The year 2014-2015 ends at an optimistic note, especially for car manufacturers like Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, Honda as well as for the luxury segment players like Audi still on pole position with Mercedes-Benz closing in on them. There were also some car makers that surprised everyone with a steady growth percentage like Nissan and Toyota. The passenger vehicle market is finally showing positive signs.
Maruti Suzuki recorded a double digit sales growth, an 11 per cent rise, which propelled the units to 11,70,702. This is also country's top selling car maker's personal best record. March sales figures rose 1.4 per cent to 1, 03,719 compared to the March 2014. Maruti Suzuki India Executive Director Marketing & Sales R.S. Kalsi attributes this significant growth to both the launch of new cars and the company's efforts to expand their network both in rural and urban areas.
Hyundai, the country’s largest passenger car exporter, also flexed their muscles as they scored a double whammy by achieving both the highest-ever single month sales of 39,525 units along with highest-ever financial year sales of 4,20,668 units. By registerig a growth of nearly 11 per cent, Mr. Rakesh Srivastava, Sr. VP- Sales and Marketing, HMIL said, “The market share of 16.3 per cent was highest-ever with strong performance of successful launch of new models like Elite, i20 Active, Xcent and Verna and lead by strong marketing initiatives to engage rural markets and repeat buyers.”
By recording a 23.17 per cent jump in its domestic sales at 22,696 units in March, 2015, Honda cars are the third most successful car manufacturer in the month of March. But the cherry on top was that it posted its highest ever annual domestic sales of 189,062 units during FY15 recording 41 per cent growth over previous financial year. “The fiscal 2014-2015 has been extremely fruitful for Honda Cars India,” the company’s Senior Vice President (Marketing and Sales) Jnaneswar Sen said, adding the new Honda City saw over 1 lakh sales in record 15 months.
The battle for top spot in the luxury segment is heating up as Audi narrowly managed to take the chequered flag as it sold 11,292 units in 2014-15 fiscal year and is up 11.51 per cent. In the same period, Mercedes-Benz India sold 11,213 units, up 17.5 per cent year-on-year. What is interesting to note is that during January-March 2015 period, Mercedes-Benz sold 3,566 cars, an increase of 40 per cent from the previous fiscal year, while 3,181 cars sold by Audi, an increase of 14.5 per cent. It will be interesting to see how long will Audi’s 79 units advantage will last. Joe King, Head, Audi India, said, “This clearly demonstrates the strength of the brand. We are now looking forward to an exciting 2015 with 10 new models, including the Audi TT and new Audi Q3, coming up.”
While Managing director and chief executive, Eberhard Kern, stated that the launch of the new generation C-Class in diesel in February has helped the sales at Mercedes-Benz India.
There were many more significant growths registered like Toyota. Their sales have jumped 62 per cent at 13,333, up from 8,206 cars it sold in the domestic market during the same month last year. “With the launch of the new Corolla Altis, Etios , Etios Liva and Etios Cross in 2014 and new Innova and Fortuner in 2015, we saw an increased acceptance from customers which continues to grow month after month,” said N Raja, director and senior vice-president, sales and marketing at Toyota Kirloskar Motor.
While India’s largest automobile manufacturer, Tata Motors, saw a 19 per cent rise to 15,039 units, up from 12,640 units it sold in the same month last year. Sales at Volkswagen Passenger Cars India also shot up by 22 per cent compared to March last year. This is mainly due to Polo selling 4,577 units, it was up from 3,741 units it sold in the same period last year.
Nissan did not finished the year on a high by registering a mere sales of 4,717 units in March, which is 32.91 per cent decline compared to March 2014 where 7,031 units were sold. The Japanese car maker ended the fiscal year with 24.21 per cent jump in sales at 47,474 units as against 38,220 units in FY 2013-14.
The manufactures that really felt the heat Mahindra and Mahindra, Ford and General Motors. M&M saw a decline of 9 per cent in domestic sales to 4, 34,652 units. For the last month, sales declined by 15 per cent to 41,193 units. Due to a lack of new models Ford India's domestic sales were down 17.35 per cent at 5,253 units.
General Motors reported 35.5 per cent decline in sales at 4,257 units during the month.
|Tata Motors||134,080||138,417||15,039||minus 3|
|General Motors||51,839||80,890||4,257||minus 36|