· 1) Although the Budget 2013 was held at the fag end of the month and had nothing much impact on the sales figures, but it did shock the Automobile fraternity. The reeling industry was seeking rebate from the Government and the got disappointment in return. We had a new learning in February – “SUVs occupy greater road and parking space and ought to bear a higher tax.”! Mr. Finance Minister – With this philosophy, the taxes for buses should have been much higher. We do not see a reason on investing heavily in JNNURM as well.
· 2) Renault and M&M emerged the lone 2 companies who posted growth in the month. The chartbusters of the OEM’s portfolio were the ‘road-occupying’ SUV’s.
· 3) Maruti Suzuki misses the 1Lakh mark with a 2k odd whisker. The Alto figures seems stabilizing at the 23k-25k numbers. The Swift, Dzire and the Ertiga trio repeated their stellar performance. Both Swift & Dzire registered their best offtake figures for past 9 months. The gap between the two brands is reducing and we wouldn’t be surprised to see Dzire equaling or even overtaking Swift figures in some month. Ertiga has successfully put Maruti in MUV roadmap and would be interesting to see if the Excise hike affects the brand. The Wagon-R facelift has considerably contributed to the OEM’s numbers. SX4 does dismal numbers – heard about the upcoming facelift? A-star & Estilo still stumble – time to bring better products in the same platform?
· 4) Hyundai – ‘The culture of Fluidic Sculpture’ has worked wonders for the Korean automaker. Elantra & Verna maintain their leadership spots in the respective segments. Eon, i10 & i20 contribute decently. The performance of petrol only models seems encouraging (Eon, Santro & i10). It is also time for Hyundai to lauch the new Santa Fe – Indian market should be treated with priority.
· 5) M&M amazes the fraternity yet again! With a 13.8% growth in the gloomy month; the share prices did see the upward trend on 1 March (after the debacle post budget announcement). Bolero impresses all with its consistent numbers – the Brand crosses the 1 Lakh figure for F-13 with a month to spare. However, the variation in Scorpio & XUV 500 stats is a concern – any slowdown in these brands would impact the OEM significantly. Xylo & Verito fails to impress – can anyone tell what went wrong with these potent brands? Quanto dips to 2k level – has it started living its weekend life?
· 6) Mahindra Ssangyong wouldn’t have had a better start than this – registering 476 offtake with availability is select cities is no easy task. Rexton has proved to be the perfect launch model in India for the duo. With increased availability, we expect aggressive promotion of the brand in March’13.
· 7) As predicted earlier, Toyota pips Tata of its fourth slot. With stellar numbers from Innova & Fortuner, the Jap major continues its dream run. But can it sustain? I doubt. Etios & Liva has to be re-jigged to gain the required momentum. Learn from your Japanese counterpart (Suzuki) – any compromise in the product would kill the brand. Cost-cutting in the name of ‘India’nizing the product is a major let down. Instead build quality products and export to the first grade countries (Europe) would be a much better strategy!
· 8) Tata Motors is in its saddest phase ever. With over 74% de-growth the automaker is in the most challenging time of its history. This is the junction where Mr. Cyrus Mistry can prove himself and build his legacy. We all remember, how Mr. Ratan Tata pulled Tata group from the murk and gained the credibility. We expect something similar from the new flag-bearer – say why not bring a brand like Scorpio (which did wonders to M&M). It is high time the company dawns its thinking hats and start working in the right direction. It is the time to stay confident and the same time apprised of the situation.
· 9) Ford – Are we even interested to discuss anything else than Ecosport JWith the lauch just round the corner – the marketing campaign have flew off with style. The ‘Urban Discoveries’ is a great way to connect with its audience. All the time we thought that only offroad trails and off-city travel was suitable for SUV’s. Ecosport just wants to change that!
· 10) The only product which has been consistent in GM’s portfolio is ‘______’. Any guesses? It is Tavera. The old workhorse is loyally serving the automaker. Sail Sedan seems a value offering, but the numbers are not that great. U-VA dips just within 4 months of its launch.
Snapshot of the Budget implications on the Indian Auto Industry –
Ø Excise duty on SUV’s hiked from 27 to 30%.
Ø High-end customers for imported luxury cars to shell out higher with the FM’s decision to increase the duty on CBUs to 100% (up from 75%). Effective levies thus go up to about 160% for CBUs.
Ø Duty on high capacity motorcycles (800cc or more) has been increased to 75% (from the existing 60%).
Ø Subsidy benefits for electric cars remain in place till 31st March 2015. Expecting Mahindra e2o launch round the corner?
Ø The duty on second hand vehicles has been raised to 125% (from 100%).
Ø The allocation for JNNURM is proposed to go up to Rs 14,873 crore from the Rs 7,383 crore provided this year (see smiling faces of executives from Tata Motors & Ashok Leyland).
List of Top 20 Brands of the month –