· Levying heavy tax would discourage the acceptance of the road-occupying, extra-polluting SUV’s? Mr. Chidabaram – Indian consumer has outrightly snubbed your decision. The SUV sales figure for the month of Mar’13 would shame the Finance Minister. This not only proves that the SUV’s still enjoy the equity of higher value proposition among Indian car buyers, but also highlights that the SUV-craze is here to stay. Bolero, Fortuner & Innova registered their all-time best sales figures. Scorpio, Pajero Sport, Rexton, Xylo & Sumo performed abover average as well!
· March 2013 had an another advantage – lot of customers purchasing the vehicles for depreciation purpose. Also all OEM’s had to achieve the Financial Year targets as well. This was the last chance for these OEMs to ramp up the offtake numbers to project a happy picture for the FY. See the stock value of OEM’s rising based on the financial years performance? I bet Yes.
· However, in concise for F13 – Indian Automobile Industry has been in one of the most difficult times. We have seen the most promising OEMs (name Tata, GM, etc) tumbling in their sales charts and the market has aptly thought a lesson – ADAPT & EVOLVE is the key and being agile is the need of the hour. The growth trajectory of every OEM was dependant on having an exciting NEW offering in the portfolio – the product being a SUV/MUV can be the icing on the cake.
· “The slowdown of economy is impacting vehicle sales. Against large base of last year, there was a sharp drop in conversion of enquiries in the absence of any positive stimulus andsentiments,” HMIL Vice President (Sales and Marketing) Rakesh Srivastava said. Any proof on why Indians are termed ‘sentimental’? Yes, negative sentiments can shake an entire industry in the country. The point to be noted is decline in Enquiry levels and also poor conversion ratio of the received enquiries.
· Maruti Suzuki – Can you believe that Maruti Suzuki posted a de-growth after selling 1.19 Lakh units (including exports)? The situation would have been worse if the UV portfolio wouldn’t have been introduced with Ertiga. The Life Utility Vehicle has proved to be the life-line for MS. Ertiga clocked >6k numbers after a long time. Maruti introduced discounts for the first time for the star model. Dzire exceeding the offtake numbers of Swift – this was predicted well before. Value consciousness has gone to a different level. The increase can also be attributed for MS focus on increasing Dzire supplies in lieu of the launch of Honda’s Amaze. Alto creates a new benchmark in the industry – It’s been only four months (124 days to be precise) that Maruti Suzuki launched the all new Alto 800, and the model sold over 1 Lakh units. Wagon R, Alto, Ritz volumes prove that petrol models have regained traction and still can emerge victorious.
· Hyundai had a lackluster performance – with extensive promotion and schemes i10,Eon, Santro, i20 & Verna had average numbers. To mark crossing of 12 lakh sales worldwide of the model Hyundai launched a special edition of i10 (i Tech). Santro had a surprise to offer – with over 4k numbers sold, the model had its best volumes in past 6 months.
· M&M had its own set of highs and lows – while Bolero clocking its ever highest billing volumes, Quanto & XUV 500 saw its 3 consistent decline in past 3 months. The volumes of Quanto went below Xylo’s number – not exactly a good sign. XUV 500 had a earnest recall for replacing some parts and was appreciated by all – but did it affect the new customer confidence? The decline in its volumes posed a serious concern for the OEM. Rexton offtake figures were laudable – the brand has gained respectable volumes of over 450 numbers consistently and has proved to be a worthy opponent to the mighty Fortuner.
· Toyota surprised us all – Over 8k figures for Innova proved that the new kids in the block (say Duster, Ertiga or XUV) couldn’t shake the old stalwart. Fortuner had a mean smile for the increased excise duty – over 1.7k numbers for the premium SUV is just WOW (the volumes are higher than its half priced Storme!). 30 nos. for Landcruiser – It happens only in India J The upgraded Etios and Liva siblings ensured 70% & 129% growth month-on-month for the brands respectively.
· Amaze is the new mantra for Honda. The OEM just amaze’d us all with its stellar performance among all brands. Brio, City & Accord had its best offtake in past 6 months. However, the news of discontinuing Jazz & Civic was a blow to Honda lovers. But, the invent of diesel engine is the day we all were waiting for. Honda is ensuring its leaves no stone unturned in terms of promoting its new baby – iDtec diesel engine. 2552 nos of Amaze has already been shipped to all dealers (launch scheduled on April 11). The product is expected to turn the fortunes for the auto maker – and promos speak for itself.
· Renault has Dusted off the competition in the right spirit – Duster, Fluence & Scala have their best till date offtake figures. The OEM has started off in the perfect dream fashion.
List of Top 20 Brands of the month –