Want to be a Pundit?

Auto Punditz have always been finicky about Automobiles Sales Statistics and we have been studying the Industry Trends very closely from the past 7 years. We are a close bunch of Auto Aficionados and strongly believe in the content that we post on our site. Many a times we let our statistics do the talking and let our readers visualize the data. However, we are wanting to expand our expertise and provide a much surreal experience to our readers.

Hence, we are looking for more ‘Punditz‘ to join our team. Now, who exactly is a Pundit? This is what Google had to say –

If you feel that your views on the Auto Industry needs to be heard and want to be a part of the ethos which believes that it is ‘Not just another Automotive Website’; then mail us your profile at auto.punditz@gmail.com with the required writeup –

  1. How long you’ve been following Auto Punditz and why?
  2. 10 Innovations that is going the revolutionize the Indian Automotive landscape in the next 10 years
  3. What is it about Automotive Journalism that excites you?
  4. Your favorite memory with a Car/Bike
  5. The Best Automotive OEM/Product Ad till date

Hello World!

Management Punditz has been around for over 5 years now and thought to have an exclusive website catering to Automotive Sector. Thus Auto Punditz is born! We not only intend to share our extensive research on the industry, but also provide the automotive news without any bias or prejudice.

Our Tagline – ‘Not just another Automotive Website!’. Auto Punditz will strive to become a blog where content will be the king and accurate reporting will be our endeavor.

Our Mission – Nurture the Auto Passionate in you and become your daily dose of Automotive Media. Also make Qualitative Insights on the Automotive Industry easily accessible.

Our Vision – To be the Top Indian Automotive Blog in next 5 years.

Our Readers – Anyone whose heart has skipped a beat after seeing a car/bike will love our Website. Also if you were ever fancied how Automotive Industry has been the backbone of Indian Economy, then we’ll definitely amuse you!

Car Sales Projection for 2015

The Indian Auto Industry is estimated to grow by over 7% this Calender Year. While we’ll present the actual sales data for 2015 in Jan’16; do find our predictions we estimate for this CY OEM-wise here. The overall industry size is touted to cross 27 lakh units this year (~27.3 lakhs including luxury segment). The highlights of our analysis is:

  • -The growth in passenger cars would be primarily fueled by the Top 3 OEM’s – namely Maruti, Hyundai and Honda. 
  • -Hyundai will emerge as the OEM with the highest growth this CY. Hyundai’s entry into SUV space (through Creta) has proved to be the catalyst to this growth.
  • -Maruti will maintain its dominance by a huge margin and would end at a Market Share of over 48%. The introduction of Nexa models has proven to be positive and we foresee stronger performance ahead. 
  • -The state of affairs at the Top 3 losers (GM, Fiat and Nissan) looks worrisome. These OEM’s will have to do something radical in CY16 to avoid further slump. We have already presented our recommendations for GM here
  • -VW to have a tougher time in next CY – can the German auto major avoid the downfall? Only time will tell. 
  • -Mahindra did gain some ground with TUV 300, however the overall sales haven’t been encoraging for this Indian MNC. With KUV100, the tables can turn very soon and put the OEM back to No.3!

Bike Taxi: The next commuter/transportation revolution in India?

Prologue: I landed at Bangalore airport and had an urgent meeting at Hosur Road scheduled in next 2 hours. And I get to experience the infamous Bangalore traffic and arrived at the meeting venue only after 3 hours (all thanks to major traffic junctions such as Hebbal, Manyata Tech Park, KR Puram, Marathalli, Silk Board etc). I lose a major deal and the effort of my visit to Bangalore was nullified. 

