Red October as car sales drop 24 percent
Maruti said it lost production of over 40,000 units at its Gurgaon and Manesar units. In the compact segment, the carmaker sold 25,009 units of the 800, Alto, A-star, and Wagon R. To put things in perspective, Maruti typically sells 25,000 units of the Alto every month. In October 2011, it sold just over 15,000 units.
In order to take on competition from the Hyundai Eon, the carmaker launched the Alto Xplore that offers buyers a range of goodies at just Rs 30,000 more. In the midsize segment, the company sold 320 SX4s. With a diesel offering, the company was banking on giving the Volkswagen Vento a run for its money but the worker strike put paid to that.
Meanwhile, Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) recorded a 7.5 percent decline in cumulative sales for October 2011. While domestic sales dropped five percent, exports fell by 12.4 percent. HMIL’s aggregate sales were 48,325 units against 52,217 units in October 2010. Domestic sales were 33,001 units against 34,720 units in October 2010. ArvindSaxena, director - marketing and sales, HMIL, said: “We have seen that sales get a boost in the festival season but this year’s sentiment has been tepid. We don’t expect a major upswing in the near future.” He added that the Eon has been received well with over 9,000 bookings. Indeed, the Eon got off to a good start with 6,315 units sold in October.
Tata Motors’ reported a total sale and distribution offtake of 25,746 units (25,124 Tata and 622 Fiat) in the domestic market in October 2011, lower by three percent compared to 26,503 units (24,478 Tata and 2,025 Fiat) in October last year. Sales of the Nano were 3,868 units, higher by 26 percent over October last year. The Indica range sales were 10,812 units, an increase of 11 percent over October last year. The Indigo range recorded sales of 6,268, down 24 percent over October last year. The Aria sold 560 units indicating that the decision to launch a 4x2 version has paid off.
General Motors India sold 10,062 units in October as compared to 10,051 units in October 2010. Over 50 percent of sales were due to the Chevrolet Beat whose diesel variant has been a shot in the arm. The Beat clocked 5,328 units. The sales figures of the company’s other models in October were: Spark (1797 units), entry level saloon Aveo (182), midsized Optra Magnum (236), Cruze (732), Tavera (1,687) and the Captiva (100).
Mahindra & Mahindra said its October sales rose 20 percent to 41,506 units as against 34,495 units during October 2010. Its domestic sales were 39,352 units during October 2011, as against 32,491 units during October 2010, up 21 percent. The company’s new XUV500 got off to a great start with 8,000 bookings in the first 10 days. This is equivalent to four months’ production. The company has since closed bookings for the SUV. The Bolero sold 8,512 units in the month, following on a record 9,764 units sold in September, which was an all-time high.
For Toyota, sales of the Etios saloon and its hatch, the Liva, enabled the company to post record sales for October 2011. The company’s sales rose 63 percent to 10,762 units. Toyota sold 3,405 Etios and 2,454 units of the Liva during Diwali. Besides these two models, Toyota sold 3,411 Innovas, 700 Corolla Altis and 763 units of the Fortuner.
Volkswagen India sold 7,266 vehicles in October, a growth of 67 percent over 4,343 vehicles sold in October 2010. Despite the sluggish market, the Polo and the Vento continue to bring in the numbers with a total of 6,814 units sold in October 2011. Neeraj Garg, board member, said: “Our action model strategy has once again proved to be very successful with the Polo and the Vento Breeze being a huge attraction for customers.” Skoda Auto India, which sold 1,654 units in October 2011 as against 1,467 units in the year-earlier month, launched two variants of the Fabia.
Meanwhile, Honda Siel Cars India sold 5,526 units in the month, almost five percent over its year-earlier month sales. The City sold 3,376 units, Jazz 463 and the Brio, the company’s latest offering, a good 1,220 units.
With sales of 10,906 units, inclusive of exports, Ford India was able to maintain its position in the pecking order for successful small cars. The company has been able to capitalise on diesel given that its competitors such as Volkswagen have powerful diesel rivals. Ford sold over 5,000 units of the Figo.
Meanwhile, Nissan Motor India said it sold 2,990 units in October, up 164 percent year-on-year increase. Sales were driven by the Sunny which accounted for 1,340 of the October total. The Micra sold 1,619 units, a 52 percent increase compared to October 2010. Managing director Kiminobu Tokuyama said, “Our sales are very encouraging and demonstrate the sustained progress Nissan is making within the Indian market.”
Dinesh Jain, CEO, Hover Automotive India (HAI), Nissan’s sales and marketing partner, added: “Our customers’ exceptional reaction to the Sunny shows that it is the right car, at the right price.” At present, the Sunny is sold through 45 dealerships.
Audi India sold 482 cars in October, adding up to an aggregate 4,692 cars from January to October 2011, thus recording a growth of 85 percent (January-October 2010: 2,535 cars). Sales in October 2011 were 35 percent more than in the year-earlier period (October 2010: 357 cars).
Hero MotoCorp's record retail sales
In the two-wheeler segment, Hero MotoCorp reported a 1.32 percent jump in its October dispatches at 5,12,238 units as against 5,05,553 units in the corresponding month last year. “We have been reaching new milestones this fiscal and the highest ever October retail sales is no exception,” said senior vice-president (marketing and sales) Anil Dua.
The company recorded over 650,000 unit retail sales in the month, surpassing the previous highest of over 600,000 retail sales recorded in October 2008. The company also launched its first offering under the new ‘Hero’ brand name. In the days leading up to Diwali, the company began despatches of the 150cc Impulse priced at Rs 66,800 (ex-showroom Delhi).
Bajaj Auto sold 351,083 units in October as against 329,776 units in the year-earlier month. The company suffered an estimated production loss of 25,000 units due to a curfew at its Pantnagar plant.
TVS Motor Co recorded its highest ever retail sales of 250,000 vehicles for the festive season. Retail sales were 20 percent higher than the same festival season last year. As a result, the company saw a significant liquidation of stocks, both at the company and dealer-end. Therefore, sales projections for November and December 2011 are expected to be above the 200,000 mark per month. TVS sold 1,83,718 units in October 2011 against 1,95,271 units in October 2010. Cumulative sales for April to October 2011 were up by 12 percent with sales of 1,324,077 units against 1,184,065 units recorded in the previous comparable period. The company is confident of achieving a 15 percent plus growth for the current year.
Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India reported a 19.69 percent jump in sales at 178,181 units in October. The company’s total sales stood at 1,48,861 units in the corresponding month last year. Motorcycle sales grew by 4.64 percent to 71,509 units in October 2011 as against 68,332 units in October 2010. The company reported a 32.46 percent jump in scooter sales to 106,672 units in October compared to 80,529 units in the year-ago period.
India Yamaha Motor recorded a 26.8 percent growth in bike sales in October 2011 as compared to October 2010. It sold 47,240 units in October 2011 as against 37,251 units sold in October 2010. In domestic markets, it sold 38,229 units in October 2011 as compared to 31,791 units sold in October 2010, up 20.3 percent.
Jun Nakata, director, sales and marketing, India Yamaha Motor, said: “We have established a firm foothold within the 150cc-plus segment in the Indian motorcycle market with the R15 Version 2.0, FZ series and SZ series gaining much traction. The new R15 has been very well received in the market with bookings superseding the supply."
Diwali, after all, meant good news for some.
BRIAN DE SOUZA
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