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Old 3rd September 2013, 18:48   #1
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Default August 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!
3: Negative numbers for the Chevrolet Tavera are because of the recall.
4: Hyundai hasn't shared the i10 Grand's petrol : diesel split yet.
5: HM isn't sharing the Ambassador's numbers.

Last edited by GTO : 3rd September 2013 at 19:15.
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Old 3rd September 2013, 19:07   #2
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Default Re: August 2013 : Indian Car Sales Figures & Analysis

Movers & Shakers

The rupee is at its weakest point in history. That, combined with customer resistance to big ticket purchases, tight liquidity & super expensive fuel means a lukewarm market size of 180,000 units. In a move that's reflective of economic conditions, banking giant & rural India leader - SBI - announced yesterday that it's made the requirements stiffer for car loan aspirants (Link (Earn at least 6 Lakh / Year for an SBI Car Loan)). Understandably, no one is in a good mood inside the auto industry. New product launches (e.g. EcoSport, Amaze) or heavy discounting is what keeps cars moving off showroom floors right now. In such an environment though, it's always the weaker manufacturers who suffer the most.

Important to mention that two-wheeler manufacturers such as Hero MotoCorp, Honda & Yamaha have recorded growth in August 2013. Potential first-time car owners might be sticking it out with bikes for now.

The industry keeps asking for stimulus from the Central Government, but we all know that's not going to happen anytime soon. The Auto Industry always receives step-motherly treatment from Delhi. In the short-term, only Dusshera & Diwali will give the brands some more customers to serve. Fact is, they've already started stuffing dealer pipelines in anticipation of the festive season.

Ignore Maruti's press release bragging about the Y-O-Y growth rate; there was a plant shutdown in August 2012 (due to labour troubles). July & August 2012 are the lowest points of the last year for Maruti, a company most representative of the market slump. From the high of the Jan - March quarter, sales have completely tanked May 2013 onward. The Alto's numbers remain below the 20K mark, indicating how a sluggish economy affects the lower middle class. On the other hand, the Swift, Dzire & WagonR haven't suffered as much and extract the maximum possible of the current economy. Maruti is trying the Swift's formula of style + VFM + FE with the WagonR Stingray and I have a feeling this strategy is going to work out for them. Businesses are cutting costs big time, this shows in the average sales of the Omni & Eeco. Except for January, the Ertiga has never crossed the 6000 - 7000 target that its maker had hoped for. The facelift & practicality don't help the struggling Ritz and SX4 at all. Not much left to say about duds like the A-Star, Estilo & overpriced CBUs here.

Hyundai is the sole top 5 manufacturer to record a Y-O-Y increase, however marginal it might be. The fresh, high-quality product line-up continues to woo buyers from urban & rural areas alike. The Eon, i20 & Verna record their best month in 3. The premium i20 & Elantra put up a respectable show too. We have a new entrant on the list, the i10 Grand. Let's see how the market responds to a small Hyundai diesel. On the flip side, the Santro is starting to lose breath against more contemporary launches, while the flopped Sonata can't even maintain its minimum of 20 / month. End of the road for the Accent....and rightly so.

Mahindra is taking a hit from poor demand in the commercial, taxi & rural segments. As is the case with Maruti, July & August are the low points for M&M. Compared to last August, Mahindra has seen over a quarter of its volumes shaved off. Although hit, the Bolero retains the crown of the best selling UV in India, and the Scorpio runs reasonably well in these trying times. Lowered ground clearance & a marginal price reduction bring a slight recovery for the XUV500. While a 2.2K month is neat for a 15 lakh rupee Mahindra, it's still a far cry from the demand that the XUV500 enjoyed earlier. Obviously, few people want a Verito, and the market completely shuns the ugly Xylo, Quanto & Verito Vibe. How does Mahindra come up with these hideous designs anyway? The lifestyle segment isn't as sensitive as the others : Notice how the Thar has submitted its best report card of the year.

Toyota loses ~2000 cars year-on-year, yet manages to close the best month since March 2013. The company's success in the utility vehicle segment (Innova, Fortuner) is just not replicated in the B2 hatchback (Liva) & C1 sedan (Etios) space. The "T" on the bonnet isn't enough, buyers want modern, higher quality products like the i20, Dzire etc. The Corolla remains as dependable a performer as its mechanicals are, with 395 shipments in August. 13 lucky owners will bring home a Landcruiser 200 soon, although I'm not surprised to see the Prado with a big fat zero. I remember the Prado as a 50 lakh SUV, when on earth did it become a 1 crore (on-road price) vehicle??!! The Audi Q5 & Mercedes M-Class are significantly cheaper.

Tata loses 50% of its sales volume year-on-year and the once regular no. 3 is now at 5th position in the Indian car scene. It's only the Indica / Vista & the Indigo / Manza sisters that give the dealers some work to do. The Nano's breakeven point is 20,000 units / month. It's currently at 10% that, and most definitely a loss maker. The Nano might be the cheapest car in the world, yet it's turned out too expensive for its manufacturer. Unlikely that the Aria will ever recover from the optimistic price & positioning blunder, not even massive discounts move the premium UV. Customers turn their back on the ageing Safari & Storme as well. What really keeps Tata Motors running isn't the passenger car division, it's Jaguar Land Rover & Commercial vehicles.

