The Evolution of Honda CR-V

The Honda  CR-V is a compact crossover manufactured by Honda  since 1995 and introduced in the North American market in 1997.CR-V was build on the Honda Civic Platform with a SUV body design,

CR-V stands for Compact Runabout Vehicle while the term Compact Recreational Vehicle is used in a British car review article that was republished by Honda.

In India the car that brought  the crossover to the mainstream is perhaps the Honda CR-V.The latest generation of the car will be launched in India around Diwali

Lets have a look at the evolution of the Honda CR-V in India and its sales statistics –

Before the CR-V

In the 80’s, Honda had toyed with the idea of a light off-road vehicle. Called the Honda Civic Shuttle 4WD, it was essentially a Civic with slightly raised ride height, larger mudflaps and, more importantly, a four-wheel drive system. Its four-wheel drive mechanism was a particular novelty. At the time, most 4WD mechanisms were mechanical which needed a lever to engage the said mode. In the Civic Shuttle 4WD, a simple flick of the switch engages the rear wheels and, later in its life, even gained a low-range transmission.

By the late 80’s, Honda introduced the second-generation Civic Shuttle 4WD. Also known as the Beagle, it followed the formula of its predecessor. Higher ground clearance, all-wheel drive and even underchassis skid plates were part of the package. Honda probably knew they were on to something at the time and set the precedent for one of Honda’s most successful models of all time.

First Generation (1995-2001, RD1-RD3)

With the experience gained from building the Civic Shuttle 4WD, Honda went on to develop their first, built from the ground-up SUV. With its design finalized in 1993, the production model made its debut in Japan in 1995, a few months ahead of the car it was based on, the sixth-generation Civic (EK). From its looks alone, this was no raised Civic wagon.

For starters, it came with a more advanced Realtime All-wheel drive system which meant there was no longer the need for a switch to send power to the rear wheels. Being based on the Civic, the CR-V got the suspension goodies from it as well. It had double wishbone suspension on all four corners, giving the first-generation CR-V a bit of dynamic flair. With a 2.0-liter engine under the hood, it initially had 126 PS but later gained 21 more horsepower for a total of 147 PS.

This generation of CR-V was built in various plants in 
Swindon
, United Kingdom (HUKM)
Sayama, Japan
Hsinchu, Taiwan
Santa RosaLaguna, Philippines (Honda Santa Rosa, Laguna Plant)
Ayutthaya, Thailand (Honda Ayutthaya Plant)
Karawang, Indonesia (Honda Karawang Plant)

It practically opened the floodgates for ‘Mini-SUVs’ and further broadened the appeal of the Honda brand. Also, who could forget the built-in table which also served as the cargo area’s floor?

Second Generation (2001-2006, RD4-RD9)

The new millennium saw an all-new Civic and, with that, an all-new CR-V. The second-generation model saw several significant updates and upgrades to the CR-V range. For its second iteration, the CR-V received an all-new engine in the form of the K20 series. The new engine packed i-VTEC, bringing variable valve timing to the CR-V for the first time. Also, the second-generation CR-V lost the impressive (but expensive to produce) double wishbone front suspension and in its place were a pair of struts.

The body also grew significantly from the first generation, giving it more room inside. Honda even kept the novel picnic table from the previous model.

When the facelift model was launched, it saw the return of the all-wheel drive variant but this time, it had more power to boot. All-wheel drive CR-Vs now came with a larger 2.4-liter i-VTEC engine with 160 PS and 220 Nm of torque. Over in Europe however, the CR-V received Honda’s first-ever in-house diesel engine: the i-CDTi. The 2.2-liter mill produced 150 PS and 350 Nm of torque, making it the most potent CR-V at the time

Third Generation (2006-2012, RE3-RE7)

By its third generation, Honda gave the CR-V a revolutionary redesign. Gone was the mini-SUV look of the past two models and in its place was a much larger, longer and rounder body. The side-opening rear door had been replaced by a more conventional upwards raising tailgate and the spare tire was moved to inside the car. Of course, the changes go beyond there.

