Tata’s diesel line-up has rescued it from the market turbulence caused due to the hike in petrol prices, which has adversely affected the petrol car sales. The company maintained an impressive line-up of diesel variants in the passenger car segment. The prices of petrol throughout the country witnessed an unprecedented hike in May 2012 by Rs. 7 per litre.
Maruti Suzuki marked a decline of 29 per cent in the sales of M800, Alto, A-star and WagonR. The country's largest car maker does not offer diesel variants of any of these models which consequently affected the sales. On the other hand, Tata Nano, which does not have a diesel model but offers highest mileage in petrol cars, marked a growth of 31 per cent. At the same time, the company recorded a decline of minuscule 1 per cent with its best selling model, Indica which is popular for its diesel variant.
In an attempt to lure buyers of petrol cars, Maruti Suzuki slashed the price of Alto by Rs. 50,000 through offers and free services. In sedan segment, Maruti sold only 405 units in May 2012 over 2,702 units in the corresponding period last year. The figures indicated a year-over-year (YoY) decline of 85 per cent in terms of sales. SX4 faces tough challenge from Honda City, which is now available at a discount of Rs. 60,000 and from other models like Volkswagen Vento and Nissan Sunny. This is despite the fact that the model is available in diesel option as well and has been brought down by Rs. 30,000 in terms of price.
Coming down by almost 30 per cent in their sales, Omni and Eeco too could not withstand the pressures prevailing in the market. Compared to 93,519 vehicles sold in May 2011, Maruti India came down by 4.3 per cent by selling sell 89,478 units this year in the same month. The company also witnessed a fall in its exports as well with 9,406 cars shipped in May 2012 compared to 10,554 units last year, indicating a fall of 11 per cent. According to the company, it will raise the production capacity of diesel cars to 2.6 lac units while bringing down the number of petrol cars by 50,000 units in the current fiscal year.
On the other hand, from 19,041 units sold in May 2011, Tata Motors has progressed by 6 percent and sold 20,503 cars this year, in passenger vehicles segment. The company sold 8,507 units of Nano compared to 6,515 units sold last year; while Indica series sold 5,467 units against 5,497 cars sold in last May. In sedan segment, sales of Indigo went down by 20 per cent with 3,397 units sold in May 2012 as compared to 4,268 cars sold in last year. Moreover, the SUV segment registered sales of 3,312 units last month.
Ford India and General Motors India, witnessed a dip of 14 per cent and 27 per cent respectively, in their sales. With only 735 units being sold of Spark, the cumulative sales of GM India stood at 6,079 units in May against 8,329 units sold in May 2011. 4,110 models of Beat were sold in the last month, which now has the option of diesel variant as well. Other models like entry-level sedan, Aveo, Optra and a luxury sedan Cruze individually sold mere 71, 7 and 188 units. While the sales of Multi purpose Vehicle (MPV), Tavera and Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV), Captiva stood at 946 units and 22 units each.