Car Sales India – Year 2018

~33.5 Lakh Passenger Vehicles were sold in India during the year 2018! The Industry could project a growth of little over 5% in 2018 when compared to 2017. While we anticipated that 2018 shall be they year where the industry could grow double digit owing to multiple new launches and also due to the Auto Expo euphoria. However Weakening Rupee, Volatile Stock Market, Increasing Fuel Prices & Rising Interest Rates played spoilsport in the growth story and the Industry struggled to register even 5.2% growth.

Let’s see how the OEMs fared in 2018 –

  • Tata registered the highest YoY growth; witnessed an improvement of 26.3% in sales volumes. Riding on the consistent performance of Tiago and Nexon, Tata sold almost 2.2 lakh passenger vehicles last year.
  • Ford and Toyota were the next two OEMs which could register positive growth, witnessed growths of 11.7% and 8.5% respectively.
  • The Nation’s Biggest Car maker sold >17.3 Lakh cars and grew by 8% in 2018 v/s 2017.
  • As a matter of fact; 6 out of Top 7 OEMs saw a positive YoY growth barring Honda which registered a degrowth of -2.4%. Even with the big ticket launch of Amaze; Honda wasn’t able to match 2017’s volumes in 2018.

How the Market Shares fluctuated in 2018 v/s 2017 –

  • Maruti strengthened its market share even further in 2018 to 51.7% v/s 50.4% Market Share in 2017. Maruti+Hyundai now captures 68.1% of the overall market!
  • Renault registered the highest dip in Market Share and lost a heft 1.1% Market Share in 2018 v/s 2017! It’s high time for Renault to pull its socks and avoid any further drop in its volumes/MS.

Retail Sales Snapshot – December 2018

FADA (Federation of Automobile Dealers Association) has taken a great initiative of sharing the Retail (sale of cars from Dealership to End Customer) Data. This shall be the right way of looking at the Industry Performance as the Wholesale Data was deceptive as it used to reflect the dispatches of cars from OEM to dealer. As the Wholesale figures were primarily published; OEMs used to push cars to dealers to project growth in the sales volumes which used eventually lead to high inventory levels at dealerships if retail movement was slow. We appreciate FADA’s initiative and hope they shall be able to share model-wise retail data as well.

The Industry-wise Retail Statistics for Dec’18 is as shown below:

  • Not a healthy scenario for the Auto Industry
  • MoM (Month on Month) Auto Sales have actually declined; vis-a-vis growth seen in the Wholesale Statistics
  • Liquidity a concern for the Auto Industry and is backed with negative consumer sentiment
  • Passenger Vehicle Sales was down by -7% in Dec’18 v/s Nov’18 and was -3% when compared to Dec’17. The PV Sales were down by 7% in FY18-19 vis-a-vis FY17-18! Indeed a much more tougher time for dealers rather than the OEMs as they shall be still carrying the stocks in their inventory.
  • 2W sales were comparatively better and showed 11% growth in Dec’18 v/s Dec’17. However; there was a degrowth of -18% in Dec’18 v/s same period last year.

VW announces slash in Maintenance Costs for its range in India!

German Brands (VW, Skoda, etc) are known for its well-engineered products are are equally renowned for their build quality. However; the pain area always used to be their high cost of ownership, costlier spares and inflated service bills. VW had already taken initiatives to rationalize their service costs; and now they’ve gone a step further to reduce their overall cost of ownership by Doubling Free Road Side Assistance & Adding Free Services.

The details are as shown:

So, what exactly is on offer:

Mahindra XUV 300 Base Variant Spied

Mahindra XUV 300 is gathering a lot of interest recently due to the segment first features that it should be offering. However; we are happy to see the list of features are on offer on the base variant as well. In the recent spy shots it was seen that even the base variant sports a LED tail lamp cluster, 2-din audio system, Power Windows (along with one touch anti pinch for the driver side), MID with the instrument console, etc.

The Spy Shots are as shown below:

  • Front Face:

  • Rear

  • Dashboard along with Music System:

  • Power Windows:

  • Instrumentation Cluster:

Do note that the XUV 300 is based on the SsangYong Tivoli platform and is loaded with lots of new features and some-segment first also. The features that the car is going to be launched includes Sunroof, DRLs, Dual Zone Auto AC, 7-Airbags, Cruise Control & ESP.

