· 1) HAPPY FESTIVE SEASON! Was the salute in my previous month’s post. It stood out to be true and majority of the OEM’s are truly ‘celebrating’ the festive fervor. The increase in the diesel prices boosted the demand for the almost dead petrol cars. The decrease in the interest for car loans came at the right time and pumped the required liquidity confidence in the market at the right time. The ‘UV’olgy still had its grip and even grew this season. October was also the month of new launches – ‘Alto 800’, ‘Ssanyong Rexton’, ‘New Ford Figo’, ‘Manza Club Class’, ‘Safari Storme’ to name a few.
· 2) Maruti and Resurgence seems synonymous. It spurted the automobile industry growth for October’12. It crossed the 1 Lakh figure (including exports) after a long interval. It recorded a 94 per cent jump in car sales during the month over the same month last year. The industry leader also launched its new Alto with a fresh ‘wave front’ design. It has already garnered over 30k bookings and the offtake numbers support the fact. Along with K10, the Alto brand had its ever highest offtake figures in past six months with 26600 numbers. The Swift family (Swift hatchback + Dzire) heralded the flag with a combined figure of 29822 units. Ertiga too jumps in the party with an ever-highest billing of 7289 cars. However, the refreshed Ritz couldn’t add any extra ‘JOY’ with its average offtake of 5389 nos.
· 3) Notable performance was from Kizashi – with 35 numbers in Oct’12; it equals the combined offtake of past 6 months (35 nos from Apr’12 – Sep’12). The surge was primarily through a 5-Lakh rupee drop in its price J Also the tall blue-eyed boy performs well (13608 units) on the base of confidence in petrol cars post the diesel hike.
· 4) The Estilo, SX4 & A-star are still in the dark and seem to slowly loose the sheen with time – with a meager figures of 1217, 695 & 587 units. Can a refreshed avatar change the fortunes of the aforementioned brands? Only time’ll tell.
· 5) Mahindra makes waves again. Not only in sales; but in customer satisfaction levels as well. Mahindra emerges as the most improved OEM in Sales Satisfaction Index & Customer Satisfaction Index studies from J.D. Power. The effort has been well applauded with the increased customer orientation levels towards the brand. No wonder an XUV 5oo sells more than all the D-segment cars combined in the same price band.
· Bolero’s take on anything attitude works in its offtake numbers as well. It has been the most consistent brand in terms of sales numbers over several months now. It tastes its best billing till date with 11071 units. Scorpio proves its mettle again with its highest offtake in this FY – 4681 units. Quanto takes the concept of ‘Compact SUV’ to the next level – with over 5k bookings it is successful in dispatching 2044 units to the dealers.
· 6) Xylo & Verito figures remain average with 2044 & 1553 respectively. Can we term it as the Quanto effect? It’ll be too early to name that.
· 7) Rexton is received well. With launch in only 2 cities (Delhi + Mumbai), its offtake was 80 units. With launch in many more key cities this Diwali, we can expect Rexton to surely challenge the market leader ‘Fortuner’. However, supplies of this Korean magnet needs to be assessed.
· 8) The ‘trend-setter’ Hyundai also relishes in the festive hungama with its best month in this financial year. i20 slowly approaches the 10k mark – initially touted to have a fortune similar to Honda’s Jazz; this uber-cool hatch amazes everyone with its sales figures month on month! It even surpasses its younger sibling i10 in terms of sales volumes (i20 – 9058 nos, i10-8988 nos). The recently added Daytime Running Lamps adds to its long feature list and hence allows an hatch owner to enjoy the luxury features of a sedan.
· 10) The neo-fluidic Elantra now adds another feather to the Korean carmaker – it consistently tops the sales in its segment (D1) with 668 units. Even the fluidic Verna set the sales chart on fire with 5050 units of offtake.
· 11) The OEM that gains the most with the increase in diesel prices is Honda. With 3700 units of Jazz & 3976 units of City, Honda gets justice. We also got to see the preview of the Brio sedan (with its launch in Thailand). We can expect the OEM to create some serious ripples with its to be launched diesel-offerings in the coming months. Even the Honda City-CNG was launched in India this October.
· 12) Beat takes a beating – almost de-grew by 50% month-on-month. Was this a UVA-Sail effect? Or else it was an effect of increase in diesel prices and Beat losing its advantage. Maybe both. The UVA Sail is expected to be priced less than a Swift and pose some serious threat to the iconic Swift. But with the average reviews of the Sail, its fate is totally dependent on the customers acceptance.
· 13) Tata is experiencing a hard time selling its ‘once’-iconic brands. It also launched a blitzkrieg of “refreshed” indica ev2, manza club class and Safari Storme to subsidize the falling sales. Karl Slym now has a mammoth task to protect Tata’s territory – Ex: it is slowly losing its taxi share of Indica & Indigo to Etios and Liva sisters. Bolero has clearly overtaken Sumo over the years. Safari has now Duster & veteran Scorpio to dare. Aria proves to be a costly affair.
· 14) Most importantly Tata Motors need ‘NEW’ product launches to revive. It has already set plans to charter product offensive strategy launch several new products in next 3-5 years.
· 15) Renault seems to satisfy all its dealers with a record-shipping figure of 5406 units. It is also expanding exponentially – and is on track to achieve 100 dealers mark by the end of FY. The Scala & Pulse brands are also supporting adequately to the OEM.
· 16) Nissan’s dealers decision to oppose Hover Automotive India proves to be a shocker. Nissan’s dealers are unable to understand the reason how Nissan’s partner Renault is successfully bringing in new products and supporting the viability of its channel partners. Nissan dealers have now demanded Nissan’s direct intervention rather than using an intermediary (Hover) to improve the situation.
· 17) Toyota continues its dream run with Fortuner & Innova. However, its India-specific products – Etios & Liva are slowly losing their charm. Also their increasing penetration in taxi fleets points Toyota’s desperation to improve the volumes.
18) Yeti with 6 units seems to come to a natural death situation. Skoda also fails miserably to improve its Fabia numbers – 256 units only! The situation is not great in its parent company VW too. With hefty promotions and discounts – only Polo makes a mark in Oct’12.
A list of Top 20 Brands of the month –