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Old 5th March 2014, 21:37   #1
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Default February 2014 : Indian Car Sales Figures & Analysis


1. Thanks to the team at Management Punditz for sharing these sales numbers with us!

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

3. A big shout-out to Parrys for preparing the beautiful charts & graphs.
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Old 5th March 2014, 21:41   #2
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Default Re: February 2014 : Indian Car Sales Figures & Analysis

The Movers & Shakers

"Whew, at least things are the same as in Feb '13" - That seems to be the sentiment in a good number of automotive HQs. For 7 months of the current financial year, cumulative auto sales have been in the sub-200k region. The size of the market in Feb 2014 is identical to that of a year back. Leave aside growth, some manufacturers are happy with maintaining the same Y-O-Y numbers (Maruti, Hyundai, Tata). One brand has significantly grown its share of the pie (Honda), but a majority have lost out (Mahindra, Toyota, Chevy, Renault, VW). Unsurprisingly, the market-share losers are those who haven't launched new blockbuster cars. An aging product line will only take you so far.

Still, the industry does have stuff to look forward to. For one, there was the hugely welcome cut in excise duty (link). Then, the month of March typically sees the highest sales of any calendar year, due to businesses being eager to claim depreciation benefits. While the short-term outlook is positive, the medium-term isn't. We're going to continue seeing cut throat competition in a flattened market over the next financial year.

Maruti has actually gained market share points in this scenario. The giant has 6 cars in the top 10 list, while its cumulative sales are more than the next 6 OEMs (Hyundai through Ford) combined. Star performers like the Alto, Swift & Dzire continue going from strength to strength and the petrol-only WagonR & Omni are doing a pretty good job for themselves. The Celerio has generated a fair amount of interest in the market, thanks in no small part to that Automated Manual Transmission (long time since we saw something innovative come from Maruti). 7,300 shipments for Maruti's latest is excellent, although we reserve final verdict until we have some more months of data. Compared to its earlier run, the Ertiga's score card is above average, although the real disappointment is the Ritz. It is practical, has a diesel too, but the hatchback is fast losing favour on the street. Maruti is on the right track by getting rid of the perennial duds (Estilo, A-Star, Kizashi, 800) so that managers can spend their time on more important matters (err...cars). On the flip side, Maruti sure is taking its own sweet time in replacing the SX4 with the YL1 (link).

A fresh product line-up helps Hyundai with the 2nd best sales of the current financial year, and keep overall numbers the same on the Y-O-Y charts. In the time that VW has stuck it out with the Polo & Vento, Hyundai went ahead with a slew of launches (Eon, Grand i10, i20 facelift, Verna, Elantra, Sonata, Santa Fe). Then, there's the upcoming Xcent budget sedan & all-new i20 too. The Eon trots along with its highest sales in 6 months @ 7312; respectable, but far from the 12,000 target Hyundai had internally. The Grand i10 is the company's best-seller, thanks to the diesel option. The Elantra is the king of the D1 sedan segment (new Octavia notwithstanding), and the i10 & Santro aren't doing too bad @ 4k each, considering their vintage. However, the i20 is no longer the 6000 - 7000 consistent performer it once was & the Verna - while still no.2 in the C2 segment - is clearly facing the heat from the new Honda City. Let's wait & watch on the difference made by the fresh CX variant. The new Sonata remains the flop it always was. Unless there is a diesel option, no one is going to give it a 2nd look. Early days yet for the superb new Santa Fe, we'll be keeping a close eye on its performance.

Mahindra loses 20% volume year on year and ~1300 cars month on month. Not a good sign. Where the Bolero thunders past the 9,000 mark and the Scorpio procures 4,500 customers (despite an ageing design and a facelift in the pipeline), the Xylo, Quanto & Verito bring Mahindra's YOY losses. The Xylo & Quanto are well-priced, spacious and have fuel-efficient motors. They sell poorly because of design & marketing department failures. Verito & Vibe? Sooner they R-I-P, the better. From 2013 onward, the XUV500 hasn't been able to touch the 4,000 level it once managed reliably, month after month. Fair enough, considering that the order backlog has been cleared. I think it's quite an achievement for Mahindra to sell 3,000 copies of the premium-priced SUV. There isn't a SINGLE manufacturer out there which sells 3K units of a 10+ lakh product in India....till date. For a relatively unmarketed vehicle from an unknown brand, the Rexton is doing decently well, outselling the likes of the Endeavour, CR-V and Captiva on multiple occasions.