Last month, Honda was at no. 5 in the market and this month, they're at no. 6. This must come as a huge relief to the company which saw rank 9 - 11 regularly at one time. Honda has a max production capacity of 10,000 units, and final assembly / logistics see them alternating between the 9K & 11K level for the last 4 months. With 6,200 shipments, the Amaze is India's second best-selling sedan (after the Dzire) and chews through its order backlog. Relative to its segment, the CR-V is Honda's other good performer with 148 deliveries. However, the Brio & City are severely underperforming. Team-BHP recently confirmed that the City AT's production has stopped. I had initially doubted that Honda would prioritise the Amaze's production over the more profitable City, but it cannot be ruled out. Meanwhile, the Accord sees a surge in sales, outselling all competitors except the indomitable Skoda Superb.

A mixed bag of results at Ford. On the one hand, August 2013 has been their best month in over a year, with 8000+ dispatches. Then, the EcoSport has a waiting list that runs as long as a year for some variants! That said, all other Ford cars are missing the mark. The Figo falls to a shocking 2,200 units, and the dated Fiesta Classic appears to be losing favour in the market too. The new Fiesta is a write-off. Recent news developments suggest that Ford is planning an extremely well-priced facelift version in the coming months. Too little, too late? Only time will tell.

The sales improvement of the Beat Diesel & (to an extent) the Enjoy is the only bit of good news for Chevrolet. It's latest launches - the Sail hatchback & sedan - see a scorecard in the 3 digits. What I'm surprised with is this : Even the Cruze - once a top performer in the D1 segment - is now outsold by nearly all competitors (Elantra, Corolla, Laura). The Spark, a cash cow at one time, is merely a speck in the rear-view mirror of its competitors. With the allegations of fudged emission reports, fired executives, product recalls and production interruptions, it's challenging times at General Motors India. Honestly, I think the situation for Chevrolet is as tricky as the one Tata Motors finds itself in. A complete overhaul is the only way forward. Both companies are rather directionless right now. The reason you see a minus sign for the Tavera is the recall (more cars coming in than going out). Chevrolet has lost only 10% year on year, but that's because of the slew of new launches providing a temporary impetus. Doesn't look sustainable.

The VW Polo holds firm at the 3,000 level it's gotten used to, as does the Vento at 1700 - 1800. Okay, but far from good. A tough month for the Jetta, which has outsold only the unknown Renault Fluence from the D1 segment. Das Auto must be finding the Indian market tougher to crack than originally envisaged. With no blockbuster products in the pipeline, things aren't expected to change in the short term. While they're waiting for new cars, I suggest working on improvements in dealer service quality & product reliability.


Renault's star / only performer, the Duster, is feeling the heat from rivals. The SUV has seen its volumes consistently fall over the last couple of months. Sales are about 1/2 of what they were earlier this year. Renault did price the 110PS variant higher than it should have, and the mismanaged dealers didn't make the customer experience any better either. In a poll between the EcoSport & Duster (500+ votes), 76% of BHPians chose the Ford (link (Ford EcoSport versus Renault Duster)). Competition is going to intensify with several other compact SUVs on the way, including the Nissan Terrano. Renault will have to come up with a pretty mean trick to bring the Duster back in contention. Unsurprisingly, the Pulse & Scala remain miserable performers in their respective segments.

Look at Nissan's numbers in the manufacturer charts and the sheer inconsistency is eye-popping. In 2013 alone, the company has doubled & halved its numbers multiple times. And year on year, the company has lost a whopping 40% of volume. Of 5 candidates from Nissan, the Micra is the only one to avoid a red remark this month. Albeit at 1,500 units in the B2 segment, that's not saying too much, is it? Click here (Nissan India : The Way Forward) to read an interesting discussion on all that's wrong with Nissan India and importantly, what they need to do.

Skoda hits a new low with merely 1,300 cars rolling out of the factory. Fiat - the perpetual backbencher - is only 300 cars behind (with a fraction of the showrooms + product range). Right now though, the mood must be pretty upbeat in the Skoda office. They have the Octavia lined up for release later in September. Skoda understands the potential of this car, if it carries a reasonable price tag. Still, one successful Octavia can't make up for the under-performers of its portfolio. For starters, they need to figure out how to bring the Rapid back into the game. Can they? Will they?

Fiat sales are actually on a climb! For the first time in a year, the company has seen 4 digits on the dispatch sheet. Nevertheless, Fiat remains a marginal player in India. HM is unwilling to share Ambassador numbers just yet, though the BSIV version (link) will undoubtedly expand its market spread. Remember, the ol' lady does manage to outsell newer competition from time to time. Must say, the Pajero Sport has an impressive month if you consider the limited dealer & marketing support behind it.

