The domestic passenger vehicles (PV) industry saw July 2017 sales come close to crossing the 3,00,000-unit mark (2,98,997 units), and now, the overall sales in August 2017 could also near that number or even surpass it. This growth is being driven by customers wanting to buy their favourite models, and benefiting from handsome GST-driven price cuts, before the new, additional GST cess kicks in. As is known, the Union Cabinet has approved the GST Council's proposal to raise the cess ceiling from 15 percent to 28 percent on luxury cars and SUVs.
In August 2017, the market leader, Maruti Suzuki India, sold a total of 1,51,270 units, a 26.2 percent year-on-year growth, showing that there’s little the competition can do to impact the company’s stranglehold on the domestic market. Other than flat sales of its entry-level hatchback duo, the Alto and the WagonR, which sold 35,428 units, overall numbers for other segments are all up. The demand for its five compact cars – the Swift, the Celerio, the Ignis, the Baleno and the Dzire – soared 62.4 percent to 74,012 units (August 2016: 45,579 units), indicative of a strong demand for the premium Baleno hatchback and the new Dzire sedan. Meanwhile, monthly sales of the Ciaz premium sedan seem to be settling down in the 6,000-units range. The car sold a total of 6,457 units last month, up 3.9 percent from August 2016’s 6,214 units, indicating that the car’s shift to Nexa retail channel, which are the fewer in number, hasn’t negatively impacted sales. The company’s utility vehicles (UVs) also sold well, with 21,442 units moved and a 27.6 year-on-year (YoY) growth (August 2016: 16,806 units). The Maruti Vitara Brezza is expected to have contributed to the bulk of the UV numbers. Bringing up the rear are the two vans, the Omni and the Eeco, which together sold 13,931 units.
Meanwhile, Hyundai Motor India, the No. 2 passenger vehicle player in the country, has reported domestic market sales of 47,103 units in August 2017, registering a YoY growth of 9 percent (August 2016: 43,201 units) and its best monthly sales yet in this calendar year. Commenting on the August sales numbers, Rakesh Srivastava, director - Sales and Marketing, said, “Hyundai volumes at 47,103 units grew by 9 percent on the strong acceptance of the next-gen Verna, with more than 7,000 bookings within 10 days of launch, along with strong demand for the Grand i10, the Elite i20 and the Creta in a market fuelled with speculations on the GST cess increase and challenges posed by floods in many states.”
Mahindra and Mahindra
Mahindra and Mahindra sold a total of 19,325 units in August 2017, marking a 6 percent YoY growth (August 2016: 18,246 units) that comprised 18,255 UVs (up 7 percent YoY) and 1,070 cars and vans (down 5 percent YoY). Commenting on the performance, Rajan Wadhera, president, automotive sector, Mahindra and Mahindra, said: “We are happy with our performance in August. Our passenger vehicles grew by 6 percent and our overall sales grew by 4 percent. Our brands continue to gain traction despite several external challenges. As we get into festive season, we are confident of a good growth over the next couple of months.”
Honda Cars India sold 17,365 units in August 2017, up 25 percent from August 2016’s 13,941 units. The City sedan wrested back the Honda best-seller position from the WR-V, which had beaten it in July 2017; the City sold 5,538 units, followed by the WR-V at 5,200 units, the Jazz at 2,747 units, the Amaze 1,928 units, the BR-V at 1,247 units, the Brio at 640 units, the CR-V at 55 units and the Accord Hybrid at 10 units. Yoichiro Ueno, the president and CEO of Honda Cars India, said, “Honda Cars India continues to record strong sales in August led by the City and the WR-V. Festive purchases have already begun in some parts of the country and we expect the festival season to further boost our sales numbers in the next two months.”
Tata Motors registered total sales of 14,340 passenger vehicles, comprising 11,462 cars and 2,878 UVs. This marks a 10.29 percent YoY growth, with August 2016 numbers at 13,002 units. There was strong demand for the Tiago hatchback and Tigor compact sedan in passenger cars, while the Hexa crossover was the accelerator for UV sales.
Toyota Kirloskar Motor
Toyota Kirloskar Motor had posted handsome sales in July 2017 but could not manage the same in August 2017and sold 12,017 units, down 6 percent YoY when compared to 12,810 units in August 2016. The company says it witnessed a 40-50 percent jump in customer orders last month, following the announcement about the potential GST cess hike. And while enquiries continue to be significantly high, the company has not been able to cater to the enhanced demand due to production constraints.