Japanese powerhouses Honda, Toyota gain an upper hand against the troubled Maruti Suzuki in the Indian Territory

Saturday 15 September 2012, 11:08 AM by

The efforts of Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL), the country's largest passenger car maker, towards recovering from the obnoxious Manesar memories were hit hard, when the sales of Honda and Toyota outpaced its own with the Japanese players emerging as the biggest gainers in the Indian market.

Japanese powerhouses Honda, Toyota gain an upper hand against the troubled Maruti Suzuki in the Indian Territory | CarTrade.com
Japanese powerhouses Honda,Toyota gain an upper hand against the troubled Maruti

During the April-August period of the current fiscal, Toyota Kirloskar increased its market share to 6.97 per cent as against the 5.57 per cent recorded in the same period last year. Following the league, another Japanese dominant player, the recently re-christened Honda Cars India also climbed up to 2.85 per cent in the market during the first five months of the fiscal 2013. Honda has also outgrown the German Volkswagen Group, which plummeted to 2.41 per cent from 3.19 per cent of last year in the same period.

Very unlikely in the company's history, MSIL sales dipped from 40.3 per cent to 36.6 per cent in the April-August period of fiscal 2013. Apart from Toyota and Honda, Tata Motors and Mahindra and Mahindra Limited (M&M) were the sole gainers for the period while Hyundai, General Motors, Ford Motors and Volkswagen lost their respective market standings.

Honda Cars India’s 30,000 unit sales were buoyed by the Brio hatchback, of which the company recorded sales of some 12,000 units in the first five months of the fiscal 2013. The company's City sedan despite under stiff competition from Volkswagen Vento fared comprehensively well, and some 11,478 City saloons were sold in April-August months of 2012. Volkswagen on the other hand could only manage sales of 9,800 Vento units. "It's the Brio that has helped us gain share; and we will sustain it," commented J Sen, Senior Vice President (VP), Marketing, Honda Cars India.

Most of the Toyota sales were fuelled by the Etios Liva hatchback, of which the company registered a surge of 80 per cent (from 2011) in bookings, adding more than 11,000 units during the April-August period of 2012. In addition to Liva, the sales of Toyota Innova Multi-Utility Vehicle (MUV) also grew by 64 per cent at more than 33,000 units in the same period. Experts believe that the company may develop brand new utility vehicles on the Etios platform.

V G Ramakrishnan, Senior Director, Automotive practise, Frost & Sullivan, said, “Maruti Suzuki's loss has resulted in a gain for other manufacturers, particularly in the compact segment,” and remained positive of the fact that MSIL will re-establish its dominance and will be back in no time in the passenger car market. Ramakrishnan also said, “Honda and Toyota will need to look at new launches fast to keep gaining share.”

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