This is how the car sales figures in India stand for the month of February 2013.
1) Although the Budget 2013-14, which was held at the fag end of the last month, did not have much impact on the sales figures, it did shock the automobile fraternity. The reeling industry was seeking rebate from the government and received disappointment in return. We learnt a new thing this month – ‘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 as the two lone companies to post a growth in the month. The chart busters of the OEM’s portfolio were the ‘road-occupying’ SUV’s.
3) Maruti Suzuki missed the 1 lakh 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 the coming months. Ertiga has successfully put Maruti in MUV roadmap and would be interesting to see if the excise hike affects the brand. The Wagon-R face-lift 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 launch 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 couldn’t have had a better start than this – registering a off-take of 476 units 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 Japanese major continues its dream run. But can it sustain? We doubt. Etios & Liva have to be re-jigged to gain the required momentum. It must learn from its 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 building quality products and exporting it 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 starts 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. With the launch just round the corner – the marketing campaigns have flew off with style. The ‘Urban Discoveries’ is a great way to connect with its audience. All the time, we thought that only off-road trails and off-city travel was suitable for SUV’s. Ecosport wishes change that perception!
10) The only product which has been consistent in General Motor’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.