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Old 3rd October 2011, 19:52   #1
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Default September 2011 : Indian Car Sales & Analysis

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Old 3rd October 2011, 19:52   #2
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Default Re: September 2011 : Indian Car Sales & Analysis

My Analysis:

- If inflation affects you as a customer, remember, cost pressures also affect the manufacturers. Things are looking increasingly tough in our fiercely competitive marketplace. Interest rates are shooting through the roof (affects manufacturer financing, as also the dealer's cost of inventory), raw materials are getting more expensive and transportation isn't cheap either. The big guys will sail through due to their size, economies of scale, available working capital and new products; it's the smaller brands that develop stress lines on their foreheads.

- We have fresh entrants on the monthly sales report, and all of them start at great prices. The positioning of the Honda Brio, Nissan Sunny and Mahindra XUV - all three part of distinctly separate segments - illustrate how it's a buyers market today. The Hyundai Eon, to be launched later this month, has the potential to become a game changer in the entry-level segment. You simply can't price your product higher than it's perceived value; just ask the new Ford Fiesta, or even Honda why it cut prices on the City & Jazz recently.

- The customer with the lightest wallet is the one that is the most sensitive to expensive liters of petrol. Consider the effect of the petrol price hike on the Alto, Spark & Nano.

- There's black & red marks in equal measure on Maruti's report card. Domestic sales are down 17% year on year. The Alto has its worst performance of the year (still the best selling car by a mile @ 21,000 units though), the market has shaved off 33% of its demand, compared to the first quarter of this year. Status quo for the Maruti 800 & Omni with a good run, while the Eeco takes a marginal dip (where is the diesel?). The practical WagonR bounces back and how, with 13,000 sold last month! As does the Swift with 11,000+; Maruti has enough Swift order to keep their assembly line busy for the next three quarters, such is the appeal of this cult car. 9,411 units re-enforce the Dzire's position as India's favourite sedan. SX4 production was not a priority for Maruti in the midst of all their labour troubles, while the Kizashi & Grand Vitara continue their flop shows.

- 7000 Eons dispatched to Hyundai dealerships! If Hyundai prices the fluidic small car well, it's going to shake up the entry segment. The Santro & i10 have a respectable run, though not quite what they were managing in the first 6 months of 2011 (prior to the whopping petrol price hike). The i20, on the other hand, climbs back to the 7,000 level. The new Verna is the indisputable Hyundai star of the year; once again, it has emerged as the king of the upper C segment by defeating the City & Vento by a comfortable margin. Accent sales continue to slide south...the market is showing its preference for modern hatchbacks over old sedans (at the same price).

- Party time for the Indica & Vista with September ending in 5 digits. Even the Indigo & Manza have had a great month @ 7,793 cars. Unfortunately, the cheap, competent Nano fails to find buyers in the market and is officially a market failure. I'm sure Tata will pull a rabbit out of the hat eventually, and I'd eagerly observe how they do it. Lots of Safari lovers out there, and even the Aria sells over 500 units for the first time this year. Cheaper 4x2 Aria variant helps the premium Tata.

- Bad market conditions? Someone forgot to tell that to the Mahindra Bolero that posts its best month ever of 2011. Nearly 10,000 units sold, rural India must still be on a post-monsoon roll. The Scorpio also has it's best month of the year yet. The Xylo trundles along at its expected 2.5K mark, while the Verito seems to be settling down at 1,500 odd. "Five hundred" 500's move out of the factory.

- The Etios sisters (hatchback & sedan siblings) settle at the 3,000 mark, giving Toyota crucial marketshare points. The Innova, Corolla & Fortuner also continue their reliable (pun intended ) performance.

- I had predicted that the Vento will outsell the Polo, and the all-rounded sedan does just that for the 4th time this year. Decent performance by the Vento, but proper 4 cylinder engines could greatly help the Polo's cause. The new Jetta does what was expected of it, with the best sales performance thus far in 2011 and importantly, overtaking sister Laura. On the other hand, the Passat is quite the 20 lakh rupee dud, and simply isn't able to catch the premium customer's fancy.

- The Ford Figo is Mr. Consistency, delivering a 5,200 odd score for the third month in a row. It's value-for-money price tag & neutral product characteristics ensure buyers aren't looking away, even with the onslaught of new launches. The surprise from the Ford family is the ol' Fiesta, which continues to go from strength to strength AFTER the new (generation) Fiesta's launch. What was Ford thinking when they approved of that pricing strategy? The Endeavour has it's best month in 6.

- An oil burner can change your fortunes, and how! Look at the Chevrolet Beat that has crossed 5,000 orders yet again, and nudges just ahead of the Figo. The Spark sees a marginal improvement, but still isn't able to sustain the volumes it held in the Jan - June period which were double that of the current volumes.

