One of the most competitive segments in the Industry!
There has been no definitive winner in this category and that’s what makes this segment extremely competitive. Ciaz in its refreshed avatar had taken the Top slot in Sep’18 and was clearly ahead of City & Verna. However, just within a month the scenario changed and the gap between Ciaz & No.2 (City) minimized to just 280 units. Also City, which was pushed to the No.3 spot jumped to the second rank in Oct’18 overtaking Hyundai’s Verna. 4th Spot has been dominated by Skoda’s Rapid and it has been pretty consistent there (anticipated that Yaris could’ve dethroned it).
Let’s see the Top 5 best selling sedans of Oct’18 –
You may be wondering; where is Yaris in the list? Toyota’s biggest launch this year couldn’t meet the customer’s aspirations level and the pricing worked as a deterrent to the model. Yaris registered its all time lowest sales yet and was pushed to the bottom of the table!
No Rejoice this festive season for the Automakers!
A lot was riding on the Dussehra festivity to boost car sales. However, the month proved to be a dud and both OEMs & dealers kept on gasping to get more customers on to their showrooms. Rising Fuel Prices, Higher Insurance Costs, Volatility of Rupee & Negativity in the stock market were the primary reasons for lower consumer sentiment. The carmakers had stocked up dealer inventory anticipating the festive rush; however the market response was subliminal. The silver lining again was only new launches – Santro, New Aspire, Marazzo helped their respective OEMs gain a significant growth in Oct’18 v/s the same period last year.
Maruti’s sales was flat and could post a growth of meager 0.6% in Oct’18 v/s Oct’17. The nation’s biggest carmaker too was affected by the lower customer sentiment and the wholesale volumes were normalized as the dealers were already loaded with higher stock levels.
Hyundai India registered its all time highest sales owing to wonderful response of the New Santro. The New Santro garnered 28,800 bookings in just 22 days which is the highest ever for any brand in its segment!
M&M was able to retain its 3rd spot and Marazzo critically helped the OEM for the purpose. However, Tata has been dangerously close and with the announcement of initiation of Harrier bookings – Tata’s chances have gone stronger!
Let’s see how the Market Shares fluctuated in Oct’18 v/s Oct’17 –
Maruti’s market shares dropped by -0.6%! We have been habituated to see Maruti’s Market shares above 50%; however the drop wasn’t expected considering their capacity expansion and aggressive campaigns. Possibly launch of the New Santro has made some effect in the entry-hatch segment (which has always been Maruti’s stronghold).
Hyundai gained significantly owing to Santro launch. However; the increment in Market Shares was just 0.5%. Infact Tata’s market share increase was very similar!
Considering low base in Oct’18 & launch of refreshed Aspire; Ford’s Market Share increment was a whopping 1.7%. Will Ford sustain this?
While India’s Transport Minister Mr.Nitin Gadkari had committed that India India will stick to its plan of having 100% electric mobility by 2030. However, government’s efforts to promote electric cars have been dismal and disappointing. Hence FY 2017-2018 saw de-growth in sale of electric four-wheelers where the sales are down year-on-year by 40 percent! The sale of electric 4-wheelers dropped from 2000 in FY16-17 to 1200 in FY17-18. However, the positive news is that the Electric 2-wheeler sales catapulted from 23,000 units in FY17 to 54,800 units in FY18. We also saw new-age Electric 2 wheeler manufacturers (likes of Ather Electric) venture into Electric 2-wheeler segment and make their presence felt.
However, Mahindra Electric seems to be the only OEM in India which has considerable number of electric vehicles in its portfolio and has been serious about this segment. The vehicles in Mahindra Electric’s portfolio are:
Mahindra eVerito – eVerito is the most radical offering out of all; as it has maximum space and practicality of the diesel-run sibling (Verito). The car is a hit among Taxi Fleet buyers and have tied up the vehicle with enterprise clients. Majority of the eVerito’s are sold in Bangalore. Mahindra Electric had earlier tied-up with Baghirathi group which launched its brand ‘rydS’ and had the plans to include 1000 eVerito’s in the fleet.
Mahindra e2o – Reva was the pioneer in the Electric Vehicle space and e2o came into existence post Mahindra bought over Reva. It is an evolution of the earlier generation Reva Electric cars and is much more advanced when compared to the predecessor.
Mahindra eSupro Passenger – The vehicle is an electric avatar of the already selling Supro passenger and provides an excellent green option of mobility in big cities. The vehicle has acres of space and can be used as an excellent people mover.
