India passenger vehicle sales march ahead in February

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 01 Mar 2017


Surging consumer demand for the Maruti Vitara Brezza, Hyundai Creta, Tata Tiago and Toyota Fortuner has seen their manufacturers post solid sales in February 2017.
Surging consumer demand for the Maruti Vitara Brezza, Hyundai Creta, Tata Tiago and Toyota Fortuner has seen their manufacturers post solid sales in February 2017.

If the sales numbers for February 2017 revealed by most carmakers today are any indication, then the Indian passenger vehicle (PV) industry is fast making up for the sales it lost due to the impact of demonetisation in November and December 2016. The first indication of the sales resurgence though came in January 2017 when overall PV sales totaled 265,320 units to notch 14.40 percent year-on-year growth. Now February sales are driving in the same direction.

Autocar Professional's analysis of nine OEMs' February 2017 sales reveals 9.41 percent year on year growth (see detailed table below). Here's how the carmakers have performed in the second month of the year. 

Maruti Suzuki India sold a total of 120,599 units in the domestic market, a year-on-year growth of 11.7 percent (February 2016: 108,115). The entry level, bread-and-butter duo of the Alto and Wagon R, sold 33,079 units in February 2017 (February 2016: 35,495), down 6.8 percent YoY. Sales of the six compact cars comprising the Swift, Ritz, Celerio, Ignis, Baleno and Dzire posted 9.4 percent growth at 47,002 units (February 2016: 42,970). The Dzire Tour, which is sold only as a taxi, sold 2,574 units, down 26.9 percent (February 2016: 3,522).

The Ciaz premium sedan, which is now to be sold from the premium Nexa channel, went home to 5,886 buyers, up 14 percent (February 2016: 5,162). The two vans – Omni and Eeco – continue to give a fillip to overall sales numbers with sales of 14,195 units, up 13.7 percent (February 2016: 12,482).

Where Maruti is stretching the lead versus its competitors is in the UV segment. As a result of continuously surging sales of the Vitara Brezza, the company is driving a new growth paradigm in the segment. Its total UV sales (Gypsy, Ertiga, S-Cross, Vitara Brezza) zoomed 110.5 percent YoY to 17,863 units (February 2016: 8,484), the handsome rise thanks to the Vitara Brezza compact SUV which has crossed the 100,000 units sales mark in less than a year after launch on March 8, 2016.

Hyundai Motor India has reported domestic sales of 42,327 units, a year-on-year growth of 4 percent (February 2016: 40,716). The popular Creta, which recorded an all-time monthly high of 9,002 units, has given a new charge to the Korean carmaker. In the process, the Creta has also gone on to cross the sales landmark of 150,000 units in the domestic market, 21 months after it was launched.

Mahindra & Mahindra’s (M&M) passenger vehicles’ division sold 20,605 units in February 2017, down 13 percent (February 2016: 23,718). Commenting on the performance for February 2017, Pravin Shah, president and chief executive (Automotive), M&M, said, “The auto industry is seeing some positive trends emerging over the last two months. We also hope that the impending implementation of GST will provide a veritable boost to the auto industry and the economy in general.”

Honda Cars India sold a total of 14,249 units in February 2017, up 9.4 percent (February 2016: 13,020). The new City sedan, launched last month, was the best-selling Honda with 6,318 units while the Amaze was the next best with 3,924 units. The City has received over 10,000 bookings in the first month of its launch. Meanwhile, hatchback sales comprised 2,758 Jazz cars and 521 Brios. Of the SUVs, the BR-V sold 703 units and the CR-V 25.

According to Yoichiro Ueno, president and CEO, Honda Cars India, “The market has shown positive sentiment during February and Honda has also benefitted from it. Last month’s sales growth has been driven by an excellent response to the new Honda City 2017, which has received over 10,000 bookings so far.”

In February 2017, Tata Motors’ passenger vehicles, in the domestic market, recorded sales at 12,272 units, marking growth of 12 percent (February 2016: 10,728), as a result of continued strong demand for the Tata Tiago. The company has also received an encouraging response to its recently launched lifestyle UV, Tata Hexa. The company has recorded a 17 percent growth for cumulative sales of all passenger vehicles for the first 11 months of fiscal at 137,718 units, compared to 117,560 units in the year-ago period.

Toyota Kirloskar Motor has registered 12 percent YoY growth in its domestic sales with 11,543 units going home to new buyers during the month (February 2016: 10,312). 

Commenting on the monthly sales, N Raja, director and senior vice-president (Sales & Marketing), Toyota Kirloskar Motor, said, “Both the new Fortuner and Innova Crysta have been performing consistently, attributing to TKM’s domestic growth. The Fortuner which has a more than 70 percent segment share in the SUV segment, has sold 2,027 units in February, making it the highest ever sales for Fortuner in a month ever since its launch in India in 2009. The new Fortuner has sold over 8,200 units in the last four months. The Innova Crysta has also maintained its growth trajectory selling over 67,500 units since its launch last year. We are very happy with the way our customers have appreciated both the new Fortuner and the Innova Crysta.

“We launched the new Prius and the new Camry Hybrid last month. The Camry hybrid which is the first and the only strong hybrid to be manufactured in India, has always been very well received by our customers and we are confident that our customers will appreciate the new Camry Hybrid as well. We are actively working to promote strong hybrid technology and other environment-friendly vehicles based on our stance that environment-friendly vehicles can have a positive impact on the environment only if they are used widely,” added N Raja.

Renault India, which has seen the Kwid give a new charge to its sales over the past year, sold 11,198 units, up 26.8 percent (February 2016: 8,834). Renault says it is substantially increasing its sales and network reach in India and achieved its target of 270 dealership network nationwide at the end of 2016.

Ford India’s domestic wholesales grew to 8,338 vehicles, up 52 percent from 5,483 units in February 2016. “The industry is seeing some green shoots, recovering from the impact of demonetisation. Ford continues to grow faster than the industry, which bears testimony to our three-pronged strategy of product-led transformation, busting the myth of cost of service and enhancing dealership experience,” said Anurag Mehrotra, executive director (Marketing, Sales & Service), Ford India.

Nissan Motor India has reported domestic sales of 4,807 units in February 2017, up 24.96 percent year on year (February 2016: 3,850). The company attributes its sales performance in February to demand for the Nissan Micra and the Datsun Redigo. According to Arun Malhotra, managing director, Nissan Motor India, said, “Our growth story has been driven by the continued success of the Datsun Redigo.”

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