Auto makers banking on festive season to boost sales

Wednesday 04 September 2013, 17:14 PM by

In terms of performance and sales for August 2013, the Indian auto industry experienced mixed trends. According to statistics released, the overall condition was quite slow but some companies were able to register marginal growth. Due to the constantly rising fuel prices and high interest rates, buyers are becoming more reluctant day by day. It is being said that the kind of slowdown the market is facing can be considered its worse in this decade. Now, in order to combat the slowdown in the Indian car market, auto makers throughout the country are banking on the upcoming festive season. The momentum is slowly gathering as numerous cars have been launched in the past few weeks. Industry experts feel that although it is tough, the soon approaching festive season has the potential to turnaround fortunes of the Indian car market.

Auto makers banking on festive season to boost sales |
Auto makers banking on festive season to boost sales

Maruti Suzuki, the country's largest passenger car maker, clocked sales of 76018 units, which marked a 51.6 per cent increase under the review of same month in 2012. However, this growth should not be taken literally as Maruti Suzuki, in August 2012, suffered due to the strike at the Manesar plant. Also, despite the growth, the average monthly sales for 2013 are below statistics for 2012. Hyundai Motor India, the closest rival of Maruti Suzuki, managed to sell around 28311 units in August 2013. On the other hand, car makers like Honda and Ford registered 63 per cent and 2 per cent growth, respectively, which was majorly attributed to the demand of Amaze sedan and EcoSport compact Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV), respectively. German car maker Volkswagen also recorded a growth of around 9 per cent in sales for August 2013, reports have claimed.

As the statistics released are wholesale figures, auto makers are expecting the festive season to stage a turnaround for them. Industry experts feel that clocking good retail sales numbers is going to be a little tough for auto makers. On one hand where the situation has been good for a few auto companies, brands like Tata Motors, Toyota Kirloskar and Mahindra & Mahindra announced a decline in their sales. Some industry experts believe that this might have been caused due to continuously decreasing demand of utility vehicles and the rising prices of diesel.

Senior Vice-President for Sales and Marketing at Hyundai Motor India, Rakesh Srivastava, in a recent interview, talked about the pressure prevailing on the industry and tough macroeconomic conditions. "The domestic market continues to witness pressure. The overall market is suppressed due to various macro-economic factors. The frequent and steep increase in fuel prices continues to impact the already low market sentiments. We expect the challenge to continue in the coming months as well until there is a significant change in macro-economic policies," he said.

It would be interesting to see the graph of companies like Honda and Ford if sales of their models Amaze and EcoSport are excluded, respectively. Other models from these companies have been struggling all year long. Owing to this, firms are trying to make most out of the success of these models. Jnaneswar Sen, Senior Vice-President for Sales and Marketing at Honda Cars India, was quoted as saying, "With the onset of festival season in West and South India, we have tried to maximise the production of Honda Amaze during August to be able to speed up the deliveries."