· August 2013 – The industry continues its weak run and in all means have turned ANEMIC. The market response has been poor to all the efforts that the OEMs had to offer. Even with the DREAM discounts on the platter, customers remain to postpone their purchase decision. The situation worsens with the banks increasing the interest rates (say ICICI, HDFC) and the biggest nationalized bank SBI considers that any person with an net income worth Rs. 6 Lakh p.a is NOT worthy to buy a car! The new clause is a sham and have just added to the woes of the market. The industry is seeking stimulus from the government which itself is in a jeopardy 🙂 The only breather can be the upcoming festive season – believe me, if the industry does not recover in the festive period, we may see the biggest downfall in the history of Indian automobiles.
· The biggest gainers were – Honda, Ford, Maruti & Hyundai – Anything in common among these OEMs??? Say “NEW PRODUCTS!”. With Amaze, Ecosport, Stingray & Grand i10; the future is in the hands of the newly launched models. However, sustainability can only be seen if they can have “MULTIPLE” hero products in the portfolio. Do not be surprised if Renault sees de-growth in the coming months due to the decline in sales of Duster – the over dependency on a single model will cost it dear. Similarly we see Honda’s & Ford’s focus currently on Amaze & Ecosport ONLY. Honda City & Ford Figo have witnessed its worst sales, the story is similar to other models of the brands as well. LEARN from Renault’s mistake – strategize and give equal importance to other cars in the kitty!
· Maruti Suzuki reported 51.5 percent growth in overall sales at 76,018 units as against 50,129 units in the same month last year. The ugly duckling gets revamped in August – i.e. the blue-eyed boy Wagon R has a makeover variant Stingray to support the brand. In overall Wagon R does a respectable number of 12748 units. Swift bounces back to >14k numbers and also exceeds Dzire numbers by a whisker. Estilo, A-star and SX4 continue their under-performance. Appreciate Maruti Suzuki’s decision to stop production of Estilo – even the iconic Zen title couldn’t save it. A-star & SX4 are all set to be revamped – hope to see their production ready facelifts in the coming Auto Expo. Alto had a pendulum swing throughout the year and has been extremely difficult to comment on its performance – August emerges slow for the brand. The LUV is finding difficult to retain its love among the buyers – Ertiga struggles at ~ 4.5 k figure and does less than an Innova as well!
· Its Grand Masti time for Hyundai! – the strategy to challenge Maruti seems to be put in place with the upcoming GRAND i10. The neatly designed hatchback is intelligently placed between i10 & i20 and the diesel variant availability makes it all more lucrative. The launch price of Rs. 4.29 Lakhs have made the competition all more wary. The biggest challenge is to avoid cannibalizing its own brands – don’t you think i10 buyers would move towards Grand i10 diesel and i20 buyers would find i20 costly? All depends on Hyundai’s efforts on avoiding loss of focus on the sister brands.
· Toyota is leaving no stone unturned in order to revive Etios Twins – the recent facelift and aggressive marketing campaigns blended with humongous discounts is the resultant of the same. The Japanese major very well recognized that it cannot survive only on the laurels of Innova and needs a good product portfolio to sustain. But with all the efforts Toyota is struggling to maintain the figures of over 2.5k for both the brands. Innova again comes to the rescue and scores over 5k for the first time in past 5 months! Fortuner wonders on what slowdown is and maintains its steady performance of over 1300 units.
· The rough ride worsens for the Indian Auto majors – M&M and Tata. Passenger car sales for Tata Motors have almost halved from 22.311 units in August 2012 to 11,564 units last month. For Mahindra, sales declined 27.5 percent to 15,281 units in August 2013. Both the OEMs are strong players in upcountry market and their downfall clearly depicts the negative sentiments in the Rural part of the country too! Just imagine, a brand such as Bolero which was refusing to step down the 9.5k mark three months back is struggling to touch 7k in the current scenario. However Bolero, Scorpio & XUV shows resilience in terms of letting go and holds the hope of the automaker to jump back in the race.
Source: Business Line
· Duster scores below 3k figure for the first time in past 14 months! – Is it the Terrano effect? Or else the brand is simply losing its sheen – do you think its much pricier than the uber sexy Ecosport? Sustaining the volumes of Duster would be the key to survival for Renault – it is gone all vocal in terms of aggressive TV campaigns, discounts and even buzz marketing (remember Gang of Dusters?). Even John Abraham has been roped in for promotions. Renault – it is high time to start delivering through other brands as well!
· Honda continues its dream run – the icing of the cake would be additional production capacity and bringing diesel offering on all of its other carlines. Though Amaze was able to maintain the >6k mark in August, Brio & City stood lacking in their numbers. Honda still has the challenge to remain aggressive for all its brands and give equal attention.
· GM has seen it all in past 6 months – the automakers plan to go gaga with all its new launches took hit initially with the Tavera fiasco and then later with the production halt of the Sail twins. While the US major was reeling to fire all its cylinders (quite literally) – the veteran Beat and the newbie Enjoy supported the OEM – both the brands combined contributed 76% of overall sales. With the start of sales of the Sail Twins – expect the additional numbers in September.
In these tough times, a good month is what the industry requires – While most parts of the country would celebrate Ganesha Festival this September, lets hope the Industry STARTS delivering numbers and gives the boost for the coming festive season.
A look at the top 20 cars of the month –