· Feb’14 (being a valentine month) saw some love flowing in from the finance minister towards the automobile industry and the Excise Duty Cut was announced during the Interim Budget. It surely was a breather to the industry and is an extremely positive sign for the average car buyer as well. However, the offtake figures had some other story to be told. March’13 remains a crucial month for the industry and has a lot at stake – we believe the month to show strong growth.
· Maruti showed strong sign of recovery and posted offtake of 99758 v/s 97955 units in Feb’13. The slight growth of 1.8% was accentuated by the new kid in the block – Celerio which contributed valuable 7323 units to the kitty. Swift and Dzire continued their momentum and doesn’t show any signal of stepping down below 18k figures respectively. Omni & Alto wonderfully did their job and posted 6733 & 24623 units respectively.
· Hyundai had flat growth in Feb’14 v/s Feb’13. While Grand i10 impresses again with over 10k offtake, i10 & i20 have seen decline which questions the performance sustainability of these two brands in long run. Santro boldly shows its value and does a stupendous 4002 units (v/s i10’s 4041 units!). Verna gets repeated nightmares with the Honda competitor spoiling its party. It is over 4 months that Verna has touched 4k units and it seems that it’ll never touch it again!
· Honda undoubtedly has ‘the best time of its life!’. Both Amaze & City are delivering success month-on-month and with no surprise Honda opens its next manufacturing unit in Tapukara, Rajasthan which will double the production capacity of the Japanese auto giant in India. Honda’s first ever diesel offering in India, Amaze, is the first car to roll out from the new plant. With the new plant in function, Honda Cars India will be able ramp up the production capacity to 2,40,000 units/year from the existing 1,20,000 units/year which the company’s manufacturing facility in Greater Noida in Uttar Pradesh is capable of. All waiting for the new Jazz & Mobilio to join the party!
· Happy to see Ford renewing focus on Figo. The capable hatchback does over 3k units after 4 months! The brand had just lost way post launch of Ecosport and all dealers were busy in ‘selling’ only Ecosport. The new ad campaign for Figo was also announced in Feb. However, the product portfolio of Ford remains a gamble (with only Figo & Ecosport available to run the show)
· Tata sees some traction in Nano with the launch of Twist and has the best offtake in past 15 months! Indica & Indigo still giving a strong fight for survival. Aria surprisingly crosses the 50 mark – again.
· Fiat back to its average run – Punto posts ~ 1k offtake and Linea has 420 units offtake (is the new linea shipped to the dealers in the lot?).
· SUV’s – The baap of all SUV’s Scorpio proves its mettle again and has a stupendous offtake of 4503 units (can we thank the finance minister yet?). Bolero touches the 9k mark and continues its dominance. Duster now seems to stabilize at 3k figure (but don’t forget the numerous ads mentioning the ‘Unstoppable Indian’ to push the brand). Terrano fails to impress – does less than half of Duster.
A look at the top 20 cars of the month –