Say hello to the new no.4, Honda (last year's position = No. 8). Jan & Feb also mark the highest ever sales in the company's Indian history. It's new Rajasthan plant has allowed the company to move 15,000 cars to its dealers. The Honda City - now in a stronger position due to the diesel engine & enhanced equipment levels - outsells all of its C2-sedan competitors combined. 7,200 units also makes it the best ever month for the City nameplate in India. Next up is the Amaze which sees quite a correction in its volume @ 6,000 units (compared to the last 6 month's average). The Brio however, is an absolute laggard. I have a feeling Honda is prioritizing sales of the more profitable City over the Amaze & Brio. If that isn't the case, the Brio is slowly becoming a flop. With the Accord & Civic discontinued, Honda has sent out a clear message that it's focus is on volumes...thereby the 10 lakh & lower segments. The company isn't running out of new launches either. The 7-seater MUV, next-generation Jazz and compact SUV are all in the pipeline.

Tata has actually gained 700 cars Y-O-Y & 350 M-O-M, most of it driven by the Nano. While still short of its potential, we are seeing the Nano between the 2200 - 2500 level after a long time (2013 average = 1537). Perhaps, the facelift has helped a little? Tata's entire product range is full of under-performers. The Indica & Vista bring in 3,800 sales together, while the Indigo & Manza get 2,700 odd. The Sumo sells a fraction of what the Bolero manages, and the Storme has done nothing to the Safari's overall sales. The Aria is Tata's best car yet. Pity that the pricing & MUV body style relegated it to the back of the class. Seeing the XUV's sales, I can only wonder how the Aria would have performed if it wore contemporary SUV clothes.

For 4 months now, Toyota has seen its sales hover around the 10,000 mark (Feb 2013 = 12,756). The decade-old Innova is a major success at 5,000 units; it has however lost about 1,300 private owner sales each month (2012 average = 6,300) to newer UV competitors (Ertiga, Duster, EcoSport, Terrano). The Fortuner remains unbeatable @ 1,554 dispatches, outselling all 25 lakh competitors combined, thrice over. It's a sad story with non-UV Toyotas though. The Liva & Etios remain awful performers, comprehensively beaten by modern competitors offering better quality at the same price. 1200 units is the worst the Liva has seen yet, and it's this close to being badged as a flop. The 10th gen Corolla's innings have come to an end. The 11th gen will go on sale soon.

It's difficult to understand Ford's strategy for India. On the one hand, it launches a fantastic product at a great price (i.e. EcoSport). Then, despite the year long waiting period & pent up demand, it doesn't deliver too many locally, instead routing a chunk of EcoSport production toward exports!! Feb '14 saw a measly 3,490 EcoSports being delivered to Indian dealers. Shocking, Ford should take a leaf out of Hyundai & Honda books. Observe how the Koreans & Japanese ramped up production to clear the Grand i10 & Amaze order books. The Figo has its best month in 5 at 3,100 cars, yet the ol' hatchback isn't up to a fight with newer competition. The next-gen Figo couldn't be coming anytime sooner. All those specials & deals are doing nothing to the Fiesta Classic's sales, not even a 1.6L 100 BHP engine for Rs. 4.99 lakhs. The new Fiesta's production has stopped to make way for the facelift that's due anytime now. This appears to be the case with the Endeavour as well. The grapevine has it that Ford will be launching the Fiesta facelift at a totally VFM price.

To say that Arvind Saxena - new Chevy bossman - has his work cut out would be an understatement. Like Tata, Chevrolet is a severe under-performer in the market. A complete overhaul of the company (branding, dealers, sales & marketing etc.) is the order of the day. After working for 20 years in India, GM India sells merely 5,600 cars in a month! The funky Beat is the only model bringing in some numbers, but 2,415 sales is hardly something to write home about for a diesel B-segmenter. The Tavera is a shadow of its former self, while the Cruze is far from the D1-sedan leader it once was. The Sail sedan & hatchback siblings are now officially flops and it's probably time to pull the curtains on the Spark. In less than a year since introduction, the Enjoy MPV has seen its sales cut by half. GM has been losing crores of rupees in India and FY 2013-14 is no different (link (Chevrolet's losses at Rs. 1598 crores in India)).