Mahindra eAlfa – The electric 3-wheeler is an excellent mobility option in the Tier-2, Tier-3 towns and could also be used in bigger campuses for ferrying public.
Last 3-months Sales figures of the vehicles sold by Mahindra Electric for reference –
Tata Motors has made a huge image makeover in the past 3 years and has helped the OEM slowly gain market share which it had previously lost. Tata Motors in now currently challenging the No.3 Spot in the Top 3 OEMs and is progressively strengthening its hold. So what exactly changed in the recent years for Tata Motors that allowed Tata Motors in the path of regaining its lost glory –
Project HorizoNext – Way back in 2013, Tata initiated HORIZONEXT, a four-pronged customer-focused strategy to provide the best customer experience — from best vehicle experience to superlative purchase experience and followed by technology-intense after market service support. Tata Motors products were reeling with Quality-related issues and the Dealership Service Experience was nothing but a nightmare. The HORIZONEXT helped the OEM to work on improving its overall quality levels of the products/new launches and also elevate the dealership interaction experience.
Shift from Taxi Segment – Tata’s Indica & Indigo duo which were the mainstay of the OEMs volumes during 2010-2014 was slowly deteriorating the brand’s acceptance amongst personal usage buyers. The company had sought to bring about a change in its brand positioning from an automaker that makes cars for commercial operations like taxis to an automaker who makes cars for personal use. As of today; apart from Zest/Bolt none of the OEMs models are offered in Taxi segment. Tata Motors has completely shifted focus from the Taxi segment and even the upcoming line of products are bound to cater to personal usage buyers (Harrier, 45X).
Shooing away from the ‘cheap’ tag – The lesson was learnt from its most ambitious project – Nano. Touted as the world’s cheapest car, did not live up to the expectations in spite of several makeovers and its production was recently halted citing low volumes. Post Nano; none of the new launches carried the ‘cheap’/’cheapest’ tag in the segment. Rather segment-best features were marketed as the USPs (Ex: Harman Music system which was earlier available in high end cars were featured in Zest/Tiago).
JLR Support – Jaguar Land Rover’s support in product development has helped Tata Motors to bring a vast improvement in the quality of products introduced in the recent times. It was told that Tata had taken a lot of cues from JLR while designing the Hexa and a lot of JLR pedigree shall be seen in upcoming SUV Harrier as well.
Expanding Market Base – With Hexa & Nexon; Tata marked its entry to bigger MUVs & Compact SUVs space. Tata Motors current portfolio of products does not cater to the premium hatches, vans, bigger sedans, larger SUVs segment. However, the future lineup of products shall enable Tata Motors make its presence felt in these segments. By 2019, with a string of new products in the aforementioned segments, Tata Motors hopes to cover 95 per cent of the market!
Improved Customer Engagement – Tata Motors has taken huge stride in terms of engaging its customers online and also support the customer communities accordingly. Ex: A bunch of Tata Nexon Owners have joined together and formed ‘The Nexon Tribe’ and is organizing get together drives/meets and the same is backed by Tata Motors. Such associations will further enhance the brand association and loyalty of the customers.
Enhanced Dealership Network – Currently Tata has ~650 outlets. The OEM is targeting 1500 outlets by 2020. With the expansion Tata is trying to enhance the customer experience as well in these touch points.
With all these efforts this could well be the strongest comeback in the history of the Indian car industry. However, there is one model which has stood the test of time and has evolved as the biggest enabler in terms of Tata Motors comeback – TIAGO. 1,84,278 units of Tiago’s have been sold in the past 32 months and has contributed to ~40% of Tata’s volumes in this timeline.
Tiago’s contribution to the OEMs volumes have increased over the past 2 years and the averages too have shot upto ~8k units/mth in 2018 (v/s 6k units/mth in 2017).
Tiago has achieved this feat by overcoming some strong competition in its segment (namely Kwid, Celerio, etc) and is unseen in the industry to see a Brand increase its yearly average post 2-years of its launch!
Tiago was also instrumental in helping Tata Motor’s leverage its platform to bring compact sedan Tigor. Though Tigor hasn’t seen significant volumes; the recent facelift may just help it gain the required momentum.
Offlate; Tiago is also seeing a jump in its ranking in the Top selling cars list (recently in Sep’18, it ranked 12th)
Tiago has proven its worth over time and it wouldn’t be wrong to say that it has played an extremely significant role in terms of helping Tata Motors revive its brand identity and also elevated the parent as a serious challenger in the fight for the Top 3 OEMs!