India Market Sales Analysis – March 2013

While a handful of companies attempted to attract customers to their showrooms by offering discounts to boost their sales in the last month of FY 2013, low economic sentiment, high rate of interest, delayed purchases and changing fuel prices had their impact on overall market demand. As a part of the learning process, OEMs are not only focussing on filling the gaps in their respective portfolios but designing and developing value-for-money products. Thinking of ways to achieve higher fuel effic

Autocar Pro News DeskBy Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 15 May 2013 Views icon8637 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
India Market Sales Analysis – March 2013
Despite a flurry of handsome discounts and special edition models, the vehicle sales slide continues abated but UVs saved the day with the Mahindra Bolero and Toyota Innova selling in record numbers in March 2013.

While a handful of companies attempted to attract customers to their showrooms by offering discounts to boost their sales in the last month of FY 2013, low economic sentiment, high rate of interest, delayed purchases and changing fuel prices had their impact on overall market demand. As a part of the learning process, OEMs are not only focussing on filling the gaps in their respective portfolios but designing and developing value-for-money products. Thinking of ways to achieve higher fuel efficiency is gaining the top preference for R&D activities. However, industry reports suggest that the end to the slowdown doesn’t appear near at hand.

Maruti Suzuki posted total domestic sales of 107,890 units during March 2013, down by 4.3 percent (March 2012: 112,724 units) The largest selling portfolio of entry level passenger cars (M800, Alto, A-Star, WagonR) saw a drop of 14.7 percent at 45,047 units (March 12: 52,826 units). The Alto top-scored with 27,356 units sold while the Swift and Dzire sold 19,654 and 20,078 units respectively. Sales of the Dzire were 22 percent higher over March 2012.
The SX4 saloon reported sales of only 903 units during the month as against 1,520 units sold in March 2012. Nevertheless, gaining further prominence in the tough times, the Dzire saloon and the Ertiga continue to rake in good numbers. The Ertiga sold 6,200 units, rounding off a year of the vehicle that has created a niche for itself (see Ertiga sales graph). A CNG-powered Ertiga is now close to market and is expected to give a further boost to the growing sales in this space.
Maruti, however, managed to steer through a tough year recording a 4.4 percent growth in its total domestic sales for 2012-13 which stood at 1,051,046 units (2011-12: 1,006,316 units). Overall, 2012-13 saw its premium hatchbacks (255,302 units, up by 8.3 percent), Dzire compact saloon (169,571 units, up by 54 percent) and UVs single-handedly powered by the Ertiga (76,375 units against 6,525 units sold in FY2012) drive growth for the company.

Hyundai Motor India recorded a negative growth of 13.5 percent in its domestic sales in March 2013, which stood at 33,858 units (March 2012: 39,122). “We foresee the pressure on volumes to continue till there is significant improvement in macro-economic factors,” said Rakesh Srivastava, vice-president, sales and marketing, HMIL.

Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) posted a growth of 12.57 percent in its passenger vehicle segment (UVs and Verito), selling 25,847 units (March 2012: 22,961). The Bolero sold 11,675 units, its highest in the financial year, its previous high being 11,071 units in October during the festive season. For 2012-13, M&M's total domestic sales for the passenger vehicle segment stood at 279,270 units, up 27 percent over the 220,056 units sold in 2011-12. The new fiscal will bring in a new challenge for the company in the form of Ford’s EcoSport. Pravin Shah, chief executive, automotive division, M&M said, “The three percent additional excise duty on SUVs is clearly a deterrent and by not having a level playing field for all SUVs, it certainly destabilises the market dynamics.”

Toyota Kirloskar Motor sold 19,452 units during March 2013, a growth of 6.76 percent (March 2012: 18,220). These included 3,895 units of the Liva and 4,722 units of the Etios. The Innova sold a record 8,422 units, ending the year of the 2012 edition with a flourish.

