Sales of passenger vehicles in the country continue to be dismal this month, as can be reflected from the monthly figures given by Hyundai Motors India Limited and Tata Motors. During the month of March 2013, Hyundai managed to sell 33,858 units, as against 39,122 units in the same period last year, which is a decline of 13.46 per cent. Experts believe that the pressure on sales will remain until the time macro-economic factors show improvement, as can be seen through the figures of other manufacturers as well.
Expressing his disappointment with the numbers, Hyundai Motors India Limited, Sales and Marketing, Vice President, Rakesh Srivastava said, “The slowdown of economy is impacting vehicle sales. Against large base of last year, there was a sharp drop in conversion of enquiries in the absence of any positive stimulus and sentiments.”
Passenger and commercial manufacturer Tata Motors has reported a decline in sales volume for the fifth consecutive month. Total passenger vehicles sold by the utility vehicle manufacturer are down by a whopping 66.67 per cent (12,347 units) from last year's number of 36,984 units during March. Similarly, sales of commercial vehicles for the company have also declined.
As mentioned initially, companies apart from Tata and Hyundai have also witnessed diminishing sales. American manufacturer General Motors, which operates in India through Chevrolet, sold only 9,006 units during March 2013, whereas 10,588 units were sold during March in the previous year. Expressing his views on the current scenario, General Motors India Vice President P. Balendran said, “Despite offering various schemes, the show-room traffic has come down drastically and enquiry conversions are also not taking place. The market sentiment continues to remain subdued due to poor economic conditions and various other factors. We are not expecting any improvement in the short term, but there can be some movement during the festival season, which is also possible only if the interest rate comes down and economic situation improves in the coming months."
Japanese manufacturer Honda also went down by 8.82 per cent in domestic sales this year in March. The company posted sales of 10,044 units this year, as against 11,016 units in March during 2012. Reflecting the same story, Ford India also sold only 5,271 units in March this year, which was 41.61 per cent lesser than 9,028 units sold in March 2012. Commenting on this trend, Ford India’s Executive Director of Marketing, Sales & Service, Vinay Piparsania said, “We see the current downturn as cyclical and we expect stronger sales growth in the future."
Despite the overall gloom, there still are three manufacturers who have been able to rise above the rest in this period. One of these is Mahindra & Mahindra, the country's top utility vehicle manufacturer. Bolstered by the robust domestic sales of XUV500, Scorpio, Bolero and other models, number went up by 12.57 per cent to 25,847 units, from 22,961 units in March 2012. Toyota Kirloskar Motor also went up by 6.76 per cent to sell 19,452 units in March this year. For the same period last year, the company sold 18,220 units. Expressing satisfaction over the company's performance, Toyota Kirloskar Motor Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer (Marketing & Commercial) Sandeep Singh said, “Despite the slow demand in market, we have registered a growth. This growth can be mainly attributed to high customer acceptance of the new models of Etios and Etios Liva, launched recently."
Another rising star for India has been in the form of French manufacturer Renault. With Duster leading the charts for them, Renault managed a significant eight-fold increase to sell 8,232 units during March of the current year, as compared to 1,005 units in the same period last year.
It is clearly visible that sales figures for most auto companies have been continuously declining since the end of last year. Experts sincerely hope that macro-economic factors are cured soon, so that momentum can be infused again into the Indian automobile industry.