Renault moved 6,700 cars last Feb. In 2014? Only 4,100. The French brand is a one-trick pony with a single product (out of 5) contributing to 80% of its volumes. Not that the Duster is complaining. Selling 3,300 copies is no mean feat, especially after the introduction of the Terrano & EcoSport. The rest of the portfolio is a write-off; only the Pulse brings home some noticeable numbers.

VW is suffering from an aging portfolio. The identical-looking Polo & Vento were launched way back in 2010! Since then, the German company has had no new mass-market products to offer. Except for a couple of expensive variants (GT TDIs & TSIs), the company can't do much. This reflects in their poor sales performance. Bad news is, the next generation is still some time away & VW has put a freeze on India investments for the time being. The brand still has immense pull in India. See how the Jetta has outsold the Octavia & Cruze to the no.2 spot in the D1 segment. Prior to the launch of the Polo, then-aggressive VW went on record to claim that the VAG market share in India will touch 10% by 2015. Fat chance of that happening without fresh, relevant products.

Nissan is in the midst of a catfight with its erstwhile dealer-outsourcing partner, Hover India (link). The matter has gone to court and dealers are in a fix; they don't know whether to report to Nissan or Hover!!! The entire episode was poorly managed by Nissan. Such issues ought to be resolved behind closed doors, not out in the public's watchful eye. Dealer dispatches will obviously fall in this confusion, with Nissan's cumulative sales being the lowest since the Terrano's introduction. It's quite a mess that will take a while to sort out. Definitely not the welcome Datsun was hoping for ('Go' hatchback's official review coming up).

Skoda should sort out its production constraints at the earliest. The Octavia has an order backlog (waiting period) and it's being outsold by the ol' Jetta! Inexplicable why production fell from 300 - 400 units in Oct - Nov to 122 units in Feb 2014. The Superb facelift has a rocking start with 223 dispatches. That's the highest this luxo-barge has seen in nearly 2 years! Not much else happening at Skoda. The company has worsened its already poor position from a year ago (current sales = 1315, last year = 1596). If Fiat - with its poor reputation, old line-up and small dealer network - would have sold 14 more cars, it would have relegated Skoda to last position in the Indian market. If you can't sell the all-rounded & well-priced Rapid, you really can't sell anything.

About 900 Puntos & 400 Lineas were shipped last month. I don't expect much of a change here, not even with the Linea facelift. However, if Fiat does sell a couple more cars and overtakes Skoda, I can assure you it'll make for a headline story.

Last edited by GTO : 6th March 2014 at 17:59. Reason: Typo
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Old 5th March 2014, 21:42   #3
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Old 5th March 2014, 21:42   #4
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Old 5th March 2014, 21:44   #5
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Old 5th March 2014, 21:51   #6
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Default Re: February 2014 : Indian Car Sales Figures & Analysis

Awesome job GTO. Looks like Vento and Rapid are falling way behind the peers. Or should we say that Honda has bottled-up the competition. I expect good competition between Xcent Vs Amaze and City Vs Verna in the coming months. Good times for the buyers.
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Old 5th March 2014, 22:02   #7
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No other analysis can match the one by GTO. Its always interesting and has a lots of precise information. Thanks for the report GTO and Parrys!
I guess we can see a better March owing to excise cuts and some discounts!
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Old 5th March 2014, 22:35   #8
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Default Re: February 2014 : Indian Car Sales Figures & Analysis

It is interesting to see how the bottom part of the list is shaping up. How has Fiat managed to post month on month growth in the last few months? Is it the discounts or is it the cut price Linea?

Or did they push all the remaining old Lineas out of their stockyard?

With just two products, sales are similar to those of Skoda, even when the latter has twice as many products. Obviously Fiat's presence in mass market category is making all the difference.

