· No festive cheer for the Automotive industry! Durga Puja, Dusshera & even Diwali couldn’t lighten up the situation. The monstrous marketing spends, incessant TV campaigns and on-ground activation blitzkrieg weren’t able to pull customers into the showrooms. It seems that the normal consumer is busy worrying about the rise in inflation, ‘sky-rocketing onion prices’, fuel price irrationality and increasing interest rates. As a matter of fact, even on Dhanteras which is said to be the most auspicious day for buying gold saw 50% less than expected gold sale. However, on the other side Apple saw remarkable response and never-ending queue for its newly launched iPhone 5C & 5S. Now, that’s irony! The industry is now expected to grow only post 2014 general elections – that’s a long way to go!!! Till then the industry will have to fight for the sale of every unit.
· October as a month was flat – though many OEMs saw sequential growth, YOY growth was majorly on a negative side. Maruti nearly touched the 1 Lakh mark (96062 domestic nos), Hyundai crossed the 36k mark after 18 months (the last time it had achieved the feat was Mar 2012!), M&M jump past the 20k offtake after 4 longg months and even Toyota had its best offtake in 6 months. Nissan with the help of Terrano crossed the 4k mark as well.
· November is expected to be bleak as consumers would wait for the Discounts-driven December. No immediate launches seen by the industry – all OEMs are gearing up for the upcoming Auto Expo in Feb 2014. Some of the biggest launches of the next 2 years would be showcased in the Expo.
· The best performers of October were no surprise – Amaze, Grand i10 & Ecosport. For the first time Honda had a product which would single-handedly touch 10k mark. The entry level sedan space has surprised us all with the sheer volumes it is able to generate – even with Amaze clocking 9564 nos, Maruti had its Dzire ‘fulfilled’ with 17211 offtake! Kudos to Honda for assessing the segment well and launch a breakthrough product. Also appreciate the OEM for ramping up the production accordingly and catering to the requirement. Grand i10 jumps to no.5 spot just within 3 months of it launch! Hyundai has surely made its entry a “GRRRAAAAND” one. Surprisingly its direct competition Swift still clocked 19047 units (the highest in past 7 months!) – that’s the beauty of Indian auto industry. Ecosport is easily clocking over 5k figure offtake – whereas it can easily target 10k. Ford’s focus on exports has made the brand less available in the Indian market – in my opinion it’s a wrong move. Novelty seems to be the trend of the industry currently – don’t forget XUV was offered on a lottery a year back and now the plight is otherwise.
· Maruti Suzuki reports the comeback of the LUV Ertiga – with over 7k units it marks is comeback in the MUV space. However, it seems to be a compensation of September’s performance where it had a feeble offtake of 2657 nos. The petrol v/s diesel distribution of MS brands is as mentioned –
· Its Grand Masti time for Hyundai! – but the brand seems more to cannibalize the in-house i10 rather than the competition. There is nothing exemplary in October by Hyundai’s other offerings. The trend to notice in Diesel vs Petrol distribution – Grand i10 Petrol sells more than its diesel sibling!
· Toyota proves its dominance in the MUV segment yet again. The workhorse Innova emerges loyal to its Japanese parent and the facelift has surely up the demand. Fortuner plays its part well and successfully garners ~1600 volumes. Etios & Liva performances seem the only bothering.
· M&M saw a tremendous growth in Scorpio & Bolero – thanks for the good response in the stronghold North Indian market. Bolero regains its 10k run and Scorpio its 5k run. Even the Cheetah-inspired SUV performs well. However, the other brands in the kitty has given a tough time for the Indian UV major.
A look at the top 20 cars of the month –