The onset of a good monsoon seems to have brought good tidings for the Indian automobile industry. Most of the passenger vehicle OEMs, which declared their July 2016 sales numbers, have reported handsome year-on-year growth.
It is also amply clear that new models across various manufacturers are the sales drivers. Whether it is Maruti Suzuki with its Baleno and the Vitara Brezza, Hyundai with its Creta and i20 or Mahindra & Mahindra with its TUV300 and KUV100, buyers are lapping up value-for-money models as fast as OEMs are rolling them out.
Here’s taking a look at how some passenger vehicle manufacturers have fared.
Maruti Suzuki India, which had seen sales dip of 10% in June 2016, has sold a total of 125,778 units in July 2016, notching growth of 13.9% over sales a year ago (June 2015: 110,405). This is the company’s highest-ever sales in a single month in the domestic market.
The company's previous highest domestic monthly sales was 121,063 units registered in October 2015. The July 2016 numbers also mean Maruti has ramped up production and increased despatches to dealers across the country to make up for the loss of over 50,000 units in June 2016 due to production stoppage at its Gurgaon and Manesar plants.
Together with exports, the carmaker has sold a total of 137,116 units in July 2016, growing 12.7 % over July 2015 (121,712 units).
What is apparent from the company’s product-wise sales split is that the new models are now the driving force behind Maruti’s sales resurgence.
The entry level duo of the Alto and Wagon R sold a total of 35,051 units, down 7.2 YoY (July 2015: 37,752) while the quintet of the Swift, Ritz, Celerio, Baleno and the Dzire sold a total of 50,362 units, up 4.1% YoY (July 2015: 48,381).
The Baleno, launched in October 2015, has consistently been in the monthly Top 10, clearly is the prime driver in this lot. The stylish hatchback currently has a waiting period of over 6 months. Expect it to have contributed over 10,000 units to Maruti's landmark sales in July 2016.
The Ciaz sedan, which is now seeing sales of over 5,000 units a month, sold a total of 5,162 units in July 2016, up 146%, albeit on a low base (July 2015: 2,099). With this, the Ciaz has sold a total of 105,434 units since its launch in October 2014.
Like the Baleno, the Vitara Brezza is another prime mover in the utility vehicle category The UVs comprising the Gypsy, Ertiga, Grand Vitara, S-Cross and the Vitara Brezza sold a17,382 units, up a handsome 151.3% Yoy (July 2015: 6,916). Expect the Vitara Brezza, which was launched in March 2016 and continues to have a longish waiting period, to have contributed the big number in the July sales for this lot.
The Omni and Eeco vans meanwhile keep up their sales act. Together they sold a total of 14,748 units last month, up 24% (July 2015: 11,887).
Maruti has also sold 14 units of the Super Carry, its first light commercial vehicle launched on July 27.
It is understood that Maruti Suzuki is rejigging production schedules to meet the massive demand for the Baleno and the Vitara Brezza. It will also be readying stock for the festive season which is barely three months away.
Hyundai Motor India, the country’s second-largest carmaker after Maruti Suzuki India, registered domestic sales of 41,201 units in July 2016, up 12.9 percent year on year (July 2015: 36,503). It also exported 14,606 units last month, up 5 percent (July 2015: 13,908).
Commenting on the July sales numbers, Rakesh Srivastava, senior vice-president (Sales and Marketing), Hyundai Motor India, said, “Hyundai continues to sustain a strong growth trajectory with a volume of 41,201 units with a growth of 12.9 percent on the strength of a strong pull performance of the Grand i10, Elite i20 and Creta in a market showing improved customer sentiments led by good monsoons, low inflation, reduced interest rates and dropping fuel prices.”
Hyundai Motor India has seen good traction in the domestic market for its Elite 120 hatchback and the Creta SUV. The Creta has been a game-changer for the company and has been driving overall numbers for the Korean carmaker. The company currently has 451 dealers and more than 1,170 service points across India.
Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M), the leading SUV manufacturer in the country, has sold a total of 17,356 vehicles in July 2016, up 20% (July 2015: 14,456) in the domestic market. This comprises 15,962 utility vehicles, which is an increase of 21% (July 2015: 13,204), and 1,394 cars and vans, up 11% year on year (July 2015: 1,252).
Together with its commercial vehicles sales, M&M recorded overall sales of 35,305 units, up 14% YoY (July 2015: 31,087).
Commenting on the sales in July 2016, Pravin Shah, president and chief executive (Automotive), M&M, “We are happy to have achieved a growth of 14% during July 2016 in the midst of various regulatory challenges. The advent of a good monsoon so far has brought in positive sentiment for the economy and that is somewhat reflected in our performance. At Mahindra, our growth is being driven by the various product launches of the last financial year, which have been in sync with customers’ requirements. With a strong performance in our HCV business as well as our exports, we are hopeful of a positive outlook during the rest of the financial year.”
On the other hand, Honda Cars India's sales continued to head southwards as the Japanese carmaker sold 14,033 units in July 2016, 4,573 units less than July 2015 (18,606 units).
The City was Honda's highest-selling model with 4,317 units dispatched to customers in India. The Jazz and the Amaze 3,517 units and 2,309 units respectively.
However, the recently launched BR-V received a good initial response with 3,333 units sold.
Meanwhile, Tata Motors' passenger vehicles sales in the domestic market for July 2016 stood at 13,547 units, a YoY growth of 31%, compared to 10,335 units in July 2015.
Sales of passenger cars in July 2016 was higher by 43% at 12,209 units as against 8,520 units in July 2015, due to strong demand for the recently launched Tiago.
Meanwhile, Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) announced that it sold a total of 12,404 units in the domestic market last monthly, registering 3% year-on-year growth (July 2015: 12,070).
The prime driver of the company’s sales is the recently launched Innova Crysta, which has bookings of over 20,000 units and a waiting period of up to 2 months at different locations across the country. TKM says the Camry too has seen a YoY sales growth in July, with more than 90% of its sales attributed to the Camry Hybrid.
TKM is among the carmakers which have been adversely affected by the ban on over 2000cc diesel-engined vehicles in the Delhi-NCR region.
Commenting on the monthly sales, N Raja, director and senior vice-president (Sales & Marketing), Toyota Kirloskar Motor, said, “Although the new Innova Crysta has been doing well, the ban on registration of diesel vehicles has stalled the extent of our growth. We respect the Supreme Court’s judgment regarding cleaning the bad air quality around us. We would fully support the authorities for creating a better environment for our future generations. We are confident that honorable court will consider our submissions during the next hearing and hope the matter is amicably resolved at the earliest.”
Further, Renault India sold 11,968 units in July 2016 in the domestic market, up 609 percent albeit on a very low base (July 2015: 1,686). The carmaker says demand for the Kwid hatchback and the New Duster is on the up.
Ford India's July domestic sales grew to 7,076 vehicles, up from 4,362 units.
"Ford in India is steadfast on its promise to deliver more value to customers. Our domestic wholesale growth is proof that the actions we are taking to enhance the entire customer experience matter to our customers," said Anurag Mehrotra, executive director, Marketing, Sales & Service at Ford India.
Nissan Motor India reported domestic sales of 6,418 vehicles in July 2016 versus 2,841 units a year ago, up 126 percent.
Commenting on the company’s performance, Arun Malhotra, managing director, Nissan Motor India, said, "Our sales have been gaining momentum over the past few months and the trend has been encouraging. The customers have responded positively to the new Datsun Redigo."