Tata Motors feels the heat of growing competition, August car and SUV sales down 3% YoY
The 3% sales decline on 45,933 passenger vehicles in August comes on the back on flat sales in July albeit EV numbers continue to shine. Tata Motors is now gearing up to launch the facelifted Nexon and Nexon EV on September 14.
Following the flat sales in July 2023, Tata Motors has reported a sales decline of 3% in August 2023 with 45,933 units (August 2022: 47,351 units). This is the first decline in the year to date and indicates the company is feeling the heat of growing competition.
As is known, Tata Motors has, for the past couple of years, recorded strong double-digit gains albeit on a lower year-ago base. It had clocked best-ever fiscal sales of 544,391 units in FY2023, averaging monthly sales of 45,365 units. In the first five months of FY2024, cumulative sales are 234,072 units which translates into monthly average of 46,814 units.
From the data table below, one can see that the double-digit growth of April has reduced to single digit in May and June, then to nil in July and to -3% in August.
Tata Motors is among the few passenger vehicle OEMs with multiple powertrains spanning petrol, diesel, CNG and electric and currently has a seven-model portfolio comprising four SUVs (Nexon, Punch, Harrier, Safari), two hatchbacks (Tiago and Altroz) and one sedan (Tigor). While it retains the first-mover advantage in EVs, it is seeing growing competition in other segments.
One of the moves it took last month to counter fresh competition was the launch of the Tata Punch CNG, priced between Rs 710,000-Rs 968,000, ex-showroom. The Tata Punch CNG takes on the recently-launched Hyundai Exter CNG, which costs Rs 824,000 to Rs 897,000 and has drawn over 50,000 bookings. Interestingly, Tata Motors has also introduced a single-pane sunroof on the Punch to make it compete head on with the Exter.
MAINTAINING THE FIRST-MOVER EV-ADVANTAGE
Meanwhile, on the EV sales front, Tata Motors continues to make gains. In August, the carmaker sold 6,236 EVs, up 55% YoY. Its April-August 2023 EV sales add up to 31,911 units, which marks robust 81% YoY growth.
Starting this festive season, Tata Motors has outlined launch plans for around half-a-dozen models, including facelifts and new powertrain options. First off is the September 14 launch of the facelifted Nexon and Nexon EV. What's more, given that a Punch EV, equipped with a front charging slot, was snapped testing recently, expect Tata Motors to rev up the launch plans for that variant.
Meanwhile, in measure designed to generate additional manufacturing capacity at its Pune plant, the company is de-bottlenecking its ALFA modular architecture setup. These include engineering modifications such as adding extra rows or spots on assembly lines, both to augment capacity and also speed up production. Furthermore, the exercise is expected to help accommodate multiple car models as well as making the assembly lines and paint shop more adaptable to roll out multiple variants.
Clearly, Tata Motors is readying for fresh battle in the marketplace. Will these new moves give it a new charge on the sales front? We have to wait to find out.
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