The above situation is not only a reality for Bangalore, but for almost all metropolitan cities in India. While the taxi hailing apps have found tremendous acceptance, a gap is yet to be filled. Even though cabs provide the luxury of being chauffer driven and carrying luggage around; time is something that it can’t substitute.As a resident of Bangalore, I can very confidently say that ‘Two wheelers are the fastest mode of transportation in the city’. The age of Bikes being used as commercial taxi is now here. There is definitely a latent need and has yet to be realized by service providers in the sub-continent.  
Bikes as Taxis are already well-accepted in Goa (driven by men called pilots) and many developing countries worldwide. Its extensive usage has been seen in highly congested cities like Jakarta in Indonesia and in many cities of Japan and Vietnam. Find here the terminologies used for bike taxis in various parts of world:
Terminology for Bike Taxis worldwide
Indonesia can be cited as the most suitable where bike taxis have flourished and start-ups providing the service have grown multifold. The best example for flourishing bike taxi startup can be Go-Jek and GrabBike. Both combined already have over 80,000 registered bike taxi riders in South East Asia! 
Bike Taxis seen at a junction in Bangkok (identified by Orange Vests worn by the drivers)
Image Source- Scooters Bangkok Nana by Khaosaming
Why Bike Taxi can work in India – 
  • Time-saver : Yes, Time is one of the most important factor in today’s transportation!
  • Last mile connectivity: There is no place that can’t be reached in a 2-wheeler. 
  • Chauffer-driven Bike: Can save you from the hassles of riding in strenuous traffic conditions.
  • Pocket Friendly: Obviously, the critical factor and let’s see the comparison with a traditional 4-wheeler taxi –
One would save over Rs.130 on a 10km travel in a Bike Taxi vis-a-vis a cab ride. PS: The Bike Taxi fares are calculated using the fares announced by recently formed Indian startup named Baxi. While similar startups are seeded in Delhi/NCR, the current Motor Vehicles Act is not encouraging similar businesses at other cities. With minor amendments in the Act, we expect the trend to catch the fancy of the Indian traveler and predict multi-fold growth in the acceptance of service. 
Challenges for Bike Taxi in India:
  • Motor Vehicle Act: Lack of licensing pushed companies such as “Bikees” and “HeyTaxi” to reconsider their business operations.
  • Safety Concern: The biggest challenge to the passengers will be safety considering Indian road/driving conditions are not favorable to bikers and exposure to rains/sunlight/wind is also there. (However, in developed nations, safety measures such as mandatory helmets, airbag vests, etc are being used for pillion riders.)
  • 3-wheelers / Autos: Auto Rickshaws already claim to provide the benefits of low-cost transportation and seems to be a safer alternative to bikes. 
Current Players in the market –
Source: ET
We at Management Punditz think that Baxi and M-Taxi have taken steps in the right direction and expect radical evolution in the way people would commute in Bike Taxis. Will they be as disruptive as Olas and Ubers? – only time will tell. 

Indian Car Sales Figures – November 2015

November 2015 Sales Figures – Pan India

November was quite an interesting month for the Automobile Industry. While the biggies (Maruti, Hyundai, M&M etc) posted growth, Toyota, Tata, Honda, VW and Fiat experienced a drop. However, the industry grew to ~11% in Nov’15 compared to Nov’14.

  • – Maruti proved again why it is the Big Daddy of the Indian Automotive Space. It has put everything to shape up the new Channel – Nexa. While Nexa experienced initial struggle in building equity through S-Cross; Baleno has made a significant impact by jumping to the 7th best selling car in India! However, the Numero Uno car maker couldn’t sustain Swift’s volumes and the cannibalization seemed inevitable. 
  • – Alto again pipped Dzire to stand on top of the table. The entry hatch segment as a whole has proved to be interesting. While Alto continues its dominance; Eon and Kwid are performing equally impressive as well. The baby Renault (Kwid) has set a new benchmark in the segment and has renewed the Indian consumers interest in the segment which was slowly losing steam. Hyundai’s approach is also appreciable – all efforts aligned by the Korean major to avoid losing Eon numbers to Kwid.
  • – While Baleno was raking the moolah, Grand i10 did the impossible (or was it?) – It overtook the segment leader by a margin (>1000 units!). Hyundai Grand i10 exceeded Swift’s volumes for the first time since its launch! Also interesting to see i20 volumes being untouched even with Baleno’s success.  
  • – Mahindra is trying to jump into shape through TUV. The picture seems positive as of now – M&M places itself 3rd in the OEM table. However, the sales of mentioned brands is a big question mark – Quanto (2), Rexton (4), Vibe (47) and Verito (174). 
  • Honda’s sales statistics again startles us – Jazz volumes lower than Amaze? The premium hatchback space has seen a turnaround – but Jazz numbers indicate that it is slowly losing steam? Also worrisome for Honda is Mobilio’s volumes – 89% de-growth! (as a matter of fact, Mobilio’s numbers has been lower than Lodgy as well).
  • Ford – The only product in the portfolio which had a month-on-month growth was Ecosport! The newbies (Aspire and Figo) are already struggling to provide steady volumes. 
  • It is saddening to see Tata’s most capable product – Zest’s decline in numbers. We otherwise have tremendous expectations from Zica – will this pull Tata out of the debacle?
We also share our concerns with the recent Chennai flood. Not only the Detroit of India has seen irrevocable damages in the past few days, the Automotive Manufacturing Plants in the area will take quite some time to recover. We pray for speedy recovery of the city and also salute the spirit of Chennai in these tough times. 
A look at the Top 25 selling cars –

