January 2019 Car Sales – Snapshot

The Passenger Car Sales degrew -1.8% in Jan’19 v/s Jan’18. Due to muted demand and weak consumer sentiment; the Industry is under consistent pressure and last few months have been very challenging. Even though Jan’19 had 3 bigh-ticket launches – Wagon R, Harrier and Kicks; their contribution to the respective OEM volumes wasn’t significant. It is even worrisome to imagine the condition without these new launches. It was also very disappointing to see that there were no major announcements in today’s budget that could have supported the Auto Sector.

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

  • The Top 4 OEMs posted a positive / flat YoY growth in Jan’19.
  • Maruti Suzuki reported a meager 0.2 per cent increase in its domestic sales at 1,39,440 units in Jan’19 v/s 1,39,189 cars sold in Jan’18.
  • Nexa seems to be struggling while it reported a -25% 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 could grow 1% in Jan’19 v/s the same period last year. Even post Santro launch; Hyundai hasn’t gained significant numbers. However; Santro has helped Hyundai survive in tough times and maintain its volumes.
  • Honda pips Tata as the 4th Biggest OEM for Jan’19! Honda has registered the highest YoY growth of 23% in Jan’19! Amaze has done wonders for the Japanese OEM and helped it gain considerable volume since launch.
  • Tata posted a degrowth of -13% even post the Harrier launch.

How the Market Shares fluctuated in Jan’19 v/s Jan’18 –

  • Maruti was again successful in garnering >50% Market Share. The Market Share has grown by 1% YoY
  • Tata has lost the highest Market Share at -0.8%.

Indian Cars Making A Splash In The West

Indian automakers are starting to gain mindshare of the western audience with their products. The Tata Nexon recently scored full five stars in the Global New Car Assessment Program and became the first made-in-India car to do so.

The world’s largest auto show is in the books now. The 2019 North American International Auto Show of Detroit introduced us to the long-awaited and longer-rumored Toyota Supra. But the car that impressed the Jalopnik editor, Jason Torchinsky, was the Mahindra Marazzo.
This wagon became India’s car of the year 2018 in Team-BHP’s polls by a huge margin. And now, it’s winning enthusiasts at the world’s automotive capital. Jason called it the most interesting car at the Detroit auto show and for good reason. The Marazzo is indeed a unique thing. It’s the only front-wheel drive car in India (and probably in the world) with ladder frame underpinnings. Driving the front wheels is efficient and helps with the fuel efficiency figure. And a ladder frame is rugged-enough to take the abuse a people-carrier is expected to deal with on Indian “roads.” The packaging also helps eliminate the floor hump and liberate a good amount of space in the second and third rows.

Speaking of Indian cars with clever packaging that impressed Jason, Tata Nano. The automotive blog reviewed a 10-year old Tata Nano and called it an engineering triumph. The Nano and the Mahindra Roxor were also listed as one of the best cars Jalopnik staff had reviewed in 2018; sharing the space with the Tesla Model 3 and Mazda Miata.
Here’s an excerpt from the review:
“I’m delighted to report that this, the cheapest new car you can buy in the world, does its job. Really, it does its job much better than it has any right to, considering the absurdly low cost of this thing.
It is an absolute design and engineering triumph. I don’t care that it’s not selling well in India. That doesn’t faze me a bit. I don’t care because the end result is an absolutely ingenious design.
The Bugatti Chiron is a joke next to the design and engineering of the Nano. The Nano is an engineering triumph, and the Chiron is an engineering stunt.
The Nano is the true spiritual heir of what the original Volkswagen Beetle, Citroën 2Cv, BMC Mini, and Ford Model T strove to be. I can think of no higher praise than that.”

30 Best Selling Models of 2018

  • Maruti is firmly holding the top 6 slots
  • Lower priced hatchbacks are getting replaced by higher value cars. Consumers are now more value conscious rather than price conscious
  • Mahindra, Honda, Renault and Datsun are losing share among best sellers in India
  • Tata’s product onslaught and acceptance in market has put Mahindra on back foot

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

2019 Maruti Baleno Facelift Launched (Rs. 5.45 lakh – Rs. 8.77 lakh)

– Redesigned face with a new grill

– LED projector headlamps replace the HID projector units

– Redesigned 16-inch alloy wheels for Zeta and Alpha variants replace the boring set that looked like wheel covers

– Projector headlamps now also available on the most value-for-money and best-selling Delta variant

– SmartPlay Studio infotainment system for live traffic updates

– 7-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay still on offer for Zeta and Alpha variants

– As per the picture of the Baleno RS on the official website, it too appears to inherit the updates but retains the unique mesh grille

– No changes to the engine and transmission options

Variant-wise ex-showroom price list:

Petrol Manual:

Sigma: Rs. 5.46 lakh

Delta: Rs. 6.17 lakh

Zeta: Rs. 6.85 lakh

Alpha: Rs. 7.45 lakh

Petrol CVT Automatic:

Delta: Rs. 7.49 lakh

Zeta: Rs. 8.17 lakh

Alpha: Rs. 8.77 lakh

Diesel Manual:

Sigma: Rs. 6.61 lakh

Delta: Rs. 7.32 lakh

Zeta: Rs. 8.00 lakh

Alpha: Rs. 8.60 lakh

The biggest change with the update is the inclusion of projector headlamps in the Delta and Zeta variants. Earlier, this feature was limited to only the Alpha trim but the customer demand seems to be the reason behind the move. As per most dealerships, the Delta variant is the best-selling model. The Ignis and S-Cross continue to limit the LED lighting to the top trims while the Ciaz offers the cooler headlamps on the top two variants. Baleno’s unique selling point, the UV-cut glass, continues to be reserved for the fully-loaded variant only.

The projector setup is a looker and it makes the Delta variant even easier to recommend and a no-brainer upgrade over the Sigma.

No need to upgrade the alloys

Another positive change is the dismissal of the older alloy wheels, which looked like wheel covers. The S-Cross too hit the market initially with an equally boring set of wheels. The strategy behind such a move could be to push the buyers to upgrade to a shinier set at the dealership, thus helping the outlets improve their revenue. Both the cars now sport a shiny set of rims in their higher variants.

Where’s the RS?

The Baleno RS photograph suggests that it too has received the update including the new alloy wheels. It’s safe to assume that the new infotainment system and LED headlights will be part of the RS’s package as well. Surprisingly, the RS is missing from the list of cars on the Nexa’s official website. There’s only an option to show interest in the car. This move leads us to believe that the demand for the RS has been about the same as that for the S-Cross 1.6. Therefore, Maruti Suzuki may have made the RS a made-to-order option on the lineup. The price tag of the car was also not revealed along with the updated list.

30 Slow Selling Models of 2018

Let us have a look at the 30 slow selling models of 2018. Models which got discontinued in 2018 and those launched in H2 of 2018 are excluded.

  • Renault Captur is nothing but a disaster
  • Hyundai is not able to sell the two most expensive cars in its portfolio at ease, surely needs new brand like KIA to capitalize higher end of mass market segment
  • SUV, though is flavor of the season, but only few car companies are able to make very competitive one

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