Tata Motors’ passenger vehicle division recorded a sharp fall of nearly 67 percent by selling 12,347 units in March 2013 as against 36,984 units in March 2012. The passenger cars (Nano, Indica and Indigo range) and the UVs and SUVs (Sumo, Safari, Aria and Venture) accounted for 8,093 units and 3,444 units respectively in the month. Sales of the Nano were just around the 1,500-unit mark per month in the last quarter of the year. The company has slipped two ranks behind HMIL with M&M and Toyota racing ahead.

Honda Cars India, which has recently opened bookings for the Amaze (its first diesel-powered car), reported sales of 10,044 units in March 2013 (March 2012: 11,016), down nine percent. The Brio and City contributed a third each with 3,917 and 3,432 units sold respectively. The company has also received 2,552 bookings of its Amaze model (included in the March 2013 sales figures). The Jazz and the Civic have been withdrawn from the India market and so HCI’s sales did not include them.

Renault India posted sales of 8,232 units in March 2013, up 719 percent on a low base (March 2012: 1,005). The Duster continues to be on a roll with 6,313 units, followed by the Scala (1,026 units), Pulse (541 units), Fluence (337 units) and Koleos SUV (15 units). Declining by 41.6 percent, Ford India reported sales of 5,271 units during March 2013 (March 2012: 9,026 units). The Figo sold about 5,000 units on average a month. Slipping down by 15 percent, General Motors India sold 9,006 units during the month (March 2012: 10,588). The Beat sold 3,006 units, its sales showing a declining trend in the last six months.

Nissan Motor India announced a growth of 11.14 percent in its annual sales for 2012-13, selling 36,975 units (FY12: 33,270). The company’s yearly sales were powered by the Sunny which sold 24,011 units followed by the Micra (11,454 units). The Evalia MPV, launched in October 2012, has sold over 1,300 units. KenichiroYomura, MD and CEO, Nissan Motor India, said: “We have maintained our sales momentum in India and continue to scale up our operations in line with our long-term strategic goals for the market.Wehave also significantly expanded our dealer network to 95 over the last 12 months.”

Mercedes-Benz India has reported a growth of 5.3 percent in Q1 of 2013. The company has sold 2,009 cars between January-March 2013 (January-March 2012: 1,908). The E-class was the single largest contributor with over 800 units sold during the period. “Given the overall strain in the Indian economy and the fact that the passenger vehicles market has de-grown by double digits in January-February 2013, an incremental 5.3 percent performance enhancement is encouraging,” said Eberhard Kern, MD and CEO. The company is now No 3 in the luxury segment, after BMW and Audi.

HOW THE CV MAJORS FARED IN MARCH 2013 AND ALSO IN FY 2012-13

Tata Motors
India’s largest CV maker fared well in both 2012-13 and March 2013. Even though CV sales for the month dropped 2.15 percent — from 58,063 units in March 2012 to 56,813 units in March 2013 — LCV sales rose 16.26 percentfrom 36,091 units in March 2012 to 41,961 units in March 2013. M&HCV sales fell sharply by 32.41 percent, to 14,852 units (March 2012: 21,972). Tata's cumulative sales for 2012-13 rose by a meagre 1.54 percentto 537,143 units in 2012-13 (2011-12: 529,980).

Ashok Leyland
Ashok Leyland ended 2012-2013 with sales of 114,612 (2011-12: 101,990), a decline of 12 percent. The company has reported a domestic market share of 26.5 percent, translating into a gain of 3 percent in a falling M&HCV market. Exports stood at 8,778 vehicles (2011-12: 12,852), a drop of 31.7 percent. Overall sales at 114,612 units were an all-time high and up by 12.3 percent compared to 101,990 units sold in 2011-12. Total sales in March 2013 stood at 14,020 units against 14,266 units for the same period last year, a marginal drop of 1.72 percent. While domestic sales fell by around 15 percent from 10,450 units in March 2012 to 8,846 units this year, exports halved from 1,605 units to 849 units in March 2013. The steadily contributing Dost SCV, with 2012-13 sales of 34,917 units didn’t betray the company. Its March sales almost doubled from 2,211 units in March last year to 4,325 units this year.