The interior was comparably more upscale than before, bringing the CR-V upmarket. At the same time, this era of CR-V brought in more safety tech and equipment. It became the first CR-V to offer stability control, as well as a host of airbags from front to rear. With portable MP3 players becoming more popular, the third-generation CR-V also came with handy auxiliary ports. This was the CR-V for the iPod generation.

Aside from more tech, the engine range got significant upgrades. The 2.0-liter engine now uses the R20 block, making it run cleaner than the model it replaced. As for the 2.4-liter engine, it got a healthy boost and made 170 PS and 218 Nm of torque.

Fourth Generation (2012-2017, RM1-RM4)

The global economic crisis hit a lot of automakers hard and Honda was not spared. Despite that, the Japanese automaker persevered and came up with the fourth-generation CR-V. Whereas the the third-generation was a radical step, this particular model was more conservative. Still, it didn’t stop Honda from trying to keep the CR-V bang up to date.

It had an upgraded infotainment system and, along with that, a more informative driver information display to keep track of vehicle status. It also carried over the comprehensive safety suite from the previous model, making the CR-V one of the safest cars on the road. With the crossover segment becoming even more competitive, Honda made the rear quarters even bigger, giving it more room than its already spacious predecessor.

As for the engines, they were carried over from the old model meaning it was the 2.0-liter and 2.4-liter with the same power outputs. Over in other markets, they got a new turbodiesel in the form of the new i-DTEC engine. However, it won’t be long until we get this long-awaited engine.

Fifth Generation (2017-present,)

With the critical acclaim of the tenth-generation Civic, it’s safe to say that Honda pulled out all the stops with the fifth-generation CR-V. While the exterior is evolutionary, it’s quite the revolution under the hood. Over a decade since the first diesel CR-V set foot in Europe, the  Asians finally gets the i-DTEC engine. In India this motor will debut next month having 120 PS power and 300Nm torque.

Along with that engine, the all-new CR-V presents a series of firsts for the local market. The diesel-powered fifth-generation CR-V benefits from a nine-speed automatic transmission, replacing the old five-speed units which have served local-spec variants for ten years. That said, Honda did not ignore those who still prefer gas engines. The 2.0-liter engine now benefits from Earth Dreams tech and it’s now mated to a continuously variable transmission, a first for Asean-spec CR-Vs.

It’s also packed with a lot of safety tech too with  Electronic Parking Brake with Auto Brake Hold, Agile Handling Assist, Driver Attention Monitor, Vehicle Stability Assist, Hill Start Assist, Anti-Lock Braking System with Electronic Brake Distribution, Emergency Stop Signal, Multi-View Reverse Camera with Dynamic Guidelines, and a Low Tire Pressure Warning. A stark contrast to the first-generation model which didn’t even have Anti-lock brakes.

It’s been 22 years since Honda first showed the CR-V to the world and it’s quite a big lead since then. Who would have though that a CR-V would be packing features unimaginable from when it was first launched. The CR-V has also done a lot for the brand in those years, namely being the the car that would expand Honda’s crossover lineup both here and abroad.

The BR-V, HR-V, and even the Pilot (North America) can credit their existence to the original CR-V. Without it, Honda would have likely been left behind in the crossover market. As a die hard Honda fan, I could say that Honda’s original crossover has become a car for all classes.

Even as Honda’s crossover range keeps growing, the CR-V is still the name that first comes to mind when someone says ‘Honda SUV’. Needless to say, it has become part of the local motoring landscape.

