India Market Sales Analysis - April 2013

The opening month of the new fiscal year 2013-14 saw domestic car sales fall for the sixth month in a row. A total of 150,789 cars were sold in April 2013 (April 2012: 168,354), down 10.43 percent. This, despite most carmakers rolling out handsome discounts to woo buyers. However, high interest rates, rising vehicle prices and poor market sentiment are hampering new car sales.

Autocar Pro News DeskBy Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 15 May 2013 Views icon3421 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
India Market Sales Analysis - April 2013
While vehicle sales numbers in April 2013 indicate a slow start to FY14, new models like the Honda Amaze and the upcoming Ford EcoSport along with a good monsoon could well herald a revival of fortunes for Indian OEMs.

The opening month of the new fiscal year 2013-14 saw domestic car sales fall for the sixth month in a row. A total of 150,789 cars were sold in April 2013 (April 2012: 168,354), down 10.43 percent. This, despite most carmakers rolling out handsome discounts to woo buyers. However, high interest rates, rising vehicle prices and poor market sentiment are hampering new car sales. What's worrying is that this poor run is expected to continue right till September 2013, which is when industry body, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) believes the growth revival will begin. According to SugatoSen, deputy director general, SIAM, "Car sales have been falling since November 2012. We have never witnessed such a long consecutive decline in car sales since data has been analysed by SIAM since 1997-98." He added that weak consumer sentiment is affecting sales and the Union Budget hasn't done anything to improve market sentiment. In April, sales of overall passenger vehicles declined by 8.21 percent with passenger cars and vans dropping by 10.43 percent and 13.42 percent respectively. Utility vehicles grew marginally by 3.99 percent during April 2013 but the 'SUV tax' has put paid to the high growth levels seen last year.

April sales a dampener
Although automobile majors are hoping for a revival in the passenger car and two-wheeler segments, the vehicle sales numbers of the first month of 2013-14 are a dampener. It is quite clear that it will be some time before the industry begins to see growth back on track. SIAM's recent forecast has it that recovery will begin by end-Q3 of 2013-14. In April 2013, industry leader Maruti Suzuki and leading SUV maker, Mahindra & Mahindra witnessed flat sales, Hyundai Motor India, Toyota Kirloskar Motor, Tata Motors and Ford India saw their sales decline substantially.

Maruti Suzuki posted stagnant domestic sales in April 2013, pushing 90,523 units (April 2012: 90,255 units), up by a meagre 0.3 percent. The Alto sold 19,847 units, just a tad ahead of the Dzire which sold 19,446 units. What drove sales for the month were the entry level cars (M800, A-star, Alto, Wagon R) with 34,927 units, up 13.7 percent over the 30,720 units sold in April 2012. The popular Dzire saloon also did well to sell 19,446 units, up by 25.4 percent (April 2012: 15,510). However, in the premium hatchback category (Swift, Ritz, Estilo), the company sold 21,535 units, down by 17.4 percent (April 2012: 26,072 units). In UVs, the Ertiga saw sales of 5,318 units, down by 4.9 percent (April 2012: 5,593 units). The vehicle has completed a year and it would be interesting to see how the aggressively priced and just-launched Chevrolet Enjoy faces off against the Ertiga. Meanwhile, Maruti is also known to be aggressively working on new variants, including a CNG Ertiga, and other platforms to maintain its leadership position.

Hyundai Motor India recorded sales of 32,403 units in April 2013, down by 7.6 percent (April 2012: 35,070 units). The Eon sold 8,350 units while the i10 and i20 sold 8,194 and 6230 units respectively. Rakesh Srivastava, senior vice-president, sales and marketing, HMIL, said: “While the domestic market continues to witness pressure, there are signs of recovery with the increase in demand for petrol cars.”

Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) witnessed a flat month by recording a growth of one percent in its passenger vehicles category including UVs and the Verito passenger car. The category recorded sales of 20,748 units in April over 20,554 units sold during April 2012. It would be interesting to see how this segment fares once the Vibe (upcoming hatchback on the Verito platform) makes its debut. The Bolero sold 9,766 units in the month, continuing a brisk sales timeline. Pravin Shah, chief executive, automotive division, M&M said, “We remain cautiously optimistic of the current situation and do hope that with the much-awaited and needed reduction in interest rates announcement by the RBI, the auto industry will look up. At Mahindra, we hope to create excitement with the Verito Vibe and other product variants.”

Tata Motors’ passenger vehicle segment sold 11,570 units in April, down by a huge 49.38 percent (April 2012: 22,858 units). The Nano, Indica and Indigo range of cars registered sales of 8,918 units, down by a massive 52 percent over 18,610 units (Nano: 948; Indica/Vista: 6,913 units; Indigo and Manza: 3,669 units) sold in April 2012. The Sumo/Safari/ Aria/Venture range sold 2,652 units in April 2013. It’s been a year since Fiat and Tata ended their retail collaboration.