Eicher Motors Eicher Motors experienced a dismal March 2013, with domestic sales of light and medium duty trucks falling 21.4 percent to 2,820 units in March 2013: (March 2012: 3,588). The usually face-saving bus segment fell by 1.5 percent, selling 1,064 units in March 2013 against 1,080 units a year ago. A further fall in HCVs by 21 percent — from 1,118 units in March 2012 to 876 units in March 2013 — resulted in an overall fall of around 17.7 percent in domestic sales, with the company selling 4,760 units in March 2013 compared to 5,786 units a year ago. Total sales, including domestic sales and exports, declined by 18 percent from 6,051 units in March 2012 to 4,962 units in March 2013.

ES FARED IN MARCH 2013 & 2012-13 Two-wheeler OEMs face the heat too
Hero MotoCorp reported sales of 468,283 units in March 2013, down by 11.36 percent over March 2012's sales of 528,290 units. The company closed 2012-13 with total sales of 60,75,583 units as against total sales of 6.2 million units during FY 2012. Anil Dua, senior vice-president (marketing & sales), said: “The Indian auto industry faced an acute slowdown in 2012-13. It continues to reel under the adversities of persistent inflation, firm interest rates, rising fuel prices and negative consumer sentiment. All these factors have adversely impacted the growth of the industry and our sales volumes. Going forward, we have planned new launches, campaigns, capacity addition and network expansion to boost sentiment and accelerate growth.” Hero MotoCorp has also begun operations in African, Central and Latin American markets. PawanMunjal, MD and CEO, said: “We have started despatches to our new international markets in Central and Latin America and Africa. Our first consignments have gone to Peru in Latin America, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras in Central America and to Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast in Africa. Our next shipment is headed to Kenya.” The company plans to sell a mix of models from 100cc and 125cc range and has appointed distributors and retailers in all these export markets. The company has set its target of selling a million units per year in export markets in a few years. This is in line with the ambitious target of achieving the overall sales mark of 10 million units per year. Sliding down by 11.24 percent, Bajaj Auto recorded total sales of 267,037 units (including exports) in March 2013 as against 300,848 motorcycles sold during March 2012. On the cumulative sales front, it sold 3,757,105 motorcycles (April-March 13) as against 3,834,405 motorcycles (April-March 12), down by 2 percent. Meanwhile, continuing to buck the trend, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) reported 252,773 units during the month, up by a substantial 12.8 percent. HMSI had sold 220,487 units during March 2012. Selling 120,738 bikes (March 2013), the company saw a robust increase in bike sales with a growth of 47 percent, albeit on a low base of 82,353 bikes sold during March 2012. However, at 132,035 units sold during March 2013, scooter sales saw a slight fall of 4 percent (March 2012: 138,134 units). As regards cumulative 2012-13 sales, HMSI notched a handsome 31 percent increase with sales of 2,754,685 units during April-March 2013 against 2,107,183 units sold during April-March 2012.

TVS Motor Company clocked in domestic sales of 143,239 units during the month, down by nearly 11 percent. It reported domestic sales of 160,736 units for March 2012.

India Yamaha Motor reported domestic sales of 35,782 units during March 2013 as against 29,819 units sold in March 2012, up by 20 percent. Its exports stood at 14,691 units , up 21.7 percent (March 2012: 12,067.

Mahindra Two Wheelers reported sales of 5,398 scooters in March 2013 (March 2012: 12,750), down by a massive 57 percent, and total cumulative sales of 101,551 units for 2012-13 (2011-12: 134,518), down by 24.5 percent. The company is expected to expand its portfolio by introducing new scooter and motorcycle models this new fiscal year.

AMIT PANDAY & KARTHIK H
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