Ford Recalls New EcoSport In North America

Ford has issued a recall for the 2019 EcoSport to fix a potentially-weak weld in the front seats. The weld between the A-bracket of the backrest and the side member may break in the event of a crash. Although, the carmaker claims that they have not received any complaints of injuries caused due to the said issue.

The automaker will replace the front seats altogether in the affected cars rather than ripping apart the upholstery and padding to strengthen the weld. The recall is only applicable to the North American EcoSport buyers. Ford says that it affects a total of 87 cars, 63 of which are in the United States while 13 are in Canada. It’s not clear at the moment where the other 11 cars were dispatched.

EcoSport owners in the North American region can call 866-436-7332 and mention the recall number 18C 08 to find out if their car needs to visit the dealership.

Additionally, Ford also issued another recall related to the Takata airbags, which are prone to throwing shrapnel at the occupants in the event of a crash. The airbag-related recall adds another 9.53 lakh vehicles, 7.8 lakh of which are in the US. The reference number for this is 19S 01. The passenger-side front airbag of the following vehicles may need replacement:

– 2010 Ford Edge

– 2010-11 Ford Ranger

– 2010-12 Ford Fusion

– 2010-14 Ford Mustang

– 2010 Lincoln MKX

– 2010-12 Lincoln MXZ

– 2010-11 Mercury Milan

Top 10 Selling Cars of December 2018

We thank our readers for actively participating in our FIRST contest and sharing your entries. We received an impressive 83 entries and express our gratitude for your whole-hearted participation. Would now want to announce the winners of the contest in this post:

  1. Vijram
  2. Sudipto Chatterjee

Congratulations to the Winners and we shall try to feature them in detail in our model-wise sales report. The Winners shall also have access now to our detailed repository of reports and the new updates would be mailed personally! Join us in congratulating the winners.

A lot of upheaval has happened in the Top 10 selling cars of December 2018. While Alto has regained the Numero Uno slot by a clear margin; Hyundai makes an entry into the Top 3 and surprisingly has 2 of its models in Top 5! The highlights of the Top 10 selling cars data of Dec’18 are:

  • We believe that for the first time 2 Non-Maruti models shall feature in the Top 5 selling cars list. And both the Non-Maruti models are from the Hyundai’s stable! We have got maximum entries for the contest where the Top 5 cars were guessed to be from Maruti Suzuki (which is the usual trend; however this time it was different and thus the contest was announced).
  • Hyundai’s Elite i20+Active become the Best Selling Hyundai & Third Best Selling Car of Dec’18. It was not an easy task to outdo Swift & Baleno’s numbers – However; i20’s persistance has made it possible and placed it ahead the biggies. i20 sold almost >800 units more than Baleno!
  • Even post Santro launch; Grand i10’s performance hasn’t dwindled. It sold an impressive 11,450 units in Dec’18 and was just 340 units short of its competition Swift. Considering the extremely high discounts on Grand i10; the value proposition of the model went very attractive and proved positive in terms of sales.
  • Celerio sold 9k units and ranked 9th in the list. With Wagon-R undergoing the model change transition; Maruti’s focus on Celerio in Dec’18 worked well in terms of volumes and successfully placed it in the Top 10 selling cars list.
  • Eeco makes a grand entry into the list. Selling 8,532 units of Eeco is no joke and only Maruti can make it possible. Eeco+Omni combined sold 15,850 units which is higher than the overall sales of Tata, Mahindra & Honda individually 🙂
  • Though Creta numbers have dropped; it managed to fare at the bottom of the list with a sales of 7,631 units.

Top 5 selling cars of Dec’18 – Contest

The Industry is going through a topsy turvy phase and a lots of ups and downs has been seen in the list of best selling cars for Dec’18.

This month statistics has been pretty interesting and we thought of announcing a 1-day contest where our readers can participate and guess the Top-5 selling cars of the month!