Sales statistics of Honda CRV in the Indian market

Source :Wikipedia

(This article is written by  Gourav Saksham, a dentist by profession and a Petrohead by passion. You can connect with him at gouravsaksham@gmail.com)

Statewise Car Sales – Q1 FY19

We have been trying to understand the state-wise car sales statistics and were able to cover since FY17 extensively. As shared earlier in our posts, the vast diversity of the sub-continent is evident in the car sales and the Market Share varies surprisingly as well. Yes, you read it right! This time we have gone a step ahead and tried to cover the market reach data for top 2 OEMs. Before jumping on to the numbers, would like to explain the complexity of our market and want to highlight these points –

  • India has 33 states (as per the consideration here & includes the Union Territories such as Pondicherry, etc)
  • Maharashtra alone contributes to ~10% of national volumes!
  • East Zone has highest number of states (13), but volume contribution is the least in 4 Zones
  • In terms of land area, Rajasthan stands No. 1 in India (source). However in terms of Passenger Vehicle (PV) sales, it Ranks 9th! Trivia – Rajasthan is bigger than Oman in terms of area!
  • In Q1 FY19, Mizoram has witnessed the highest YoY growth (70%) in India!
  • Passenger Car industry has grown a healthy 19.92% in Q1 FY19 v/s Q1 FY18! East Zone grew the highest at 27%

Statewise Passenger Cars Sales Data for Apr’18-June’18 (Q1) –

Please Note:

  1. The Zones have been ranked as per volumes. West is ranked 1 and is just marginally (2944 units) ahead from North Zone which is ranked 2nd!
  2. In Every Zone, the States have been sorted as per their volumes. Ex: Kerala is the first state in South Zone (as it has the highest volume in the Zone for Q1)
  3. Industry Comparison with the same period Last Year done as well to understand the state’s and region’s performance. YoY growth of those states has been highlighted whose growth was lower than their respective average. Ex: Tripura grew 26% and is highlighted in red as the growth was lower than East Zone’s YoY growth rate of 27%.

Ranking of States basis volumes:

  • The 33 states have been ranked as per H1 volumes
  • Every state’s contribution to All India volumes have been calculated as well
  • Top 10 states contributed to ~70% of the national volumes. And Top 5 states contributed to ~42% of National Volumes. This is also an excellent indicator of statewise variance in terms of car sales.

  • Maruti + Hyundai contributes to 68.36% of passenger vehicle sales in India. Maruti alone contributes to 52.6% of passenger vehicle sales!
  • In Jammu & Kashmir, Maruti + Hyundai’s Market Share was a mind boggling 83%.
  • In terms of Zone-wise presence – Maruti has the least market share in East Zone & Hyundai has the lowest Market Share in South Zone!
  • Hyundai has single digit Market Shares only in 2 markets – Nagaland & Andaman!

Global Commercial Vehicle Market (2007-2017)

After 2007 sub-prime crisis, demand for CV plunged and de-growth continued till 2009. During tough financial times several Governments had put monetary and fiscal stimulus in place (Keynesian Economic Theory) and market demand regained, and by 2011 it was again back to 2007 level. 2011 onwards global demand had gained traction and is growing at steady pace now.

The USA is by far the biggest CV market. Global CV growth is always in line with the US market growth trajectory, thanks to American’s love for pick-up (Light commercial vehicles).

However, global growth hasn’t been homogenous, as several countries have gone through strained financial condition in last 10 years, coupled with tepid demand owing to inherent cyclical nature of CV industry. India too is case in point, by 2011 India reached #4 rank but then slipped to #6, followed by shallow recovery.

Top 30 Country-Market of 2017

Data Source : OICA CV sales data (Commercial vehicles include light commercial vehicles, heavy trucks, coaches and buses)
  • The USA has lion’s share in the global market
  • Top 30 countries account for 95% of global CV sales
  • Out of top 30 countries, almost 11 have witnessed ‘0’ or negative growth in last 10 years due to stagnation or declining economic activities in respective countries

High Growth Region (2007-2017)

  • These are the countries having substantial base year market size and sustained growth rate of 5% and above over a decade
  • These are the key markets and CV OEM need to watch out these countries as their future growth engine
  • Economic recovery in Brazil & Russia, which suffered economic recession in recent past, now have high chances of better growth in coming years as oil and commodity prices have started hardening

Declining Major Markets (2007-2017)

  • Crude Oil price crash of 2015 was a major setback for Russia and Saudi Arabia and the reason for declining CV market
  • Spanish and Italian market witnessed massive decline at the height of European Sovereign Debt crisis around the year 2012, since then both are on recovery path
  • In last 4 years Japanese market growth rate has been almost flat, it is more like a saturated market now

Continent

  • Canada and the USA are growing at healthy rate in line with their economic growth trajectory
  • After 2010, Asian market growth has remained largely flat
  • Overall European market has contracted in last decade

North America

Africa

Central & South America

Asia

Europe

The Past & Future of Badge Engineering!

