013, 13:47   #5
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Old 4th April 2013, 13:48   #6
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Old 4th April 2013, 13:56   #7
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Default Re: March 2013 : Indian Car Sales Figures & Analysis

Much awaited, which manufacturer held up the report?
Sales of the City an indication of maturing car market w.r.t fuel types. Petrol was always seen going up, now the market based pricing seems to have made sense to the buyers on settling price of petrol w.r.t crude. The steady increase in Diesel prices might have come to show the long term ownership concerns. TATA needs to work out. Surprise is Hyundai which seems to be tapering off, except for the Elantra. Clearly, they need to plug the gaps in their stable.
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Old 4th April 2013, 14:04   #8
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Default Re: March 2013 : Indian Car Sales Figures & Analysis

I would like to believe dealer inventories are currently at high on account of units being pushed by manufacturers to boost their numbers or trying to cut waiting periods considering up coming competition launches. Dzire and Duster are the case in point where the manufacturer has tried to cut waiting periods.

If you have an opportunity to talk to OEM suppliers, they will give you a very bleak story at this point. Production cuts are the order of the day as manufacturers are not lifting parts and are delaying payments.

I would also believe that employee costs are going to cause some stress. Typically unions will expect robust increases without keep the external environment in mind. With inventory piling up I guess the manufactures would not mind limited period of strike!

Cheers

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Old 4th April 2013, 14:04   #9
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Default Re: March 2013 : Indian Car Sales Figures & Analysis

Well crafted report, i was expecting blood bath on the numbers but they look decently good, and there are bright spots that one can see.

As the economy shrinks, people look for VFM investments/spends and some of the manufacturers who offer ultra-reliable cars/SUV's are getting benefited by this. That probably explains Skoda downfall (which would have happened sooner or later). Hope they learn and improve.

Rexton doing 400+ units, Storme doing 1K units, XUV doing 3K+ units, and at twice the price Fortuner doing 1700+ Units, says a lot about the masses love for the Car and possibly to the manufacturer as well.

The same is the story with Honda, as far as Honda cars are VFM and reliable i always felt and commented elsewhere (earlier) that they would bounce back in-spite of not having any Diesel lineup.

@GTO, your synopsis (Second post) is always a killer, i recall in one of the editions it was dropped, and on recommendation its consistently back again. Thank you for that.
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Old 4th April 2013, 14:06   #10
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Default Re: March 2013 : Indian Car Sales Figures & Analysis

Thanks GTO, for this great analysis. It has become a staple diet for all auto enthusiasts.
Mahindra is still holing its 3rd position strongly. Honda is also closing in at 6th postion. April we might see a new number 5 - Honda, with he launch of Amaze and a high anticipated demand. I foresee a new number 5 in April.
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Old 4th April 2013, 14:14   #11
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Default Re: March 2013 : Indian Car Sales Figures & Analysis

I find something seriously interesting in Petrol nos. for Vento and Polo - they are not very far behind their diesel counterparts. Which is in sharp contrast to the other diesel and petrol numbers in the list. Even Rapid Petrol manages to score only 227, and significantly less than Rapid Diesel. And some tell me that Rapid petrol is somewhat better to drive than a Vento petrol.

Wonder why - better equipment levels on the VW cars?
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Old 4th April 2013, 14:16   #12
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Default Re: March 2013 : Indian Car Sales Figures & Analysis

Surprises:
1) Sail Sedan picking up
2) VW Vento selling more than Indigo+Manza combined and grabbing the 3rd spot in C2 sedan segment
3) Etios, Polo, vento finding a decent 1000+ buyers!
4) Renualt Koleos giving a tough fight to Tata Aria
This is my first comment on the sales figure thread!

Last edited by turbospooler : 4th April 2013 at 14:36. Reason: Added point 4
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Old 4th April 2013, 14:20   #13
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Default Re: March 2013 : Indian Car Sales Figures & Analysis

20K Dzire and almost 20K Swifts ? Amaze is surely going to leave a big dent on the Maruti.

I always felt Hyundai is reluctant with new models, no wonder their sales are flat. At least i expected more from 2nd largest manufacturer who has good dealership and service network as well. All they need is a compact sedan, Mini SUV and a MUV and though we are hearing about it now, what were they doing couple of years back ?

More indians are now jumping one segment higher, which is why WagonR, i10 sales are less than premium Hatches.
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Old 4th April 2013, 14:20   #14
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Default Re: March 2013 : Indian Car Sales Figures & Analysis

Great review and the much awaited thread finally comes.

Renault - DUSTER - One product wonder. A few more months and intresting to watch the sales figures after the Eco Sport launch. Scala and Fluence chip in too.

MM & Toyota - Moving up when most on a downward slide. Refreshed Etios for Toyota and SUV's from M&M doing the job!

GM - New launches doesnt excite the market.

Skoda - Nothing happening here, Rapid deserves to see more numbers or is it the New Octavia that would save Skoda?

VW- Seems flat in sales with a cyclic volume change in months between Polo and Vento. The TSI is not expected to bring in numbers, need the Taigun as early as 2014.

Honda- Great recovery and would grow further with the realese of AMAZE.

HM- Ambassadors selling more than Linea and Punto combined

Maruti Suzuki - Hats off to the marketing gurus -comendable market gainat the expense of TATA's, etc

Cheers!

Last edited by volkman10 : 4th April 2013 at 14:42.
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Old 4th April 2013, 14:22   #15
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Default Re: March 2013 : Indian Car Sales Figures & Analysis

Fantastic report as usual GTO, Many thanks for publishing it.
Out of curiosity would you want to run the past 3 year analysis since this is the financial year ending? That should really help us get a handle on how big our Indian Automobile Industry is and the growth of it. Might not be tough from what I can consider.

Appears that Maruti is still holding onto the numbers and I believe it will be tough to dislodge the Swift platform cousins. With Amaze coming up, it will be an interesting battle to the top but I think Swift DZire will still retail around 15-16K month on month due to their better reach across India and B-Towns/Cities.

Also the with XUV on a downward spiral (Second month in the coming)is it the beginning of an end to the premium status it holds? Think the budget's policies might have been harsh on it.

Last edited by ku69rd : 4th April 2013 at 14:25.
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