March 2019 Car Sales – Snapshot

The Passenger Car Sales degrew -2.8% in Mar’19 v/s Mar’18. Due to muted demand and weak consumer sentiment; the Industry is under consistent pressure and last few months have been very challenging. All OEMs are now gearing up to meet the upcoming BS-6 regulations and CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) norms. The slowdown is expected to continue this Financial Year and Apr’19 – May’19 is going to be even more challenging citing the upcoming general elections.

Let’s see how the OEMs fared in Mar’19 –

  • Apart from Mahindra, Honda & Toyota; all OEMs saw a YoY decline in the sales. The biggest decline was seen for Nissan+Datsun which registered the drop of -41% YoY!
  • Maruti Suzuki reported a flat percent increase in its domestic sales at 1,18,515 units in Mar’19 v/s 1,18,842 cars sold in Mar’18.
  • Nexa seems to be struggling while it reported a -6% degrowth in YoY sales. Even with the launch of New Baleno; Nexa wasn’t able to recover the volumes and post a positive growth.
  • Hyundai degrew -8% in Mar’19 v/s the same period last year. Even post Santro launch; Hyundai hasn’t gained significant numbers.

How the Market Shares figures for Mar’19 –

Civic Attack!

Honda’s global bestseller Civic makes a stellar comeback in the Indian market. While the marque skipped a generation and was launched at a time where the segment was shrinking and SUV’s were brutally taking over. It was a noteworthy risk by Honda to launch a model at this phase – However; the risk looks to be paid off! The model garnered over 2400 bookings in less than 2 months and is off to a great start. What we understand is that the majority of the bookings are for Civic Petrol (available only in Automatic Avatar) and constitutes to >85% of overall bookings for the model. Prices for the tenth-generation Honda Civic start at Rs 17.69 lakh for the petrol and Rs 20.49 lakh for the diesel. The new Civic is precisely available in three petrol and two diesel variants.

Let’s have a look at the Mar’19 sales figures for the models in D-segment:

  • Honda sold a phenomenal 2,291 units of Civic in Mar’19! The model contributed to 80% of the segment volumes in the first month itself. Thanks to the Civic; the segment volumes jumped a stellar 7.2 times in Mar’19 v/s Feb’19!
  • All other models combined (Altis+Octavia+Elantra) could sell only 580 nos in Mar’19 which is almost 1/4th of Civic’s volumes!
  • Point to note is that the volumes of Altis/Octavia/Elantra even post Civic launch which signifies the expansion of the segment and customer’s renewed interest in the same as well.

While this is just the first month post the Civic has been launched; it would be an arduous task for Honda to sustain the volumes and continue the momentum in the segment.