First of all what’s Badge Engineering/Cross Badging (Source:Wiki)- 

Badge engineering, sometimes called Cross Badging, is the practice of applying a different badge or trademark (brand, logo or manufacturer’s name/make/marque) to an existing product (e.g., an automobile) and subsequently marketing the variant as a distinct product. Due to the high cost of designing and engineering a new model or establishing a brand (which may take many years to gain acceptance), economies of scale make it less expensive to rebadge a product once or multiple times than to create different models.

The term badge engineering is an intentionally ironic misnomer, in that little or no actual engineering takes place.

Cross Badging : Season 2.0

Toyota and Suzuki joined hands in February 2017 for long term partnership to collaborate in the field of upcoming hybrid and electric drivetrain, autonomous vehicle and slew of other futuristic technological areas to remain relevant in future and save cost in future product and technology development. In November 2017 press statement they have outlined the long term plan to introduce EV in India by 2020. Further in March 2018, for India they had short and medium term plan and decided to sell cross badged products in India and put up a compete and collaborate arrangement in place. Initially they have planned to supply vehicle where they don’t have direct presence. So Toyota will provide Corolla (Premium Sedan) to Maruti – as new flagship model, since Maruti has long unfulfilled ambition to go premium. In turn, Maruti will provide its best-selling sub 4m Brezza (C-SUV) & Baleno (Hatchback) to add to Toyota’s bottom end portfolio, and utilize its showroom space.

Cross badging or Badge Re-engineering concept in India is quite old. Hindustan Motor’s Ambassador (50s) was cross badged Morris Oxford (UK), popular Premier Padmini (60s) was actually cross badged Fiat 1100 (Italy). And then there are many like Chevrolet (Subaru, Daewoo, Isuzu, SAIC), Reanult (Dacia) et al.

But the current cross badging concept in India is little different. As in case of Ambassador or Padmini, only Indian badged product were on sale and not the foreign badge simultaneously in Indian market. This concept of cross badging and sale of same vehicle under two different brands in Indian market at the same time, targeting same consumer segment, was introduced by VW with group company – Skoda (2011), and later followed by Renault (2012) with alliance partner Nissan. Their products were identical except for the front facial which usually remains in line with the family looks of the respective brand. Incidentally both were late to Indian car market. Question is, has this strategy really worked as envisaged by the manufacturers. Let us see through the sales number analysis.

Platform sharing within group companies is very common but cross badged products just have cosmetic differentiation, more of a gimmick. Product cannibalization is obvious and is understood beforehand, as real objective is to achieve higher incremental sales, expand product portfolio at lowest possible cost and keep the showrooms busy with some real business.

Advantage

  • Quick to Market : New product development from scratch takes around 3 years, to move from drawing board to finished product at the showroom and new product on older or existing platform too takes at least a year. But cross badged products gets ready in just couple of months, which translate into better return on investment (RoI) at low risk, if product succeeds.
  • Low Product Development Cost : In some of the existing cases it was as low as ₹ 15 Crore as oppose to platform sharing which cost minimum ₹ 150 Crore. Badge reengineering involves minor tweaks in design and minor retooling at the factory and vendor level. So it calls for small incremental investment and improves RoI.

Challenge

Since Product differentiation is very low with no additional functional or emotional benefit for consumer, other than badge appeal; pricing, positioning and selling becomes a tricky task, as potential customer are well informed these days.

