Most automakers registered a growth in passenger vehicle sales in February and the positive trend indicates the Indian passenger vehicle industry is headed for a record fiscal (April-March 2018). Volumes were led by Maruti Suzuki, which registered a double digit increase in sales and homegrown automaker Tata Motors posted robust growth of 45 percent. Honda, however, bucked the trend and saw volumes dip 18.23 percent year-on-year.
The country's largest carmaker continued to maintain its lead by a comfortable margin. At 1,36,648 units, volumes rose 13.3 percent year-on-year. The growth was particularly driven by its small cars (up 38.7 percent) such as the Dzire and the Baleno, followed by a strong demand for the recently launched third-gen Swift. While the Vitara Brezza kept the sales momentum of the UV segment on the upswing by 13.8 percent, sales of the company’s mid-size sedan, the Ciaz, declined 16.8 percent.
The company is expected to set a sales record for itself and surpass the 1.5mn mark in the fiscal. In FY2017, it sold a total of 14,43,641 units (+10.59 percent).
The second largest carmaker in the country by sales volumes, Hyundai Motor India, sold 44,505 units in February, registering growth of 5.1 percent (February 2017: 42,327). The company is marching forward on the back of sizeable demand for its Grand i10, Elite i20, and the Creta SUV, which have continued to perform well in their respective segments.
Tata Motors has been slowly upping its game in the Indian PV segment and its efforts are quite evident in the robust sales numbers posted by the company. It sold a total of 17,771 units last month, posting a substantial 45 percent growth (February 2017: 12,272).
The company has been witnessing good demand for its newest offering, the Nexon compact crossover, which was launched in September 2017, and has gone on to keep the assembly lines at Tata Motors’ Ranjangaon plant buzzing, with over 25,000 units being built within five months of its launch.
Tata Motors could also be considered to be the show stealer at the 2018 Auto Expo with its H5X SUV and the 45X premium hatchback concepts. The company will introduce the production version models of these concepts in 2019, which will aid its goal of becoming the third largest car manufacturer in the country by 2020.
Mahindra & Mahindra
UV major Mahindra & Mahindra also announced its sales numbers with the company selling 22,389 passenger vehicles in February, registering growth of 8 percent (February 2017: 20,717). While sales of its UVs, which include popular models like the Bolero, Scorpio and the XUV500, grew by 7 percent with 20,977 units (February 2017: 19,529), its passenger cars and vans grew by a considerable 19 percent, albeit contributing very low volumes of 1,412 units (February 2017: 1,188).
Japanese carmaker Honda registered sales of 11,650 units in February 2018, down 18.23 percent year-on-year. The City sedan was the best-seller with 3,885 units, followed by the WR-V crossover (3,364), Jazz (2,257), Amaze (933), BR-V (822), Brio (375) and CR-V (14). The company attributed the reduction in overall volumes to the fall in dispatch of the Amaze ahead the launch of the all new model in the second quarter of 2018.
Toyota reported total sales of 11,864 units in February, up 2.8 percent. The carmaker recently unveiled the Yaris at the Auto Expo 2018. It is banking on the sedan, which will go up against the popular Honda City, to boost its volumes and strengthen its position in the automotive segment.
“With the launch of the Yaris in May 2018, we hope to boost our sales momentum," N Raja, deputy managing director, TKM, said. "The National Auto Policy Draft has been very encouraging with a clear focus and push towards ‘technology agnostic’ green mobility roadmap. We are optimistic that such measures to promote cleaner and greener technologies will further promote hybrid technology and rationalise the GST structure for automobiles,” Raja added.
American carmaker Ford, which has been seeing slow sales for quite some time, registered sales of 9,041 units and grew by 8.4 percent (February 2017: 8,338). The uptick in numbers could be credited to the EcoSport facelift, which was launched in November 2017, and sold 6,833 units in January, contributing majorly to the company’s sales.
However, company president and managing director Anurag Mehrotra cautioned that the government's decision to increase customs duty could drive up prices, thus impacting demand.
|Passenger vehicle sales February 2018|
|Company||February 2018||February 2017||Growth (%)|
|Mahindra & Mahindra||22,389||20,717||8.10%|
|Honda Cars India||11,650||14,249||-18.24%|