The rules of the contest shall be –

  • You need to click on the comment button on the post submit your entry
  • Please ensure the right mail id is entered while sharing your details in the comment box. This shall help us contact you correctly.
  • The Top 5 selling cars could be named in any order (i.e ranking of the model can vary; however the model shall be included in the list). Ex: ‘Product A’ could be the second best selling car of Dec’18. However, for this contest to make things easier; the mention of the product name shall be enough.
  • The contest is valid only for today (4th Jan 2019) and no entries post this date shall be considered.

So what’s in it if you win the contest?

The first 5 right guesses (winners) shall be featured as a ‘Pundit’ in our next post with a small intro of theirs. And yes; they shall also avail the exclusive repository of the data we collate about the industry!

Why wait, hit the comment button right now!

December 2018 Car Sales – Snapshot

December being a year-end is generally a lull month in terms of Wholesales (dispatches from OEMs to Dealers). However, the end consumer retails is one of the highest among all months citing high discounts.

Dec’18 was again a tough month for the Indian Auto Industry and was stagnant when compared to same period last year. The situation is going even worse for the challenging brands (bottom 6 OEMS) where dip in volumes is hitting their bottom lines really hard and justifying the heavy investment is getting even more difficult. The condition for the dealerships are also at a critical stage as they are carrying an average of 45 days stock and their profitability is thinning as well due to additional discounts being offered from their margins to liquidate stock.

Factors that has affected the overall industry in the past few months are:

  • Increase in Fuel Prices – The Fuel Prices had sky rocketed this year and has affected consumer sentiments at large. However, in Dec’18 the fuel prices dropped to the all time low for the year.
  • Weakening of Rupee – OEMs are sourcing parts from various country and weakening of rupee affects their overall transactions.
  • Rising Interest Rates – The change in IRR has increased the overall car loan rates and has made it more difficult to buy a car in recent times!
  • Volatile Stock Market – Lot of money is lost in the fluctuation in the stock market. Not a good time to buy a car, eh?

Let’s see how the OEMs fared in Dec’18 –

  • Maruti Suzuki could grow a nominal 1% in Dec’18 v/s Dec’17. However; even with this performance Maruti registered its all time best December month sales figure!
  • Even with a recent big launch executed (Santro); Hyundai’s YoY growth was just 5%. Can you imagine Hyundai’s condition sans Santro?
  • Tata could again pip Mahindra from the third spot! The fight for the Third Rank is going to get hotter with 2 new launches from the Indian OEMs – Harrier from Tata & XUV300 from Mahindra are going to shape 2019 performance for their respective OEMs
  • Honda could grow a modest 4% in Dec’18 v/s same period last year. The New Amaze has helped the Japanese MNC sustain its volumes this year.
  • Renault, VW, Nissan, Skoda & FCA have all registered double-digit degrowth! The bottom 6 are finding it extremely tough to maintain their Market Share and are losing their ground mercilessly.

How the Market Shares fluctuated in Dec’18 v/s Dec’17 –

  • Maruti was again successful in garnering >50% Market Share. The Market Share has grown by 0.5% YoY
  • Hyundai has gained the highest market share with an increment of 0.8% v/s last year
  • FCA has lost the highest Market Share in Dec’18 due to the dwindling volumes of its flagship Compass.

Report Card of Cars launched in 2017

Let us have a look at the performance of the cars launched in the year 2017. Why now? As manufacturing and logistics activity usually stabilize after 6 months from launch date, based on demand-supply situation. Only new generation and new products are considered here, not the mid-life refresh ones.

Hyundai Verna

3rd generation has brought Verna nameplate back in the game, in a segment which is reeling under SUV onslaught. Remember how, once, 2nd generation fluidic design Verna brought aspirational Honda City on its knees. City reclaimed its position later but that was quite an interesting show. Verna’s position seems to be safe till new City comes in 2020.

Tata Nexon

After pretty long time, Tata Motors is showing good growth with an all new productline. Credit should go where it is due, to erstwhile Chairman of Tata Motors – Mr. Cyrus Mistry and the then Managing Director Mr. Karl Slym, and their  Horizonext strategy, rolled out in 2012-13. They transformed the organization and made Tata Motors future ready and put the company on growth trajectory where it is today.