Cross Badging Season 1.0 :  Product Performance

VW Vento + Skoda Rapid

  • In short run it worked a little, slightly better incremental sales was achieved with acceptable level of cannibalization, when diesel engines were in high demand.
  • When Honda City came back with a diesel engine in 2014, it decimated competitors except for the new kid – Ciaz which has had a Value for money tag.
  • Within 2 years together, individual and combined market share shrink to half.
  • Together Rapid+Vento had better ranking but still never able to reach #1.
  • After 2017 Skoda Rapid update, it totally cannibalized VW Vento.

Nissan Sunny + Renault Scala

  • Sunny’s market share dropped to half after Scala’s launch.

Scala demanded price premium over the Sunny for not so familiar Renault logo then and it lost the plot in first year itself and later got discontinued due to poor sales.

Renault Duster + Nissan Terrano

  • Duster with all the bulges around looks like a mini Hippo but Terrano was more chiseled and give an impression of mini Rhino and for that it demands a price premium of ₹ 70k+.
  • Terrano though filled the Nissan’s product portfolio gap but was never successful in bringing volumes due to its pricing.
  • First mover advantage faded quickly with the arrival of formidable Hyundai Creta.
  • Duster is still able to hold but Terrano is almost on verge of discontinuation.

Nissan Micra + Renault Pulse

  • In very short run it worked very little as incremental sales was achieved but later very few were ready to pay ₹ 15k extra for Renault’s badge slapped on Micra.
  • Micra’s sales dropped badly after the launch of Pulse.

Platform Sharing

Products sold under different brands but made on same platform having same body shape either to serve same consumer segment at similar price point or to cater to needs of different consumer segment at different price point has actually produced much better results. Though it calls for higher investment but it helps in augmenting market much better.

Conclusion

Except for external design, logo and sales channel, products have had very little differentiation, in short no additional functional or emotional benefit for consumer except for the badge, in case any potential customer has some brand preference or loyalty. Eventually cheaper one did better or as in some cases, rather the one which actually survived.

But VW and Renault were new entrant then and products were relatively new and neither one enjoyed much of brand awareness in Indian market. Toyota-Maruti case becomes more interesting because both are deeply entrenched brand in their own right and product intended to be shared across the brands are best seller in their respective category. Toyota badge will naturally command price premium, so will they be able to sell already successful product at much higher price with mere cosmetic changes and get away with what newbies were not able to do? Also, will Maruti badge do justice to global best seller Corolla or end up eroding the brand image of Corolla, akin to what Zen Estilo did to brand Zen? Moreover rebadged Corolla will be real test for Maruti’s sales channel NEXA. After sales service of both the companies are benchmark in the industry, Maruti for its reach and Toyota for its standards. So providing service for cross badged product could be a challenge. Just imagine that the Toyota has to train service staff to manage the Fiat’s diesel engine too, unless they decide to offer only petrol or hybrid engine.

Well, history is littered with more of unsuccessful stories. So, will Maruti Corolla (Could be called Kizashi?) and Toyota Brezza & Toyota Baleno going to change that? Only time will tell, when products land in real battle ground. Because many a times customer or consumer do not behave in the same way as they state during market research process before the launch and that’s the biggest challenge for marketers and product planners.

Kia needs to be careful with the positioning of their products alongside the parent Hyundai in Indian market. Although their products are highly differentiated in terms of styling in the international market and with no baggage in India, Kia could use this as an opportunity to gain premium positioning in Indian market and fill the gap where Hyundai is not very successful i.e above ₹ 15 Lakh segment.

Different School of Thought

Departing from cross badging concept, Maruti in past has tried little different approach of launching two slightly different product at similar price point. Largely based on Steve Jobs (former Apple CEO) famous saying – “If you don’t cannibalize yourself, someone else will”. Maruti’s idea was to offer variety when potential buyer visits a Maruti showroom, so that there could be a better chance people leave the showroom with a Maruti product, and keep Maruti’s sales register ringing.

Wagon R – Zen Estilo

 

Zen Estilo was first move by Maruti to cannibalize its own product Wagon R by launching it at similar price point with slightly different body styling. Strikingly it was also available in pink color, never seen before in the industry.

