Top car manufacturers in India, the Gurgaon-based Maruti Suzuki India Limited and the Chennai-based Hyundai Motor India Limited have registered single digit sales growth in December this year, when other players in the Indian automotive arena failed to live up to the expectation.
When Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai barely scraped through, others like the Chennai-based Ford India, the Bangalore-based Toyota Kirloskar, the Talegaon-based General Motors India and the homegrown auto major, Mahindra & Mahindra logged a dip in sales. The Japanese car major, Maruti Suzuki has posted a sales of 86,613 cars, registering an increase of 5.5 percent in comparison with the sales of 82,073 units in the year ago period. Despite perceptible slowdown being experienced in this part of the world, Maruti Suzuki could gain sales momentum, thanks the sales of vehicles including WagonR, A-Star, M800 and Alto, showing an impressive 16.7 percent growth selling as many as 38,286 units in contrast with the sales of 32,797 cars in December 2012. While the sales of its compact sedan, Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire stood at 15,427 units, registering 18 percent growth as against the sales of 13,076 vehicles during the same month of the previous year. Other vehicles such as Maruti Suzuki Swift, Estilo and Ritz dipped by 14.7 percent at 19,171 vehicles versus the sales of 22,482 units in December 2012.
Hyundai has also saved its face by clocking 6.24 percent rise by selling 28,345 cars in December 2013 as against the sales of 26,697 units in December 2012.
Reacting to the sales growth, Rakesh Srivastava, Senior Vice President (Sales & Marketing), HMIL said: “The year 2013 was pretty much challenging, yet rewarding for us. For instance, we operated with 99 percent capacity utilissati8on in our Chennai plant. In fact, we have witnessed the fastest five million cars roll out”. A slew of factors including poor customer sentiments, high input costs, volatile currency, increasing interest rates and fluctuating fuel costs has had a telling effect on other car makers in the country, especially in December 2013. To top it all, people posponed their purchases of cars, fearing the year of the model changing within a month, thus likely to have an impact on the re-sale value of vehicles.
The Mumbai-based utility vehicles major, Mahindra & Mahindra posted a sales of 36,881 vehicles in December 2013 in comparison with the sales of 42,307 units clocked in December 2012, slipping by 12.82 percent.
While elaborating on the performance of the company, Pravin Shah, Chief Executive (Automotive Division) opined that during the first nine months of the current fiscal, Indian automobile industry had witnessed a negative growth, thanks to the persistant slowing down of economic activity and the resultant impact on the consumer and business sentiments. ‘Although, the overnight turnaround in the automotive horizon is not likely to happen, unless and until some kind of government intervention and course corrections are initiated. Eventually, I think the worst seems to be over’, Shah added.
The Chennai-based US auto major Ford reported a negative sales growth last month. In fact the sales were down by 9.9 percent by clocking 5,871 cars during the period under review in contrast with the sales of 6,517 vehicles in December 2012. But for the sales of its SUV, Ford EcoSport, the situation would have been pathetic for the auto maker.
The Bidadi-based Toyota Kirloskar Motor has clocked 11.78 percent drop in domestic sales, which was pegged at 10,648 vehicles last month, down from 12,071 units sold in December 2012.
Reacting to the poor performance, Sandeep Singh, COO (Marketing and Commercial), TKM said: “The market sentiments hasn’t improved one bit. In the last few months, Toyota has made its best efforts to control inentory both at the plant level, as well as at the dealership end. We hope the market will show positives in the coming months”.
The US car maker, General Motors announced that its December 2012 sales showed a dip of 19.27 percent logging a sales of 5,705 unis versus the sales of 7,067 vehicles in December 2012.
P Balendran, Vice President, GM India said: “The year 2013 has been extremely challenging for the automotive industry in India. Besides doing all that we can in terms of offering discounts and freebies, the sales remained dull. The general economy has to pick up and the consumer sentiments should improve, if the industry has to pick up once again”.