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Car sales coast along in May 2018

Passenger car sales have done quite well in May 2018 falling just short of the three lakh vehicle mark. The month of May is considered to be the beginning of the slow sales period of the year with the rural belt investing in agriculture and the urban market waiting for the festivities to begin post-monsoon. In this light, May’s numbers seem to be excellent.

Besides, unlike past trends, the month of May has also seen a slew of launches. Introducing new cars in the slow period might be the new product strategy from marketers which allows the product to settle and the brand communication to take its course before the festive season when car sales begin to pick up.

There were as many as 15 launches in May 2018, probably a record in itself. Amongst new car launches there was the Honda Amaze, the Hyundai Creta, Mini Countryman and Cooper, Mahindra TUV300, plus the all-new Porsche Cayenne and the Mercedes-BenzE63 AMG. Amongst the new versions of existing cars introduced this month were quite a few automatics – the Tata Nexon AMT, Maruti-Suzuki Vitara Brezza AMT, Ford Ecosport S and the Hyundai Elite i20 CVT.

The Honda Amaze has done quite well in its first month with 9,789 cars sold, the highest ever for a Honda in a month. But that might also be because of the bookings taken after stopping the previous Amaze. Honda would certainly be pleased if the Amaze settles in at 5,000-6,000 units per month range. Tata’s Tiago has settled in at the 7,000-8,000 units range and has been the little star for the Indian conglomerate.

The Hyundai Creta has picked up from where its predecessor left, with over 11,000 cars sold in May. The Ford EcoSport outsold the Nexon and the Honda WR-V in order to claim the second spot with 5,000 plus units. But the Brezza extended its lead by going past 16,000 units for the first time.

In the premium segment, the Jeep Compass saw a dip in its numbers for the first time since its launch but it will bounce back once the sales charts start pointing north. Response for the Toyota Yaris is also gaining momentum, in spite of its premium pricing. The bestseller for the month of May is again Maruti Dzire.

A majority of the car brands ended 2017-18 on an upbeat note, registering a growth in passenger vehicle sales. Volumes were boosted due to a steady introduction of new models and refreshes even as uncertainty over the impact of GST affected demand.

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