Auto makers aims high for festive season; several hit by dwindled sales in September

Friday 05 October 2012, 12:16 PM by

Several auto makers have reported a dip in their September sales owing to the increasing fuel prices, financing rates and weak consumer sentiments, which all together negatively impacted on the Indian auto industry ahead of the festive season. However, the largest passenger car maker of the country, Maruti Suzuki India Limited, registered a 13 per cent surge in its domestic sales during the period.

Auto makers aims high for festive season; several hit by dwindled sales in September |
Auto makers aims high for festive season; several hit by dwindled sales in Sept

The most significant gainer in the September 2012 sales was Mahindra & Mahindra, while all other big brands of the Indian auto industry, including Hyundai Motors, General Motors, Tata Motors, Toyota Kirloskar and Ford Motor came up with lower sales.

Vice President (National Sales) of Hyundai India, said, “The market has remained tough in the past few months.” Expressing the same sentiments, the Vice president of General Motors India, P Balendran, said that the negative sentiments in market and increased fuel prices were the main factors for the dwindling market conditions. GM witnessed a fall of 27 per cent in the month of September 2012, which was quite disappointing.

In September 2012, the government increased the prices of diesel by Rs. 5, while the banks did not reduced interests on auto loans despite the central bank's move of reducing Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR). However, the auto makers are now planning to make a revival in the sentiments of Indian buyers by introducing some new models, which are likely to boost sales in the festive season. On this, the Deputy Managing Director (Marketing) of Toyota Kirloskar Motors, Sandep Singh, said, “We hope to see market sentiment picking up in the festive season.”

However, industry experts believe that the absence of positive signs in the auto market may drive in the current slowdown of sales to the festive season as well. Sageraj Bariya, Managing Partner at Mumbai based research firm, Equitorials, quoted, “As customers remain wary of buying new cars, the major carmaker may face negative sales in coming months with the exception for diesel cars and some new launches that may boost some sentiments in October or November.”

The demand for sedans and compact cars have witnessed not-so-good times as the sales of Utility Vehicles (UVs) has steadily increased. The sales of Toyota Etios, including sedan and hatchback, reduced by one-fourth in the month of September 2012 and stood at 4,440 units against 5,926 units delivered in corresponding period last year. In contrast, the demand for Innova Multi Utility Vehicle surged by 23 per cent and amounted to 5,858 units, while the sales of Fortuner SUV expanded by 21 per cent to 1,301 units during the period.

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