Premium Hatchback Sales Trend – India

Indian market has evolved unexpectedly and OEMs are finding it difficult to plan their product portfolio citing the change in consumer mindset and difficulty in identifying the trends. We had coined the term ‘UV’ology in 2012 seeing the impressive growth of the segment and the influx of new models to cash in the phenomena (say Ertiga, Duster, Ecosport XUV etc). However, the trend slowed down in the UV’s and Indian consumers focus shifted to other segments. 
The reason the Premium Hatchback segment is being analyzed is:
  • – It is one of the fastest growing segment in 2015: The segment grew  astounding 276% in year 2015 v/s 2009. Also the growth was 96% in 2015 when compared to 2014.
  • – The Big 3 of the Indian Automotive Space (Maruti, Hyundai & Honda) now have a competitive product in the segment and will define their growth prospective ahead.    
  • – Percentage contribution of these models to their respective OEMs – Ex: i20 Elite+Active contributes to over 28% of Hyundai’s sales in India! The story is similar for Jazz as well where the model currently forms over 25% of Honda’s sales.  
A look at the sales volumes of the cars in the segment in past 7 years:

Sales Statistics
Growth Chart
Hyundai i20 remains the undisputed leader in the segment and in a way has defined the segment itself. Many players jumped into the premium hatch space, but were unable to catch the fancy of the Indian Buyer – Jazz & Punto saw initial positive response, however couldn’t gain the expected volumes. While the previous generation Jazz was discontinued in July 2013, even Punto faced issues crossing the >500 sales mark. 
Snapshot of major updates in the segment:
  1. * Hyundai  was the first automobile company to crack the segment and have the first successful product in the category. i20 set up new benchmark in sales over years and the current generation clocked over 1.5 Lakh unit sales in just 14 months (since its launch in Sep’14)
  2. * Hyundai was again a pioneer in the segment – It had launched Getz way back in 2004 and had to stop its production owing to poor sales in 2010 (it was refreshed as Getz Prime in 2007). The response for Getz wasn’t encouraging – however, it did not stop Hyundai to explore and launch first gen i20 in 2008 which proved to be an excellent decision and elevate Hyundai into the premium category. Even biggies like Honda were not able to make any effect with previous Jazz in the segment.  
  3. * Honda understood that it had lost a valuable pie in the premium hatch category due to hefty pricing of Jazz, which otherwise would have helped the Japanese major to gain volumes in the tough times (2009-2012). However, Honda realized its mistake and bought in the new Jazz with diesel engine option and announced an aggressive price with it. The car has seen assuring response and looks forward to grow even stronger in coming days. 
  4. Polo remains VW’s most successful product in its portfolio which highlights the response of the segment’s customer. Though the sales of Polo has varied over years, VW recognizes that a fresh update can renew sales to newer heights. 
  5. * Maruti too realized that the Indian customer would slowly shift its preference towards the premium hatch because of – 
    1. > Ease of maneuverability of hatches in crowded cities
    2. > Youth wants a compact, spacious and stylish car – all boxes ticked by a premium hatch
    3. > The current buyer wants a feature rich car and wouldn’t mind paying a premium for the same
  6. * The aforementioned reasons made India’s no.1 carmaker to enter the segment with its latest offering Baleno and also market it through a new channel – Nexa to deliver the premium message with the offering.
We expect the segment to deliver similar growth in coming time and do not be surprised to see other OEMs jump in this bandwagon. Baleno & Jazz again have a lot riding on their shoulders to define their respective OEMs performance in India.