March is generally a good month for Auto manufacturers as a lot of customers are scheduling their purchase considering the depreciation benefit. The buying is also preponed to March with the contemplation of Price Hike in April. The OEMs also offer aggressive discounts in March as it marks the end of the Financial Year and the OEMs performance for the Fiscal is also defined by March’s performance. Also to be considered here is that the consumers get clarity in terms of the Annual Budget and hence if any policy changes are there or not.
Mar’17 was no different – Indian Auto Industry grew YoY by 9% and it also reported the highest sales figures ever in a Financial Year (Apr’16-Mar’17). India saw sales of over 30 lakh units for the first time and also saw the highest growth in past 7 years! It also became the third fastest growing market in the world. The growth as usual was fueled by new launches. As many as 42 new models (including facelift and refreshes) were launched in past 15 months. As forecasted earlier by us, the Industry is surely in a growth trajectory and is poised for higher volumes in the coming year. Let’s look at the Industry trend of past 7 years –
A look at the model-wise Sales for Mar’17:
- It was a benchmark year for Maruti – the OEM which known globally as a small-car maker and attributed its success with its strong portfolio of entry level hatches ; has now entrenched itself as a market leader in almost every segment! The strategy of bringing a capable model in every segment played off well with Maruti Suzuki India and the Nexa Channel too has reaped excellent results.
- Mar’17 was an interesting month for Maruti – Baleno registered its all time highest sales and sold over 16k units! It emerged to become India’s second best selling car. Surprisingly no drop was seen in Swift’s sales as well (and hence no cannibalization evident). Also the photos of New Swift & Dzire indicate that the launch of refreshed models is near.
- Ciaz saw a dip in sales (YoY) – The launch of New City has surely attributed and the transition from Maruti Channel to Nexa Channel could be the reason as well. While Ciaz’s stronghold was in Diesel segment – it is going to take a hit with the withdrawal of FAME scheme (and thus Diesel Ciaz prices are bound to increase).
- Hyundai continues to encash Indians love for SUVs – sold the ever-highest numbers of Creta in Mar’17. Over 10k units were shipped from Hyundai’s manufacturing facility to its dealer partners. This segment (Rs.12 L – 20L SUV) was tapped earlier by Mahindra with XUV; however Hyundai topped Mahindra in its game and has achieved the impossible.
- M&M was one of fewest OEMs to see a YoY degrowth in Mar’17. The Indian UV major is seeing major challenges in its home turf. The new models haven’t performed as per expectation and it is still dependent on its old warhorses (Bolero & Scorpio). It is going to be a tough year ahead if the company isn’t able to bring exciting models in this fiscal.
- Honda grew for the second consecutive month and was mainly supported by City & W-RV. The New City seems to have got tremendous response from the market and has helped the Japanese OEM to dethrone Ciaz from the top slot. WRV too joined the party and has done decent 3,833 units in its first month – the coming months will the real test for the touted Compact SUV.
- The Product Offensive strategy of Tata Motors has surely helped and has made the Indian OEM to aim for the 3rd spot (by 2019). Happy with Tiago’s tremendous response, Tata launched its sedan version and has priced it well. Around 3011 Tigor’s were shipped in the first month itself.
- We have no clue with what’s happening with the brand Chevy in India. Even with American Muscle and Breakthrough models (like Beat, Cruze etc) the OEM has been extremely lethargic in its approach and is slowly losing its ground. With the BS-3 ban coming to affect – its rural workhorse Tavera is going to rest now. Also the recent speculations of GM moving out of India has shocked us (News Link).
Top 20 selling cars of Mar’17 –
Top Selling Hatchbacks (entry & mid level) –
Top Selling Premium Hatches –
Top Selling Compact Sedans –
Top Selling Sedans –
Top Selling Compact SUVs –
Top Selling MUVs –
Top Selling SUVs –