The exponential rise witnessed in the automotive sector last year with a whole lot of new entrants in the car market, was attributed rightly to the rising disposable income levels and the natural evolution from two-wheelers to four-wheelers. Companies offering smaller cars are targeting this new generation buyers who are potential first timers. But the enthusiasm may be cut short for other small car manufacturers with Maruti’s latest revelation. The repeat customers still beat the first timers handsomely in the sales figure.
According to various reports in the media the growth of the industry is accredited to the first timers but according to the market leader it is the repeaters who have-been-there-done-that are responsible for adding positively in to the sales numbers. This coming from the horse’s mouth, which makes every second car that is been sold in the country, needs to be looked in the right perspective. The official in the report was quoted as saying, that there was marginal decrease in the demand for small cars from the first timers. Hence, an additional car for the family and exchange buyers or repeated buyers has garnered a few more percentage points.
The report further mentioned that Maruti Suzuki India ltd, which sold a total of 6, 96,923 units in the period ranging April-December in the current fiscal, has almost 50 percent of the share of the Indian car market as a whole. The percentage of first time buyers has slided down from 52 percent to a low of 45 percent of the total figures. The official further estimated that the same would not directly apply to all the small car makers across the country and the figure is expected to be less than 45 percent.
It has been a widely believed trend that traditionally first timers have led the growth of the Indian car market, which was no doubt dominated by the small car segment. Director General of SIAM, Mr. Vishnu Mathur was quoted as saying that the volume of buyers for small cars is generally very high. Most of the astonishing sales figures come from this segment, especially mentioning Hyundai’s Santro and Maruti’s Alto, where the share of the first timer’s percentage in the overall sales is considerably very high. The Indian small passenger car market is growing at 31.03 % with annual sales to the tune of 18, 70,483 vehicles sold in 2010.