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New models drive sales in September 2015

Automakers have announced their September 2015 sales numbers and what seems amply clear is that the ones with recently launched new models have seen good sales come their way. New models drive India car sales in September. According to data from seven of the country’s largest passenger vehicle manufacturers, sales in September were up 6.8 percent to 218,110 units against 204,255 units in September 2014. Overall numbers could have been better though, given reduced fuel prices, low inflation and the onset of the festive season.

Maruti Suzuki India, the largest carmaker in the country saw its sales grow 6.8 percent in September to 106,083 units (September 2014: 99,290 units). A slower-than-anticipated off take of the S-cross coupled with weak growth in sales of the entry level mini segment which comprises the Wagon R and the Alto capped the automaker’s sales. The recent trend of customers opting for larger cars was highlighted as the company’s mini segment comprising Alto and the Wagon R, remained flat at 35,570 units.

Maruti’s utility vehicles, the S-Cross, Gypsy and Ertiga grew by only 5.9 percent in sales during September to 6,331 units against a near 43 per cent rise to 7,836 units in August 2015. Sales of compact cars, which include models like the Swift, Ritz, Celerio and Dzire, grew by 3.5 per cent. On the upside, demand for the Dzire Tour (for cabs and fleet operators) remained strong and the company sold 3,229 units as compared to 1,221 units in September 2014.

The premium segment Ciaz sedan, with a new diesel hybrid model, drew more buyers and the company sold 4,291 units. The Ciaz comes under the mid-size segment and was launched in October last year. Sales of the vans segment, which comprise of the Eeco and the Omni, fell marginally.

Hyundai Motor India in the second largest carmaker spot reported its highest ever domestic monthly sales in September as it registered a 21.3 percent year-on-year growth in sales to 42,505 units (September 2014: 35,041). A strong response to its compact Creta SUV and sustained demand for the premium hatchback Elite i20 helped the automaker post high sales last month. Commenting on the sales, Rakesh Srivastava, senior VP (Sales and Marketing), HMIL, said that growth came about on the strong performance of its modern premium brands – Creta, Elite i20, i20 Active and Grand i10, while also registering 14.2 percent growth in the first-half of this fiscal year.”

Given the strong demand for the Creta, Hyundai has already restructured its manufacturing and ramped up its production by 50 percent from 5,000 units planned earlier to almost 7,500 units a month. It has also deferred exports of the Creta by a few months to accommodate high demand in the local market. The company had sold 7,437 units of the SUV in August 2015, and while the breakup for the Creta last month is not known yet, it is likely to retain the title of the most sold SUV in September as well.

Honda Cars India reported growth of 23 percent with monthly domestic sales of 18,509 units in September 2015 (September 2014: 15,015). Surprisingly, the Amaze toppled both the City and the Jazz to become the company’s most sold car in India with sales of 6,577 units. Meanwhile, the City sold 5,702 units and the new Jazz sold a total of 4,762 units. The split for the remaining cars was 759 units for the Brio, 643 units for the Mobilio and 66 units for the CR-V. For the first half of the fiscal (April-September 2015), the carmaker sold a total of 97,217 units against 88,200 units for the corresponding period last year, marking a growth of 10%.    Home-grown automaker, Mahindra & Mahindra reported a 7 percent decline in passenger vehicle sales to 19,564 units from 21,141 units sold in the same period a year ago, as rising competition continued to weigh on the company. Mahindra launched the TUV300, its first new model in more than four years, on September 10 and is planning to launch another new compact SUV in the next two months. By enhancing its product portfolio with fresh launches, the company plans to regain lost market share in the utility vehicle segment.

Meanwhile, Ford India sold 22,428 vehicles in combined domestic wholesales and exports in September, compared to 13,742 vehicles in the corresponding month last year. With strong performance of the Figo Aspire and launch of the new Figo hatchback, the company’s domestic sales in September improved to 8,274 vehicles from 6,786 units in September 2014. Exports were also sharply up to 14,154 vehicles from 6,956 in the same period last year.

Toyota Kirloskar Motors sold 11, 401 units in the domestic market and exported 1,252 units of the Etios in September 2015 when compared to 12, 542 units sold in the domestic market and 1,502 units.    Expectation of a turnaround in demand led growth in the second half also seems to be well anchored now and most automakers should make the most of the favourable scenario and post better numbers in the months to come.    Autocar India

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