Last edited by GTO : 3rd September 2013 at 19:11.
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Old 3rd September 2013, 19:11   #3
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Old 3rd September 2013, 19:12   #4
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Old 3rd September 2013, 19:12   #5
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Old 3rd September 2013, 19:13   #6
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Old 3rd September 2013, 19:18   #7
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Default Re: August 2013 : Indian Car Sales Figures & Analysis

GTO, great analysis as always. Really do not understand the reason for the numbers of the ALTO. There are much better cars out there for a few more with better features and the works! I guess the price point is what makes it attractive and the first time average buyer.

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Old 3rd September 2013, 19:50   #8
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Default Re: August 2013 : Indian Car Sales Figures & Analysis

Its out finally!
Although negligible I;d be keen to know how many Force One SUV are getting sold.
With Terrano in picture, Duster is only going to suffer more.
Tata appear to have lost the game. I don;t know what costs them to give up the Indica theme of their new cars.

Agree completely with the view that Mahindra has made few of the most hideous vehicles in the form of Xylo and Quanto.
Sometimes I wonder is it so difficult to understand what a good looking design is?
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Old 3rd September 2013, 19:57   #9
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Default Re: August 2013 : Indian Car Sales Figures & Analysis

Really tough times for the Auto Industry and it doesn't look like the situation is going to get any better soon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
They have the Octavia lined up for release later in September. Skoda understands the potential of this car, if it carries a reasonable price tag. Still, one successful Octavia can't make up for the under-performers of its portfolio.
The D1 sedan segment has shrunk from around 2,200 units in August 2012 to about 1,300 units in August 2013. Skoda will be foolish to think that the Octavia will turn around its fortunes in India. I mean even if its a super hit, how many units will it add up to? 300 to 400 at the best.

Luring the C+ sedan buyer to ditch the fully loaded Verna or City with a bare bones entry level Octavia won't be easy and the SUV buyer is not even looking at sedans.
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Old 3rd September 2013, 20:05   #10
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Default Re: August 2013 : Indian Car Sales Figures & Analysis

Fantastic report GTO. Your wit, humour and sardonic comments bring up a huge smile on my face. On a seperate note, I'm extremely dissapointed to hear about the Fiesta Twins. Both are excellent cars and deserve much better sales. I understand the new Fiesta is over priced, but the older one is very competitively priced. Is it going to go the Accent way? Only time will tell.....
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Old 3rd September 2013, 20:33   #11
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Sharp analysis indeed GTO . It seems that facelift Sumo Gold is working. Monthly sale has been massively increased by 61 % compared to July 2013. Still facelift Sumo gold has not been launched in some states. It is possible that it will cross monthly mark of 3000 units in a few months.
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Old 3rd September 2013, 20:37   #12
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The most awaited thread of the month is finally released !!

Considering the fact that the past few months have been really harsh on the auto industry, with continuously increasing fuel prices, high interest rates and a falling rupee, the numbers seem to be somewhat OK. Thanks GTO for the wise words, they have been really missed in the previous sales threads.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post

Fiat sales are actually on a climb! For the first time in a year, the company has seen 4 digits on the dispatch sheet. Nevertheless, Fiat remains a marginal player in India.
Good to see one of my favorite brands rising from the ashes. 1000+ dispatches for the Italian brand is a commendable number and I wish Fiat all the very best for the future.
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Old 3rd September 2013, 20:39   #13
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Default Re: August 2013 : Indian Car Sales Figures & Analysis

Thanks GTO and Parrys, for the super quick report.

Another clear example for only new launches and value proposition can win customers!

Steady gainers and performers: Enjoy, Ecosport, Amaze, Eon.

Losers: Tavera, Figo, City, i20, Santro, Verna, Bolero, Quanto, XUV, Xylo, DZire, Ertiga, Ritz, Duster, Indica, Indigo.
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Old 3rd September 2013, 20:50   #14
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Default Re: August 2013 : Indian Car Sales Figures & Analysis

Excellent comprehensive report, gives us all the information we need to make a buying decision, month on month.

Tata is in a downward spiral,but seem already given up the race. M&M should learn from this lest they would be the next to have a similar fall.

Ecosport peaking at 5K numbers , thought would be more could be production limitations.

VW sees some positive figures, Polo doing better than the previous month, TSI effect? but a different story at Skoda. Need the Octavia released at the right price to rake up numbers.

And finally great show by Maruti Suzuki holding on to the top 4 positions given the current market conditions.

Cheers!
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Old 3rd September 2013, 20:59   #15
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Default Re: August 2013 : Indian Car Sales Figures & Analysis

Thanks GTO and Parrys, a very good compilation as usual. Also, the data arrived much quicker compared to rest of 2013 so far.

I must confess that I was fooled by Maruti PR eyewash and actually felt they had a very good Y-o-Y growth - until GTO reminded us about last year's shutdown. Overall no winners this month around across the industry!

SBI putting the block on easy car loans may cause other banks to follow the practice and may push automotive market deeper into crisis. Does anyone know if auto-related NPAs of SBI were going up significantly? I'll try to find out.
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