It seems that 2013 will be placed in the history books as the worst year for Indian car industry. Recently, the governing body of automobile companies, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) released the monthly statistics for November 2013 in which it was learnt that sales of passenger cars dropped by 8 per cent. This marks a continuous decline in car sales since the beginning of 2013 with negative consumer sentiment prevailing marring the growth prospects.
Speaking on the same, Deputy Director General, Sugato Sen was quoted as saying “This is one of the longest negative streak of the Indian auto industry. All the segments except two wheelers are negative and going through a challenging phase. The sluggish market conditions in the current economic conditions have forced potential customers to delay their purchases and we are not expecting any revival in growth only after the general elections of 2014." He further added “The current situation is unlikely to change till the time a new government comes. At this stage, this government cannot do anything spectacular to bring about a revival.”
As the festive season has recently passed, industry experts were predicting some respite in the passenger car segment. However, the festive season too failed to put up a good show for car manufacturers as the slump continued. According to SIAM, the current phase of the Indian car market will only come to an end after the general elections are held. Sugato added “We are going through a challenging phase. We anticipated that the November sales will decline after the festive season demand dries up. We knew that the high demand during the festivities were unsustainable under the current economic conditions.”
As per the figures of SIAM, all major car makers posted negative growth in November 2013. Last month, leading passenger car manufacturer, Maruti Suzuki recorded 4.22 per cent decline in domestic sales at 71649 units as opposed to 74793 units it sold in the same period last year. Another major company, Hyundai Motor India also reported a 3.66 per cent dip in car sales as it sold 33427 in November 2013 compared to year ago performance of 34698 units. Indian home-grown major, Tata Motors also registered a sharp decline of 41.57 per cent in November 2013, which is one of its lowest faring in three years.
On the other hand, the lone bright spot in the Indian car market was Honda Cars India. Riding on the demand of Amaze, the company posted an increase of almost 151 per cent in November 2013 sales with 9310 units as against 3711 units sold in the year-ago month.
However, the two-wheeler segment continued its impressive streak in India as total sales grew by 6 per cent. As per SIAM figures, the total units sold in November 2013 were 12.4 lakh, out of which scooter sales accounted for 305586 units as compared to last years 244414 units. The leading two-wheeler company, Hero MotoCorp recorded 6 per cent growth during November 2013 with 5.2 lakh units. Its competitor, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India showed a 43 per cent growth in bikes and scooter sales as it sold 3.19 lakh units during the month. However, for Bajaj Auto, the demand further declined by 28 per cent to 162616 units as compared to 227186 sold in the year-ago month.