Admittedly, the whole of automotive industry does say that there was a decline in the car sales for the month of July 2011 and we wouldn’t question their sensibilities. After all, who would want to fight against the RBI’s sensibilities of raising interest rates and also the thing of car manufacturers showing a particular interest towards bringing in diesel engined models of all their cars reflects the fact that petrol engined cars are neglected big time. Here, we have compiled up a sales figure for the previous month and this includes the likes of cars from all the segments.
Some years ago, everyone was gaga about the prospect of a Tata Nano making it to the top of the sales chart. Well, the Nano has so far had a meager run considering its potential to impress as also the fact that it is a Tata product. But then poor marketing strategy from Tata Motors is causing this product to wither. Somewhere down the line, this product has failed to click in the minds of car buyers and hence could only manage 3260 units. This can be called as pathetic figures since its nearest competition manages to sell about 8 times more than it and it is a costly one considering the price of the Nano. The competitor is the Maruti Alto. Consistently, inspite of having only a petrol motor under the hood, the Alto manages sales figures of plus 20k each month. In this case, last month, it notched up 24974 units. At the same time, its sibling, the Wagon R, which had a good show so far, managed to pull in only 10,629 customers, which is less by a big margin compared to what it did last month.
The Maruti A-Star which was touted as the replacement for the Alto, managed to just bring in 779 customers to the show room. Its future is very unclear and though Maruti has started an all new campaign for this car, it doesn’t seem to be working for it. The much bigger SX4 managed to bring in 2303 customers. This clearly shows that customers are willing to pay more for a product, provided it satiates their feelings. The Ritz got more than what it bargained for and this was due to the fact that a new Swift is about to be launched and needless to say, the waiting periods for the new one has already started. The Ritz brought in 7307 more customers to the Maruti fold. This inspite of the diesel commanding a 1 month long waiting period. The Dzire brought in fewer customers compared to last month due to the production being halted for some time and stuff. There was a total of 3021 customers for the Dzire in the month of July.
The one car which seems to have struck a chord in car buyers mind is the Hyundai Verna Fluidic. This car has replaced the Volkswagen Vento and Honda City as the number one selling sedan in the entire country. More than 5k cars were delivered in the month of July 2011. A clear thing which shows that not only does the design influence buying decisions but also the fact that a well priced product would definitely bring customers into the show room. The latter thing (price) was the single factor that made the sales of the City to dip in recent months. Another factor is that Honda stubbornly refuses to bring in a diesel power plant for this car. But then the recent price cuts have ensured that buyers are once again flocking to the show rooms to buy this car. The Honda Jazz clearly is a sales dud even after all the price cuts with buyers not preferring to touch it with a barge pole. It could manage only 275 units. The City managed 4k units after the price cut, but it definitely is no longer the king of the segment. Its nemesis, the German made Vento could manage only 2846 units. This coupled with the strange fact that the market is abuzz with used Polos and Ventos which have barely crossed 5k kms is startling. Must have got something to do with the manufacturer’s aftersales in India. The Vento’s bigger brother, the new Passat also could manage a meager 61 units. Clearly the Skoda Superb is eating much into the sales of this very capable VW. The Superb brought in 231 happy customers into the Skoda fold.
The very much value for money Chevrolet Cruze was eating into the sales of the Civic and also the Corolla. However, this time around, the Toyota brand reigned supreme. The Corolla aligned to the strength of having both a petrol and diesel motor under its hood, definitely managed to strike a chord with sales of 1030 units as opposed to the 621 by the Cruze and 233 by the Civic. The Renault Fluence showed up a bold face by bringing in 212 customers to the French brand. Sales of the Tata Manza were also down at 4877 units and this includes even the sales of the Indigo CS. Toyota’s money churner, the Etios got 4095 happy owners and while this is down from the earlier numbers that the Etios has seen, some of its sales have been snatched away by its own smaller mate, the Liva. The Innova as always showed a strong sales figure of 4816 units. Its bigger brother, the Fortuner has found 1060 new homes. The Fortuner still remains the king of the above Rs 20 lakhs SUV segment. Honda’s obscenely priced CR-V just managed 41 units while the Pajero got 180 units for HM.
The Ford Figo is a very consistent performer and last month saw it bringing in 5273 units whereas its newer and bigger brother, the Fiesta brought in only 781 units. The Classic variant, in the meanwhile continues unfazed with 1262 units. Fiat India have been going though some very grim times once again. The Punto managed only 925 units while the Linea could only muster 175 units. We do hope that the change of hands at the management in Fiat brings about some wonders for the Italian car manufacturer in this third world country. The launch of the much affordable Beat saw 5240 units whereas the smaller engined Spark could manage only 1499 units. It is said that some of the production lines for the Spark have been shut off and instead they have been devoted to making the Beat diesel. Nissan’s Micra put up a brave fight with 1550 units with buyers preferring the diesel engined variant more than the petrol one. Skoda’s Fabia managed lower numbers than last month at 1403 units. The Yeti could only manage 197 units. This however is lower than what the similarly priced Tata Aria with much bigger interiors could manage. Tata Motors sold 328 units of the Aria in July 2011. Since the 4×2 version was launched just this month with a lower price tag, it remains to be seen if it can affect the sales of this car in any way or not. Sadly enough, Volvo Motors didn’t manage to sell even one car from their stables. The reason may be attributed to the fact that they don’t have many sales and show rooms as also the general lack of product knowledge amongst the car buying public. Mahindra’s newly launched Verito also saw sales of 1630 units, which is a good sign of things as compared with the times when the Logan was with Renault. Maruti’s utility vehicle, the Eeco also saw decent numbers to the tune of 5971 units. The hatchback force has been Hyundai’s mainstay in the car segment in India and both the i10 as also the i20 didn’t disappoint on this count. The former posted sales figures of 8828 units while the latter got in 5627 customers. Apart from the Figo, the i20 has also been a consistent performer as far as the sales figures are concerned. The dated but very easy to drive Hyundai Santro also brought in 5409 units.
Overall, it was a bleak month for the Indian automotive history and only some manufacturers could manage to keep their sales targets in place. August 2011 may prove to be a good month considering that the festive season is going to start and Indians generally prefer buying cars on festive occasions. A case of emotions overruling sensibilities.