With Linea face lift going on sale this month, can we expect Fiat to beat Skoda? I feel so, at least because display and test drive cars to 108 dealerships will be dispatched this month.
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Old 5th March 2014, 22:46   #9
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Default Re: February 2014 : Indian Car Sales Figures & Analysis

The most important highlight to me in the whole thread is Fortuner overtaking sales of Liva.
Also I must say Skoda is getting what it truly deserves. Slowly and steadily its going out of the people's memories. Treatment by VW and infamous A.S.S. stories are pushing it to the corner.
Good to see Fiat holding the ground and with many launches in the pipeline, it will surely see a better future ahead. It badly needs a 'high volume' product in 3.5 Lac price range.
What is happening to the XUV.
Sale volumes of Celerio prove how much Maruti was loosing (in term of sales) on account of A-Star and Estilo.
This chart also has a great significance wrt something that has happened for first time in almost 30 years in Indian Automobile history.
Any guesses?
Also its nice to see City beating Verna by a huge margin.
Yes a '0' against the sales figures of 800 for the first time.

Last edited by carwatcher : 5th March 2014 at 23:00.
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Old 5th March 2014, 23:10   #10
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Ford' position is really puzzling. I really wonder why they cant increase EcoSport' production for the local market. They have a 10K product and 5th place in market up on a platter. And how will they bring the additional capacity for the face-lifted Fiesta?

Has HM-Mitsubishi shut shop? Or are they on extended Christmas holiday?
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Old 5th March 2014, 23:34   #11
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However, if Fiat does sell a couple more cars and overtakes Skoda, I can assure you it'll make for a headline story.[/quote]

Sometimes, i wonder in amazement when i read GTO's analysis. Is it prose or automotive poetry in a sort or prose format? No sorry, my bad, it is an entirely new genre that owes its existence to Sir GTO (Sir - with respect and a great deal of happiness).

I know that GTO's analysis has been thanked innumerable times. But me thinks we should start a separate thread to discuss this - ala - You know you are addicted to team BHP.. You know you are addicted to GTO's analysis when all that matters on the first of every month is not the financial balance but his analysis.

On a lighter note: there have been reported cases of disappointment leading to depression in the personal health area in people in some parts of the country when his analysis is missing. In other instances certain work zones have reported a drop in productivity due to the absence of his analysis. You never know!

Not wanting to add further pressure on the dear soul, I would try and refrain from reporting other such reports.

It surely does no harm to thank a wonderful man again for all his time, energy and resources. So, many thanks again!

The punchline was "However, if Fiat does sell a couple more cars and overtakes Skoda, I can assure you it'll make for a headline story". Looking forward to such a day and wonder what positives might occur due to this in the industry at large and how it might benefit the citizens of our motherland. Many thanks for the punch line!

Finally, God Bless you dear one for providing such a constructive, safe, pleasure to innumerable folks month on month on month. May your tribe increase!
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Old 6th March 2014, 01:23   #12
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Default Re: February 2014 : Indian Car Sales Figures & Analysis

Honda is getting it's act together and everyone is feeling the heat. I wonder why the Brio's sales are not improving much. A reliable batch and hatch, loads of fun to drive and priced competitively vs the segment leaders, the Swift and the i10 Grand.

Is the styling really backfiring so hard? I may be wrong, but I see very little going against it otherwise.
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Old 6th March 2014, 06:35   #13
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Default Re: February 2014 : Indian Car Sales Figures & Analysis

Quality analysis as usual - which is only to be expected. Good to see Honda doing well. I do wish that Nissan would pull themselves together and evolve a better strategy for India. The Sunny needs a serious makeover and soon IMO.
I expect Celerio to go up and stabilise at the top 3 in the forthcoming months.
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Old 6th March 2014, 08:46   #14
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Default Re: February 2014 : Indian Car Sales Figures & Analysis

Tough times ahead? Is the sales peaking earlier in the year instead of March? Is there any data on dealer inventory levels available?

Excellent job by team.
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Old 6th March 2014, 09:00   #15
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With a correction in the volumes of the Honda Amaze I feel that the people stretch their budgets to buy the City . I feel even though the engine is said to be good the people find the bland interiors and high nvh levels unappealing . Every one says the Amaze has a great engine , I frankly find no difference in driving the Dzire and Amaze with the Amaze being very noisy , but for sure it has no turbo lag like the dzire . P.S. I own both Amaze and Dzire both 2013 models both diesel .
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