“This strategy rests on the pillars of intense product focus, benchmarking to world-class manufacturing practices, enriched customer purchase experience, consistent and outstanding service and a technology-intensive aftermarket support. With this, we strive for the next level in design, driving experiences, fuel economy and connectivity” – Tata Motors Annual report 2013-14.

Maruti Dzire (sub 4m)

Dzire needs no introduction, it is the best-selling car of 2018. With every new generation it became much more desirable, and yes, Honda’s latest attempt to dethrone it, is not quite successful yet.

Tata Tigor

Tigor couldn’t emulate the success of Tiago. Underpowered engine and body styling is not very well accepted by Indian market. It seems Tigor got some numbers from Zest, and later is pushed into fleet segment.

Volkswagen Tiguan

Tiguan is 6th best-selling car across the globe (2018). But conservative design language is not helping the case of Tiguan in India. Even more expensive cousin Kodiaq is doing better numbers than Tiguan.

Maruti Ignis

Currently it is slowest selling hatchback in Maruti’s portfolio. Other car makers will be more than happy to have such sales numbers, but as per Maruti’s standard, it is a flop. Looking at its some of near predecessor, we can easily gauge in our crystal ball (graph below) where it is heading to. In fact, predecessors had much better start as well. Over-priced perception, polarizing rear end design, and close positioning between Swift (aspirational) and Wagon R (Value for money) has taken toll on its number. So, for all those who believe that Maruti badge stamped on any car can sell, please take a note. Primarily, it is always product and price.

Volkswagen Passat

Previous generation of Passat was launched to build premium brand image for Volkswagen in India. It did fairly well for its part. But current generation couldn’t even hold candle to its cousin Superb. Car is loaded with all bells and whistles, but it looks very bland from all angles and it’s no brainer for customers to go for its stylish cousin. By the way segment is dying way too fast.

Skoda Kodiaq

Overpriced perception and underpowered engine (148 bhp) took a toll on Kodiaq’s number. Its direct competitor Honda CRV brought in newer generation car with even more underpowered (120 bhp) engine. What is going on, a race to bring underpowered engines at insanely high price. Surprisingly, body on ladder frame cars too lost some of steam this year.

Honda WR-V

India’s craze for SUV and sunroof was very well adapted by Honda with minimal investment. But numbers are going down now, and upcoming Mahindra XUV 300 will hurt the weakest first, and very promising Hyundai 4m SUV will hit everyone hard.

Tata Hexa

Hexa is nothing but repackaged Aria. Seems more like a bridging product, till the launch of H5X (2019) and H7X (2020). In competitive landscape it may not have performed that well but in isolation it has really done the job what it is meant to, compared to its super flop predecessor, thanks to Horizonext strategy.

Jeep Compass

It was the most awarded car in 2017. Had a grand opening, as it was tremendous value for money product, given the Jeep brand and heritage. Then what happened?

Lot of product issues, high maintenance cost and below par channel partners (dealerships) are the major reason cited by customers for not going for such an appealing product on paper and in metal. This resulted in bad word of mouth, and numbers just corroborate that. Jeep needs to be very cautious with upcoming Renegade.

Renault Captur

In Europe, Duster is sold under Dacia (Romania) brand, well regarded as no nonsense functional car. And European Captur is sold as premium crossover, based on Renault Clio (Hatchback)- a Maruti Baleno sized car. Both are well differentiated products sold under different brand and have distinct image and customer segment. Then what Renault India has set out to achieve by offering two products having similar dimension and catering to same customer segment, but one of them asking for price premium over other for no apparent reason. Besides that interior plastic is hard, that may work for Duster but not for so called premium Captur, and from outside it looks like grown up stylish Kwid rather than rugged looking SUV (read Duster) or sophisticated looking SUV (read Hyundai Creta). Result is quite apparent.

Nissan is playing the same trick now with Kicks slated for January 2019 launch. Leather trim on dashboard looks upmarket but besides that, all plastic parts looks like carried over from Duster/Terrano/Captur, which is hard and feel cheap. If they price it over ambitiously like Captur, then we know the result beforehand, similar to above numbers.

(The article is written by Rohan Rishi. You can connect with him at