The poor performance comes despite banks making it easier to avail vehicle loans during recent months
The demand for SUVs and other cars appeared subdued in November after a brief pick-up in October as 14 manufacturers collectively reported 0.4 percent fall in wholesales volumes during the month.
A dip in discount level, a perceived desire to buy next generation Bharat Stage VI (BS-VI) vehicles in 2020 and the tendency to avoid buying at the end of the year made buyers say away from showrooms. The industry posted sales of 263,398 units in November as against 264,488 units sold in November 2018.
One-product company Kia Motors has again managed to beat the trend even as traditional heavyweights Tata Motors and Mahindra feel the heat of the slowdown. Kia beat Tata Motors and came very close to M&M in November.
Kia Motors' rise to the ranking has remained unchallenged. The Korean brand is now a sniffing distance away from M&M in sales. Kia, the country’s fourth-largest car maker, logged sales of 14,005 units during November from only one model Seltos.
The poor performance comes despite banks making it easier to avail vehicle loans during recent months after several rounds of rate-cuts made by the RBI.
Car market leader Maruti Suzuki posted 3.3 percent decline in domestic sales during November at 139,133 units as against 143,890 units sold during the same month in 2018.
The Delhi-based company introduced the S-Presso just before the festive season. The car has received lukewarm response so far. The mini segment, which comprises S-Presso, fell by 12 percent.
Hyundai became one of the few companies that bucked the trend in November. The Korean brand posted a growth of 2 percent in domestic sales to 44,600 units as against 43,709 units clocked during November in 2018. The rise in volumes was aided by new models Venue and Nios.
Continued poor performance by Tata Motors resulted in the company slipping to the sixth spot during November. With more than half a dozen models under its belt including Tiago, Nexon and Harrier Tata Motors fell behind Kia Motors.
The Mumbai-based company saw sales slump by 39 percent (one of the biggest during November) to 10,400 during November as against 16,982 units sold during the same month in 2018. Tata Motors has consistently maintained that there is still enough traction for its models in retails.
French carmaker Renault recorded the best performance by any company during November. The maker of Duster posted sales growth of 76 percent to 10,800 units compared to 6,134 units sold in the same month in 2018. The rise was because of new model Triber and facelift Kwid.
Mayank Pareek, President - Passenger Vehicles Business Unit, Tata Motors, “After an encouraging festival period the industry declined sharply in November. In addition, the industry is also preparing for the BSVI transition. In line with our strategy to focus on retails, we have further enhanced our network coverage. Our retail sales were more than wholesales by 15 percent, which has helped us to reduce the network stock by 35 percent in this fiscal.”
Mahindra & Mahindra barely managed to hold on to its third spot with sales of 14,637 units in the domestic market. This was a fall of 10 percent over 16,188 units sold during November in 2018. The fall comes despite new models launched by M&M including the XUV300 and Marazzo.
Veejay Ram Nakra, Chief of Sales and Marketing, Automotive Division, M&M said, “The month post festive season is historically a lean month for the automotive industry. Consumer demand, typically picks up in the year-end that is in December. Therefore, we expect December to pan out better for the automotive industry.”
Another new entrant MG Motors clocked sales of 3,239 units of the Hector during November. The SAIC-owned brand is getting ready to launch its first all-electric car ZS in India later this week.
Volumes of Honda Cars India contracted by 50 percent during November to 6,459 units as against 13,006 units sold in November in 2018. Honda has reasoned that the transition to BS-VI is the cause behind the fall in wholesale volumesRajesh Goel, Senior Vice President and Director - Sales and Marketing, Honda Cars India, said, “Our sales numbers are better than our plan for the month. We are in the last leg of our BSVI runout and accordingly supplies had to be optimized as we progress towards BS6 transition model by model sequentially.”LIVE NOW... Video series on How to Double Your Monthly Income... where Rahul Shah, Ex-Swiss Investment Banker and one of India's leading experts on wealth building, reveals his secret strategies for the first time ever. Register here to watch it for FREE.