- Brio dealer shipments have started, and Honda has left everyone pleasantly surprised with their superb pricing strategy. This car alone will double Honda's marketshare in the months to come, diesel option be damned. Still not seeing the effect all of us expected with the whopping 1.5 lakh rupee price-cut on the Jazz. One can see the effect of the petrol price hike on the City; nevertheless, 3,700 copies still makes for an excellent month. The Civic is languishing behind it's competitors, even the Accord outsells it! The less said about the grossly overpriced CRV, the better.

- The cute Micra is another consistent performer, with yet another month at the 1,500 level. The Sunny starts its innings with 659 units shipped to dealers.

- Pressure rising over at Skoda's HQ. While the resurrected Fabia is moderately successful (now selling 2 - 3 times YOY), the Laura hits a low point, and is outsold by the Jetta. The superbly packaged Yeti disappoints with a mere 50 sales, while the Superb also has its worst month of 2011. The Superb was a dependable performer, but things are looking shaky in the 20 lakh rupee sedan segment.

- They say, when the going gets tough, it's the weakest who are hit the most. Look at Fiat : The Linea & Punto hit an all-time low. The Punto somehow managed an average of 1K in recent months, but isn't able to sustain that with newer, fresher competition.

- We always insisted that the Renault Fluence was poorly priced & positioned. I mean, who sells a bare-bones diesel sedan at 15 lakhs! Unsurprisingly, the market agrees, with the Fluence making up the back of the C+ segment grid. 91 Koleos' sold, though we'll wait for another couple months before passing verdict on the Renault SUV. For the record, I think the Koleos is terribly positioned too.

- The Cayenne outsells the 911 25:1. What was that about Indians loving practicality again?

Last edited by GTO : 3rd October 2011 at 19:54.
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Old 3rd October 2011, 19:54   #3
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Default Re: September 2011 : Indian Car Sales & Analysis

Was waiting for this thread for a pretty long time today! Thanks for the numbers GTO, rated 5 stars.

Being a Tata afficianado - Almost all Tata vehicles have posted a double number - Sumo, Safari and Aria.

Aria outsold the Ford Endeavour . Yeti - the sales are going down, It is at the risk of being an also ran.

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Old 3rd October 2011, 19:59   #4
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Default Re: September 2011 : Indian Car Sales & Analysis

Really low numbers for Fiat.

Maruti's sale was down 21% in September partly due to problems at it's Manesar plant :

Maruti Suzuki strike ends; Sept sales down 21 pc - India News - IBNLive

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Old 3rd October 2011, 20:03   #5
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Default Re: September 2011 : Indian Car Sales & Analysis

Even though the strike has been called off at the Maruti plant, I doubt that SX4 will take off from now on as it has lost all of its steam.
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Old 3rd October 2011, 20:05   #6
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Default Re: September 2011 : Indian Car Sales & Analysis

Hyundai has done extremely well considering it has decent numbers on i10,120 and Verna. EON numbers are a surprise as hardly anyone knew that that so many were already dispatched to dealers.

Verna continues to rock with 4800+ numbers. We are also seen the impact of the Verna on the waiting periods of the Vento.

Etios numbers must be a concern considering that expectation on the T Brand and pricing. Reports of poor mileage on the petrol should be addressed ASAP. The Indian customer has changed a lot. In the past the Manufacturer brand and low pricing was a winning formula but not any more. The Indian customer is looking for VFM and is willing to pay a premium for quality



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Old 3rd October 2011, 20:23   #7
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Default Re: September 2011 : Indian Car Sales & Analysis

No other car can mint money for its maker like Mahindra Bolero.

New Fiesta helps the sale of Fiesta Classic. Pathetic would be an understated word when its figure is compared to the competitor Verna.

Kudos to Hyundai for tapping the entry segment with the Eon: the first manufacturer to fight maruti in its strongest fort.

Optra sales: impact of fiesta pricing?

Last edited by ramzsys : 3rd October 2011 at 20:27.
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Old 3rd October 2011, 20:28   #8
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Default Re: September 2011 : Indian Car Sales & Analysis

City sales are down by over 2,000 in a month! Need to watch how long Verna can hold the fort against City, particularly when Vento failed.
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Old 3rd October 2011, 20:31   #9
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Default Re: September 2011 : Indian Car Sales & Analysis

Thanks a ton for the numbers and your analysis is spot on. The only thing I differ on is the Nano.

I went to see / TD a Nano last week for a friend who is keen on buying it. And to say the least, the price shocked me. The top end LX retails for just under Rs 250,000 in Bangalore. By no means is that a cheap or value for money car! Even the base model is almost Rs 190,000!! We as a nation are always looking for value and the Nano simply isnt VFM, in my view. No way its going to sell in volumes at that price point. Tata should learn a thing or two from Honda on price cuts.