Instead of cannibalizing Wagon R, Estilo was able to bring incremental sales and due to platform sharing, unlike old Zen, it was able to achieve cost synergy as well and offer better ROI due to incremental investment on platform. But Zen Estilo was never able to live up to the original jelly bean shaped Zen, in terms of sales. In Spanish Estilo means style, but it was more of a stylish Wagon R, (some sort of! rather than boxy wagon R), but never ‘stylish’ Zen. Original Zen was launched by Maruti in 1993, had first all-aluminum engine block and in those days it was sometimes regarded as first hot hatch.

Some feels that Zen Estilo, till its existence (2013), has had eroded the robust Zen Brand to certain extent, build over a decade. But then, product brand name can be resurrected based on product’s strength and the best example is Baleno. Currently the name plate is used by a very successful hatchback; you may relate to if you do remember the old Baleno name plate was used by not so successful sedan, launched by Maruti in 1999.

2014 onwards Wagon R was joined by similarly priced, Maruti’s guinea pig – Celerio. Since launch, Maruti has kept on experimenting with Celerio, for example – it was first to have AMT technology, now discontinued Maruti’s in-house developed 800cc two-cylinder diesel engine, and also the cross-gimmick called Celerio X. But Celerio doesn’t share platform with the Wagon R, perhaps upcoming next gen Wagon R might.

Ritz-Swift

Ritz was launched in the year 2009 and the approach was extension of Zen Estilo-Wagon R experiment and had more meat. Ritz and Swift were meant to cater two different segments of consumer. It seems Maruti has properly segmented the market based on consumer need and tailored Ritz to address a different segment. To elaborate, Swift was aimed at segment of single-young buyer looking for lively performance (advertisement slogan – “You’re The Fuel”), but Swift had a major shortcoming – small and not very practical boot and claustrophobic rear seat. Practicality of boot and rear seat space was key concern area for young buyers having family and their need was to have ample space for carrying luggage. With the Ritz, Maruti decided to address those needs by redesigning the same platform to generate more space at the back bench and practical boot space. On downside it became slightly boxy at the back, apparently designer tried hard to mask that effect but end result was not that exciting. Thus you will see Ritz in the fleet of Taxi aggregators, but never Swift.

Ritz too brought in incremental sales unlike the cross badged products from other manufacturers failed to. Product planning approach seems to be spot on but when styling became a key decisive factor for customer in purchase decision process, Ritz lost to Swift. So, Ritz was not upgraded when Swift transgressed to newer generation in 2011.

In both the cases Maruti was successfully able to augment the market. With success of Kwid, Renault became overambitious and decided to imitate Maruti’s old approach and take its product portfolio to next level with the Captur, but look where they have landed with overpricing and grown up hatchback styling, a reminder of S-Cross launch. When it comes to SUV, what works in Europe may not work in India, because Indian’s love SUV to have strong street presence just like the Americans. Maruti resorted to quick price cut followed by facial update to save the S-Cross. Hopefully Nissan has learnt a lesson before bringing Kicks to Indian market.

Honda’s Earnest Effort

Unlike Hyundai (i20 Active~15%) and Toyota (Etios Cross~7%), Honda put more effort while developing the cross-version of the hatchback. While Hyundai and Toyota cross-version only had side cladding, redesigned bumpers and roof rails to appear rugged, Honda redesigned headlamps and tail lamps completely along with the sheet metal in the front and the rear to beef up the stance with increase ground clearance.

Result is apparent, WRV is lot more expensive than Jazz but it is selling much better too because it is able to offer emotional benefit of C-SUV styling which consumer do value these day. Honda may bring in a proper 4m-C-SUV in future but currently it is riding on the SUV-craze wave much smoothly with WRV.

Bottom line, cross badging has not turned out be a gravy train as envisaged by the manufactures in the past but there are other innovative ways to augment market.