Posting a substantial negative growth of 37 percent, Toyota Kirloskar Motors sold 9,007 units during the month (April 2012: 14,378 units). Sandeep Singh, deputy managing director & chief operating officer, marketing and commercial, TKM, said: “The market continues to be sluggish and is expected to take some time to revive. We have taken measures to reduce inventory, both at our and the dealers end.” Encashing on the advance bookings made by its already popular midsize saloon Amaze, Honda Cars India raked in sales of 8,488 units, up by 20 percent (April 2012: 7,075 units). JnaneswarSen, senior vice-president, marketing & sales, HCI, said, “April 2013 was a significant landmark in Honda’s journey in India. The Amaze has received tremendous response from the customers despite the slowdown in the industry.” HCI sold 4,852 units of Amaze, followed by 1,917 units of the City, 1,628 units of hatchback Brio, 58 units and 33 units of the CRV and the Accord respectively.

Posting a growth of 2.39 percent, General Motors India sold 8,196 units during the month over 8,005 units sold during April 2012. The sales in April 2013 include 1,986 units of Beat, 3,436 units of Sail and 1,571 units of Tavera. Riding high on the success of its SUV Duster, Renault India raked in sales of 6,314 units in April 2013, up by 926.67 percent (April 2012: 615 units). The Duster, launched last July accounted for 5,362 units followed by 545 units of Scala; 358 units of Pulse; 39 units of Fluence and 10 units of Koleos SUV.

Ford India registered total domestic sales of 4,003 units for April 2013, down by 44.4 percent (April 2012: 7,201 units). The company has held first drives for journalists as a run-up to the EcoSport launch in June. The Figo sold 3,336 units in the month.

Sluggish month for two- wheeler manufacturers
Two-wheeler major Hero MotoCorpsaid it despatched 499,113 units during April 2013, down by 9.5 percent over 551,557 units in April 2012. Anil Dua, senior vice-president, marketing & sales, said: “We are glad to have opened the new financial year with despatch of close to 500,000 two-wheelers in April. However, even this despatch number does not reflect the actual retail momentum during the month. Indeed, we have retailed over 550,000 units in April, which is an early indication of demand picking up for us across markets. The launch of the 5-year warranty on all our models has received an overwhelming response.” Bajaj Auto reported sales of 300,827 motorcycles (including exports) during the month, down by 12.12 percent (April 2012: 342,324). The company is expected to launch the 375cc, KTM 390 in June 2013.

On the other hand, speeding fast for the number two slot (domestic + exports), Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) recorded sales of 259,560 units (including exports), up by an impressive 30.54 percent (April 2012: 198,831 units). The company sold 123,240 motorcycles (up by 51 percent over April 2012: 81,427 units) and 136,320 scooters (up by 16 percent over April 2012: 117,404 units) during the month, scoring the highest ever monthly sales. Besides launching the lowest-priced motorcycle, Dream Neo, for Rs 43,150, the company has recently announced the prices of its premium commuter bike, CB Trigger which will start from Rs 67,384 (ex-showroom, Delhi). The company says it enjoys a domestic market share of 21 percent during the month.

Hosur-based TVS Motor Company posted domestic sales of 142,794 units during April 2013, down by 5.55 percent (April 2012: 151,181 units). Sales of motorcycles remained flat at 67,849 units in the month (April 2012: 67,966 units). Meanwhile, registering a drop of 17 percent, the company sold 29,692 scooters during April 2013 against 35,833 units sold during April 2012. India Yamaha Motor sold 35,927 two-wheelers during the month over 26,944 units sold during April 2012, posting a growth of 33.34 percent. While it is evident that the scooter ‘Ray’ is fetching good numbers for Yamaha, the company’s second scooter for the Indian market is expected to hit the retail showrooms by June 2013.
If there is a silver lining for OEMs, it is in the falling price of petrol. There has been some shift in demand from diesel cars to petrol. Now, if there were to be downward changes in interest rates, buyers would bite.

HOW COMMERCIAL VEHICLE SALES FARED IN APRIL 2013

Tata Motors
The company’s sales in April 2013 come as a breath of fresh air with the manufacturer registering growth in all three segments, compared to April 2012. In April 2013, it sold 36,025 units, an increase of around 4 percent (April 2012: 34,647). Both LCVs and M&HCVs registered growth of 4.8 percent and 1.7 percent respectively. While sales of LCVs, largely driven by the Ace variants, grew to 26,023 units (April 2012: 24,8180), the M&HCV sales went up to 10,002 units (April 2012: 9,829).

Eicher Motors
Eicher Motors registered a fall in sale of both light & medium duty trucks as well as heavy duty trucks. Sales of L&MD trucks dropped by 10 percent in April 2013 against April ’12, with sales going down from 2379 units to 2126 units. Sales of heavy duty trucks fell by 35 percent, with sales in April 2013 dropping to 506 units from 782 units for the same month last year. Buses once again provided a glimmer of hope as sales went up by 332 units (41 percent) from 802 units in April 2012 to 1134 units during April 2013. Overall year-to-date sales for the company dropped by 10 percent, from 17,486 units in April 2012 to 15,702 units this year.

Ashok Leyland
Total sales for Ashok Leyland fell by around 14 percent for April 2013, with the company selling 7,487 units in the month this year against 8,686 units for April last year. Removing the Dost’s sales provides for an even gloomy image, with sales dropping 19 percent from 6,468 units in April last year to 5,251 units this year. While the Dost has been providing strong numbers over the last few months, the curve seems to have flattened, with the product registering a meagre 1 percent growth soon after its first anniversary. Sales of the Dost stood at 2,236 units in April ’13 against 2,218 units for April ’13.

AMIT PANDAY & KARTHIK H
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