For the record, I am a huge Tata fanboy
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Old 3rd October 2011, 20:34   #10
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Default Re: September 2011 : Indian Car Sales & Analysis

Thanks a ton GTO. Brilliantly prepared report card! Rated a well deserved 5 Stars. I may be damned an optimistic but when I look at the overall package and design, 7K EON dealer dispatches is still a lot lesser!

No Offense meant to the owners and fans, I am no fan of Hyundai due to their premium pricing strategies on all models, but I think what they have done with Verna, they'll do a lot more with EON especially when you compare it with the bare-bones Alto. I am sure that EON is going to dent the Alto sales irreparably and Maruti has to sit up and take note!

Glad to know that it was an excellent month for Bolero good old workhorse - bolero!

I think Beat & Figo will settle down at 5K mark for sometime to come.

I read somewhere (probably Economic Times) that Honda's September sales were down 33% compared with same period last year! That's a tragedy of sorts when I see at the decently priced City & Jazz which wasn't there same time last year! That has come as a surprise!

A lesson, discouraging numbers for Fiesta & Fluence. I think Ford & Renault should learn in pricing their cars! I thought Ford cracked the Indian code with their brilliantly priced Figo but they got all wrong with their over-optimistic pricing with Fiesta! Renault's focus was to increase the brand awareness by launching Fluence and looking at its dismal show, I doubt if it will be able to get the customer confidence back when it launches new models - which actually would need to be "Rightly" priced if Renault has to stand a chance!
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Old 3rd October 2011, 20:35   #11
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Default Re: September 2011 : Indian Car Sales & Analysis

The wait is over. Thanks GTO!

Happy to see the Indica numbers.

Nano still disappointing though. Maruti, er Suzuki - Strike effect?

Wondering what Eon would do to Hyundai numbers if the strike at Suzuki continues still.
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Old 3rd October 2011, 20:35   #12
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Default Re: September 2011 : Indian Car Sales & Analysis

Waw the much awaited topic arrives.

Inspite of the plant strike issues, Maruti Suzuki Swift (inspite of the few negatives as became known in the review) and DZire hold their crown. Indica+Vista and Manza+Indigo too posting good numbers below that. Liva and Etios though put up a pretty mediocre show. Is that a lesson or two to Toyota?

Alto still tops the charts inspite of the rising petrol prices. Nobody to compete really at that level, and no viable diesel too. Maybe Eon will change the game? Will have to watch out.

Respectable account opening by Brio and XUV500...good show.
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Old 3rd October 2011, 20:36   #13
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Default Re: September 2011 : Indian Car Sales & Analysis

GTO, are these figures of sales by dealerships or the no. of cars shipped by the manufacturer?

The question might just sound silly but I was confused when I saw the sales no. for Eon : a car not launched yet.

If the no. is about the cars shipped by manufacturer, how much do you think the total stock lying in the inventory will account for?

1) What could be the reason for the ~2k dip in City sales? Agree petrol prices are an issue but aren't the discounts huge?

2) Why is Etios on a steady decline? The earlier sales were initial hype?

3) Mighty disappointed with Jazz despite the price correction.

4) Nano suddenly climbing up again? Why?

Just an observation : Shouldn't the sales figures for Maruti be relatively bad considering that for Sept, the dealers would have cleared off their inventories and it would be in Oct. that dealers would face shortage?
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Old 3rd October 2011, 20:36   #14
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Default Re: September 2011 : Indian Car Sales & Analysis

Good to see the 6-month chart! Throws a lot of ligtht on how different segmets are doing.

I'm surprised to see a drop in Honda City's sales, notwithstanding the huge price cuts. As regards the Jazz, I'm sure the numbers for October will be more reassuring.

The Fiesta Classic got a boost in sales owing to the arrogant pricing of the new model. Ford ought to have corrected the price by now.
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Old 3rd October 2011, 20:36   #15
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Default Re: September 2011 : Indian Car Sales & Analysis

thanks GTO!

Things look bad for the ovrepriced Fiesta. Even the recently launched Sunny, with just petrol option outsells the petrol+diesel combination of Fiesta. Come on now Ford, admit your mistake, and sell this car well below Verna prices to succeed.

Maruti's lost some big numbers in Alto. I guess people are finally looking up at other options, Alto has been there for ages. And look at where the potential replacement is. A* is a solid dude at 832/month.

Cant wait to see the XUV numbers in Octber, and any potential impacts in T-Fort, Endy and other cars.

Hyundai , take a bow. A very fluidistic success with Verna!

Jetta finally beats Laura! Is VW finally seeing their efforts paid off?

Jazz still hanst improved much. I guess once you get a bad name, its not easy to come out of it. Ask Fiat!

Beat beats Figo! Chevy finally has two winners - Beat & Cruze. How about pluging that economical engine in Spark and make the lowest cost diesel hatch Chevy?

Etios, after a strong start, is now down to a below average performer. <3000 numbers don't look very good for a Toyota in this segment.
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