Leading Passenger Vehicle Manufacturing Countries (2000-2017)

In last 2 decades PV Manufacturing Countries have witnessed major upheaval. With rapid economic growth of world’s most populous Asian Economies, world is different now. Below is comparison of the year 2000 with 2017.

Data Source: OICA

OICA Vehicle Type Definition

  • Passenger Vehicles are motor vehicles with at least four wheels, used for the transport of passengers, and comprising no more than eight seats in addition to the driver’s seat.
  • Commercial Vehicles include light commercial vehicles, heavy trucks, coaches and buses.
  • With above classification, let us put the USA production numbers in perspective. Americans love pick-up, popularly called truck in the USA. They happen to be bestselling vehicles in the USA (like Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado, Dodge RAM), however, they are classified as light commercial vehicle (CV) and thus not reflecting in these figures. When it comes to CV, list is little different with the USA standing at pole position just like China in PV. Also, Mexico and Canada, leading exporter of CV to the USA, ranks #3 & #4 respectively. Thailand too is in the same league.

PV Production Market Share – Major Gainers & Losers

  • Till 2000 India was closely matched to China’s production numbers but after that China has witnessed exponential growth compare to India’s modest figures, which today made China the biggest, way ahead of any other country of the world.
  • The USA and France has seen negative growth in the period under consideration, and Japan and Germany has seen almost flat growth in growing global market.
  • Demand form emerging nations has grown and since these countries are having tariff (import duty) and non-tariff entry barrier (ownership through JV, local content requirement etc) in place, has ensured, automakers across globe to start local manufacturing.

Continent-wise PV Production Market Share

Subprime Crisis of USA (2007) followed by Sovereign Debt Crisis of Europe (2010), were the inflection point which dramatically shifted the base of production to Asia.

Crisis made Detroit giants to lose their Global #1 and # 2 ranks and prized assets of Europe were later acquired by Asian companies. In the hindsight, some of those who rushed for podium position to gain most from the misfortune of the American automobile giants were later mired in controversies themselves, like, Toyota (Takata-Airbags-Recall), Volkswagen (Diesel-Emission-Scandal), Nissan (Vehicle-Inspection-Scandal).

Asia

  • Fast growing markets of underdeveloped Asian countries of yesteryears have become new production hub; notable countries are China, India, Thailand, Indonesia and Iran.
  • Japan and South Korea are still very competitive and leading exporter.

Europe

  • Production base is slowly shifting to low-wage East European Nation.
  • Germany and Spain are still very competitive and leading exporter.

North America

  • North Americas low wage story is similar to East Europe, where production is being shifted to Mexico.
  • NAFTA is under re-negotiation, driven by President Donald Trump, may soon alter these numbers, in future.

Global PV Production Market Share

Global PV Production Ranking

(The article is written by Rohan Rishi. You can connect with him at emailrohanrishi@gmail.com)

Auto Industry Sales Analysis – April 2018

Source: AutocarPro

Segmentwise Sales Bifurcation
  • M&HCVs saw 169.26% growth! The sector has really seen some positive momentum post good monsoons and increase in infrastructure related activities. The growth in the segment is a positive indicator for the overall economy as well.
  • 3-wheelers is faring extremely well. While we thought the segment would slowly fade post the advent of 4-wheeler passenger and load options (Ex: Ace/Maxximo, Magic/Minivan); the segment is gaining strength year on year!
  • Two-wheeler segment too saw a double digit growth owing to good monsoons and growth in upcountry markets. With this, India shall continue to be the World’s Largest Two Wheeler market!
  • Though Passenger Vehicle segment saw a positive 7.5% growth; the industry has been inconsistent over months and apart from Maruti, all other OEMs are struggling to make their presence felt.
OEM-wise Passenger Vehicles Sales Statistics – Apr’18

 

OEM-wise Two Wheelers Sales Statistics – Apr’18

 

Commercial Vehicle Sales – OEMwise

Model-wise Ranking (2015-2018)

We are happy to present the Model-wise Best sellers for 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018. For all years, we have considered Jan-Apr figures for apple to apple comparison (Ex: Jan-Apr 2015 figures are taken here, not the entire year).

