As automakers revealed their India sales numbers for April 2014, it is amply clear that buyers are just not biting and showroom footfalls are not rising.

By Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 02 May 2014 Views icon7514 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

As automakers revealed their India sales numbers for April 2014, it is amply clear that buyers are just not biting and showroom footfalls are not rising. This, despite most OEMs offering sizeable discounts. The current dampened market scenario is due to high inflation, high fuel prices and potential buyers preferring to delay purchases. 

Market leader Maruti Suzuki India, which has a close to 50 percent share in the passenger car market, saw its April 2014 sales fall 12.6 percent to 79,119 units compared to a year ago (April 2013: 90,523 units). Taking a beating was its mini segment cars (Maruti 800, A-star, Alto and Wagon R) with sales of 26,043 units, down 25.4 percdent (April 2013: 34,927). Sales of the popular Dzire compact sedan fell 17.7 percent to 16,008 units (April 2013: 19,446). Thanks to sales of the recently launched Celerio hatchback, sales of the compact car segment (Swift, Estilo, Ritz and Celerio) rose 9.9 percent to 23,659 units (April 2013: 21,535). On the export front, Maruti notched a 4.4 percent increase, shipping 7,077 units as against 6,779 units a year ago. 

India’s second largest carmaker, Hyundai Motor India (HMIL) has sold 35,248 units during April 2014, marking a growth of 8.78 percent (April 2013: 32,403 units). Commenting on the monthly sales Rakesh Srivastava, senior vice president, sales & marketing, HMIL said “Our performance for April 2014 is in line with this year’s objective of growth in volume and market share. Growth is led by sedan and utility vehicles across geographies, with new products Xcent, Grand and Santa Fe, adding volumes with an overwhelming response from customers. We foresee to maintain this positive momentum in this year by strengthening product portfolio and improving channel efficiencies.”

Honda Cars India is on a roll, thanks to the growing demand for the new City sedan and the Amaze. The carmaker recorded sales of 11,040 units in April 2014, up 30 percent (April 2013: 8,488). The model-wise sales were Brio (578), Amaze (3,355), City (7,044), CR-V (63). Jnaneswar Sen, senior VP (Marketing & Sales), Honda Cars India, said, “We have started 2014 -15 on a positive note and would like thank our customers for the fantastic response to the all-new City. We also celebrated the first anniversary of the Amaze by introducing the anniversary edition and are confident of its good sales in this fiscal as well.”

Mahindra & Mahindra, the largest UV manufacturer in the country, saw its passenger vehicle sales fall 13 percent to 18,148 units (April 2013: 20,748). Overall, the company sold a total of 34,107 units, including CVs, in the domestic market, during April 2014, down 15 percent (April 2013: 39,902). Commenting on the sales numbers, Pravin Shah, chief executive, Automotive Division, Mahindra & Mahindra said, “It is unfortunate that the auto industry has not seen an upturn over the last couple of months in spite of a reduction in excise duty. We do hope that after the general elections, sentiments improve leading to a better economic situation and hence increased demand. »

Toyota Kirloskar Motor, which was hit by worker strife at its Bidadi plant in Bangalore, sold 7,562 units, down 16.04 percent (April 2013: 9,007 units). N Raja, director and senior vice - president, sales and marketing said “We resumed normal production on 22nd April and were carrying out limited operations until then. We thank our customers for their support and understanding during this difficult time. It is our endeavor to make the deliveries of vehicles on a timely basis.”

Ford India’s domestic sales stood at 6,651 vehicles in April, up 66 percent from 4,003 vehicles a year ago, thanks to demand for the EcoSport SUV. The carmaker also exported 6,646 vehicles, against 3,267 units in the corresponding period last year. “Despite ongoing business challenges faced by the Indian automotive industry, Ford India sales have held steady in April,” said Vinay Piparsania, executive director, marketing, sales and service, Ford India. “In the run up to the formation of the next government, we remain cautious and watchful in anticipation of progressive policy interventions to energise the Indian automotive sector,” he added.

Meanwhile, General Motors India sold 5,302 vehicles during the month (April 2013: 8,196) including 1,828 units of the Chevrolet Beat, 1,267 Taveras and 939 units of the Enjoy MPV. “Customer sentiment continues to remain negative even with price reduction on account of the excise duty cut and other market promotion schemes. Going by the market scenario, we expect the challenging times to continue as the general economic conditions continue to remain depressed,” said P Balendran, vice president, General Motors India. “The buoyancy in the market is completely missing and we don’t see any market upturn before the new government assumes office,” he added.

For the fiscal year 2013-14, sales of passenger vehicles in India fell 6.05 percent to 2.5 million units. The industry is expecting a sales revival following the new government taking charge after the ongoing Lok Sabha election results are announced on May 16.

Two-wheeler OEMs buck the downturn

Registering a growth of 14.41 percent during April 2014, Hero MotoCorp (HMCL), the world’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer by volume, clocked sales of 571,054 units as against sales of 4,99,113 units in April 2013.

According to company data, April 2014 marked the highest ever non-festive monthly sales for HMCL surpassing the previous highest of 557,890 units sold in May 2013. Interestingly, the company had recorded its highest ever monthly sales of 625,420 units in October 2013.

Anil Dua, senior VP, marketing & sales, HMCL, said, “The sales of over 571,000 units in April, the opening month of the fiscal, is the result of a series of initiatives that we have undertaken in the past few months, including exciting new launches, customer-friendly initiatives and brand building activities. The latest addition to the Splendor family – Splendor iSmart – is making a good impact in the market and we are fast ramping up production to meet the growing market demand for this new bike. The three top-selling motorcycle models – Splendor, Passion and HF Deluxe –- and two out of the three top-selling scooter models – Pleasure and Maestro – are all from the Hero stable. With more new launches lined up in this quarter, we are confident of keeping up the momentum.”

Riding on the growing sales of its scooter models, Yamaha Motor India Sales (YMISL) has registered a growth of 42.39 percent and has sold 51,158 units in April 2014 as against 35,927 units sold in April 2013. While the company had added the new Alpha to its two-scooter portfolio at the Auto Expo earlier this year, it has also introduced the new colour variants of the 150cc FZ and FZ-S bikes to keep up the customer interest.

Commenting on the monthly performance, Roy Kurian, VP (sales & marketing), YMISL, said, “This month indeed has been a good one for us as we were able to witness a brisk growth due to our product line-up and innovative customer-centric activities.”

Selling 14,896 units last month, Mahindra Two Wheelers recorded a growth of 177.54 percent, albeit on a very low base of 5,367 units sold in April 2013. Speaking on the monthly performance, Viren Popli, chief of operations, said, “The Centuro continues to drive our growth in the new financial year. We expect to further accelerate our growth with the new campaign, backed by a strong service commitment and network.” Moving cautiously, the company, which has readied the 110cc automatic scooter and also the 300cc naked street Mojo bike, will expand its portfolio with new product launches later this year. 

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