As some of the Indian passenger carmakers revealed their sales for February 2015, the month bids fair to register overall good sales numbers. Coming on the back of January 2015’s sales growth of 3.14 percent, it will be good news for an industry battling high interest rates and lacklustre consumer interest, along with the withdrawal of excise sales sops in 2015.
Maruti Suzuki India, the country’s largest carmaker, has recorded an 8.2 percent growth in its February 2015 sales to 107,892 units (February 2014: 99,758). The Alto and Wagon R sold 39,988 units, up 7.1 percent from 37,342 units in the year-earlier period. The Swift, Dzire, Ritz and Celerio together sold 42,778 units, up from 45,721 units, a dip of 6.4 percent. The Ciaz premium saloon sold 5,410 units in the month, taking its aggregate sales since its launch to just over 28,000 units.
Of Maruti’s UVs, combined sales of the Gypsy and Ertiga comprised 5,863 units, up 12 percent over year-earlier month figures. The Omni and Eeco vans sold 11,301 units, 13.8 percent over 9,932 units in February 2014.
On the export front, Maruti Suzuki India sold a total of 10,659 units, up 14 percent year on year (February 2014: 9,346). The carmaker’s total sales for February comprising domestic and exports totaled 118,551 units, up 8.7 percent (February 2014: 109,104).
Meanwhile, Maruti is planning to set up a new network of dealerships in India to sell its premium models. The company plans to rope in both existing and new dealerships for this. Over a year, it plans to open 30 to 55 new dealerships.
Hyundai Motor India has reported domestic sales of 37,305 units in February 2015, an impressive 9.7 percent growth over sales a year ago. The new Elite i20, once again, topped Hyundai's sales chart at 10,264 units. The Elite i20’s sales have crossed 64,000 units in the eight months since its launch. The company plans to launch another i20 variant, the i20 Active later this month.
Commenting on the company’s sales numbers, Rakesh Srivastava, senior VP (sales and marketing), said, “The growth in additional and repeat buyers is higher than that of first-time buyers.”
Domestic and export sales combined, Hyundai Motor India sold 47,612 last month compared to 46,505 units in February 2014. Exports however took a beating, falling 17.5 percent to 10,307 units.
Mahindra & Mahindra has announced its total auto sales numbers which stood at 38,033 units during February 2015 as against 42,166 units in February 2014, a fall of nine percent. The passenger vehicles segment (which includes UVs and the Verito) sold 18,103 units in February 2015 as against 19,308 units in February 2014, down 6.24 percent.
Pravin Shah, chief executive, Automotive Division, said, “The auto industry has not seen any major changes in the Union Budget 2015-16. However looking at the overall Budget proposals including planned spend on infrastructure and social reforms, we expect positive sentiments going forward. Further, with an expected revision in lending rates in the RBI policy in early April, the industry should see better times ahead.”
Tata Motors has reported strong growth in its passenger car sales. The company’s passenger vehicle division recorded sales of 13,767 units, up 22 percent compared to 11,325 units sold in February 2014. According to a company statement, the trend of growth in passenger vehicles continues with strong sales of the Zest sedan and a good market response to the Bolt hatchback. While sales of passenger cars in February 2015 were, at 11,805 units, higher by 31 percent over February 2014, UV sales declined by 15 percent at 1,962 units in February 2015. Cumulative passenger vehicle sales for Tata over the 11-month period for the ongoing fiscal are 119,041 units, down by 5 percent over sales in 2013-14.
Honda Cars India has recorded a 16 percent increase in sales with a February 2015 tally of 16,902 units as against 14,543 units sold in February 2014. The popular Amaze sedan was the top-seller with 7,163 units followed by the City which sold 6,505 units. The Mobilio MPV sold 1,697 units, the Brio 1,397 units and the CR-V 140 units, its highest in a year.
Since its launch in March 2013, the Amaze has totted up sales of 138,533 units. The Brio though is seeing a downturn. For the current fiscal (April 2014-February 2015), the small hatchback has sold 13,344 units, down 26 percent from a year earlier when sales were 18,044 units.
For Honda, 2014-2015 is turning out to be a good year. The carmaker has registered an overall growth of 44 percent during April 2014-February 2015 with 166,366 units sold as against 115,913 units during the corresponding period in FY 2013 -14.
Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) has reported a sales increase of 16.85 percent in Febraury 2015. The company sold 11,802 units during the month compared to 10,100 units in February 2014. In January 2015, it had recorded a sales growth of 16 percent.
According to N Raja, director and senior vice-president (Sales and Marketing), “The growth wave continues this month as well with TKM registering 17 percent growth.,”
Combining domestic and export sales, TKM clocked a total of 13,280 units in February 2015 compared to 11,286 units a year ago. The company exported 1,478 units of the Etios series last month.
Ford India’s domestic sales in February 2015 were 5,959 vehicles (February 2014: 6,799), down 12 percent year on year. “We welcome the government’s clear focus on promoting infrastructure and investment as indicated in the Union Budget. This will have an indirect effect on the growth of the automotive sector, which is one of the biggest contributors to GDP. We also compliment the government for outlining the roadmap for GST implementation,” said Anurag Mehrotra, executive director (Marketing, Sales and Service), Ford India.
GM Indiasold a total of 4,320 vehicles in February 2015 against 5,607 units sold in February 2014, a fall of 22 percent. “The discontinuation of excise duty benefits has impacted the industry during the last two months. Even the Budget announcements are not enough to revive the consumer sentiment,” said P Balendran, vice-president, General Motors India, in an official statement. “Going forward, car sales will be driven mainly by new entries and we expect the market to gain only momentum if interest rates are reduced in phases to facilitate consumer spending since over 85 percent vehicles are purchased through financing,” added Balendran.