Snippets:

  • Maruti Dzire is finally the best-selling car in 2018 (Jan-April period)
  • Maruti has moved up in value chain, now it is selling more ₹ 5 Lakhs+ products (Ignis+Swift+Baleno+Dzire+Ertiga+Ciaz+Scross) than under ₹ 5 Lakhs products (Omni+Alto+Ecco+Wagon R+Celerio)
  • Hyundai is more successful with higher priced volume-generating-products (i20+Creta)
  • Tata is making strong in-road with the new products (Tiago+Nexon), while Mahindra is still banking on old work horse (Bolero+Scorpio)
  • Renault’s wonder kid (Kwid) is in free fall (#7-#12-#16), high time for Renault to arrest the fall

(The article is written by Rohan Rishi. You can connect with him at emailrohanrishi@gmail.com)

Indian Auto Industry Performance – FY’18

SNAPSHOT:

  • Passenger Vehicles Domestic Sales was at All Time High at ~33 Lakh units in FY18!
  • Two Wheeler sales touched a milestone >2 crore units!
  • Highest Exports of Two Wheelers ever in FY18 at >28 Lakh units
  • Three Wheelers post highest ever domestic sales at 6,35,698 units
  • The overall industry grew a healthy 14.2% & even exports grew 16.1%
  • Three Wheelers exports saw the highest growth surge at 40.1%
  • Passenger Vehicles Exports struggled and posted a degrowth of 1.5%

Automobile Export Sales Statistics – India

Indian Government has been consistently harping on ‘Make in India’ initiatives and the sub-continent has also been an important export hub for several Automobile OEMs. The low cost of operations have been one of the most significant advantage for OEMs to set up their manufacturing base in India. Even the nations talent pool has attracted Auto MNCs to establish R&D Centres too!

Source: ET

However, the Export Output Scenario wasn’t rosy in the previous Fiscal. It remained stagnant last FY, owing to a dip in shipments of cars and commercial vehicles. Rather, exports of passenger vehicles from India declined for the first time in a decade, with automakers shifting small-car production out of India and leveraging capacities in the local market to ship out more profitable premium models. Due to this Ford was able to overtake Hyundai as the nations No.1 Exporter! Even Nissan lost over 38% v/s last year and ranked 6 in the list! The reason being the Next-gen Micra is now being manufactured in France & even Hyundai has shifted the manufacturing of the Euro-spec i20 to Turkey.

OEM wise Exports Stats – Passenger Vehicles

Ford has ramped up Sanand plant in Gujarat and has helped it report over 14 per cent YoY growth in PV export volumes. FCA India saw a jump in its export volumes since it is exclusively manufacturing its right-handed Jeep Compass in India for global sales and we expect the trend shall continue in FY19 too. Even though General Motors have left the country, the focus on exports seems to exist and grew a healthy 17.5% in FY18!

To highlight the significance of exports, we have also added the Domestic Sales for reference:

Model-wise Exports Stats – PVs

Two Wheelers:

Export Stats – Two Wheelers

Within the two-wheeler space, TVS and Honda emerged as the biggest gainers in the volume space for exports. Also the biggies like Bajaj Auto and Hero Motocorp posted below industry growths during the FY. At over 1.39 million exports last year Bajaj Auto remained the unchallenged leader in the two-wheeler category, reporting a growth of 14 per cent in exports last year. Yamaha’s export growth beat the growth of every manufacturer recording a rise of 47 per cent in volumes.

The increasing demand for premium motorcycles from developing countries will aid two-wheelers export growth in coming years. OEMs are increasingly shifting focus to export markets, particularly in the premium motorcycle segment. Two-wheelers exports volume growth was earlier largely seen in the mid-segment of 110-125cc, which grew 50 per cent YoY in FY18 and its share in overall exports volume increased to 15 per cent from 12 per cent in FY17.

To highlight the significance of exports, we have also added the Domestic Sales figures for reference:

Modelwise Two Wheeler Exports Stats