Tuesday, December 25, 2012

'Best or Nothing' inspired CLA sedan

In June 2010, Mercedes Benz had donned a new tagline - The Best or Nothing. The motto was to exemplify 'perfection, fascination & responsibility' as core values for the Brand. Also plans were made to launch 16 models based on the philosophy.

In last Auto Expo we saw the first preview of the A-Class -

The hatchback proportions added with the aggressive styling had stunned the auto enthusiasts. The design was an indication of the 'changing' face of Mercedes Benz. With its leadership being snatched by the newbies BMW & Audi, MB had to bring something radically new to regain its lost glory. And A class was the answer.

The car had earned a mammoth fan following across the globe and garnered 90,000 bookings in a very short period of time. This was the OEMs most successful launch till date. The vehicle was also perfect to re-establish MB for the growing countries as India, Brazil and China.

And the next step looks much more promising - A-class based sedan CLA

Derived of A-class, the CLA is poised to be sold as CLS younger sibling. The Style Coupe Concept Design has surely made the concept look a head-turner. With a length of 4.6 mtrs, the car seems very apt for the youth. This will also help the brand go ga-ga among youngsters. Appreciate the attempt by MB!

A whole gamut of products are planned to be designed around the car - a new 4-matic version along with an AMG version (CLA 45 AMG) could be expected in some time.

The car is set to be unveiled at the 2013 North American International Auto Expo to be hosted at Detroit. So, will the new offerings from the German giant ladder it back to the top? Seeing the products, i say Yes!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Indian Bike Sales Figures

A snapshot of the performance of the Indian Two Wheeler Industry in past 6 months -

1. Hero Moto Corp: 

Hero Moto Corp (HMC) has been the "Maruti" of the Indian 2 wheeler industry. Its aggressive marketing and rural stronghold had made it an indomitable force to reckon with. But in the past one year it had to experience major upheaval - be it in terms of dis-association with Honda or rising labour issues. Although at one point of time the brand was successful in maintaining its 5 Lakh sale continuously (Dec'11 - Jun'12); the rising petrol prices, inflation and strengthening competition has slowed down the 2-wheeler major. Post the break-up with Honda, HMC has been following the product-offensive strategy to intensify its portfolio - See Ignitor, Maestro, Impulse for examples. But the similarity of the upcoming models with Honda models has hindered it to create a mark of its own. Even the bread and butter model - Splendor has faced stiff competition with Bajaj's Discover and Honda's Dream Yuga. Notable is the sales of the Stunner inspired-Ignitor which is significantly higher than its Honda sibling (in Nov'12 Ignitor sales were 7351 units vis-a-vis 1379 untis of Stunner).However, Splendor & Passion still constitute to over 60% of HMC sales. It will be interesting to see how the company would fare in the coming months with Bajaj Auto all pepped up to launch its new 100 cc offering.

2. Bajaj Auto:

With the year-end falling in the two wheeler auto major had a MoM de-growth of over 13 percent (Nov'12 vs Oct'12). The Discover range has grown significantly in past 6 months. Discover even emerged as the world's largest selling bike (inclusive exports) in Oct'12 by de-throning the reigning Splendor. The Pulsar brand hasn't been able to gain much with the new Pulsar 200NS. Avenger though has been able to garner consistent sale of average 2.5k units. However, Platina hasn't got the recognition Bajaj had expected from it. This forced Bajaj Auto to launch Discover in 100 cc and made the auto major to launch a new 100 cc model (expected in first quarter of 2013).

3. Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI):

HMSI has grown substantially in recent times. Time and again it has threatened Bajaj Auto of its second spot. With a dominating Scooter portfolio and growing Motorcycle range, Honda seems the most promising 2-wheeler manufacturer in India. The bike major has a proper product placement - starting with Dream Yuga in the lower-end with the top of the line CBR 250 leading the brand. And with Activa, Dio & Aviator in its kitty; it is easily garnering over a lakh sale from scooters itself.

4. TVS Motors

TVS Motors has lost the Scooter dominance and has given the segment to HMSI on a platter. Scooty sales have been dwindling over a year and the figures have reached below 20k numbers. The 2-wheeler maker also isn't able to grow in the motorcycle category - with its offerings Flame, Jive & Victor already shut down and even Apache, Star Sports/City not performing as per their potential. TVS however is expecting highly from its new 125cc offering 'Pheonix' and as the word (Phoenix) means - TVS expects to rise from the ashes. Notable is to see the Mopeds still contributing to over 40 percent of TVS sales!

5. Yamaha:

When FZ was launched, we expected Yamaha to reach new heights and re-live the era of 'RX'. The model was thought to give Pulsar a strong competition - and in a way it did for a while. But the numbers did not speak as expected - Although FZ sale currently contribute to over 40% of Yamaha sale, the overall sales figure ain't exciting. R15 is clearly the leader in the segment - has not allowed CBR 150/250 take the dominance. With Ray, Yamaha is planning to gain from the growing Scooter love of the Indian consumers.

6. Suzuki:

Suzuki is following Honda's footsteps - focus more on Scooters to gain some ground and later establish itself in Motorcycle category. But, Suzuki got the equation confused! Earlier with Slingshot and later bringing Hayate. Slingshot wasn't even given a chance to compete and then comes the Hayate. Though with strong promotions (led by brand ambassador Salman Khan), Hayate is slowly able to get increased numbers and did its all time high of 9293 units in Nov'12. Access & Swish are loyally giving back to the parent company and combinedly contribute to over 70% of Suzuki sales!

7. Royal Enfield:

Talking numbers wouldn't be right to do for this cult brand. With over six months waiting for most of its models RE is undoubtedly the Harley of India. The new Thunderbird has whipped a storm with its new model and has allowed the brand to garner its all time high sale of 4406 units. Bullet & Electra have been able to perform 2k+ sales in past 6 months. With capacity expansion plans, we expect RE to strengthen to newer heights in coming time.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Indian Auto OEM Social Media Score

Yes, you heard it right! Auto Companies are fighting it out to gain share in not only market sales but in social media as well. OEMs have specialized teams to track consumer engagement in various social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Blogs etc. Engagement is the key to success in these platforms. The brand with continuous interaction and instant response wins in this game. Surprisingly Indian Auto brands fare better than their foreign counterparts here as well. Mahindra leads the pack with over 41 lakh fans of Facebook! The auto brand commands 8% market share, but has succeeded to garner over 25% of the Total Auto fans. Tata and Maruti emerge second and third with 29 Lakh & 22 Lakh fans respectively. Also notable is the popularity of the premium German brands - Audi, BMW & Mercedes.

Audi works its charm in the social media space as well - Audi tops the performance table with an Unmetric score of 53! It symbolifies how well Audi as a brand has engaged with its audience. The score is not a measure of the number of fans alone; but also the brands interaction with its audience through the means of likes, comments, shares and estimated impressions. All of this is possible when the flag bearer is none other than Audi's top boss - Mr. Michael Perschke. This outgoing personality has pumped life into the brand and you'd find him actively involved in most of the discussions as well. In many instances he would himself address customer concerns/queries. Similar character is also visible in Mr. Anand Mahindra - you'd be well aware if you follow his tweet handle regularly.

This is how Engagement Score was calculated -
click on the image to enlarge
As a layman, one wouldn't be much worried about the scores. But the scores have a much bigger impact than it seems. The phenomena could be explained by assessing the fan profile - 92% of the fans are under the age of 30. This means the probability of the fan converting to a customer is higher in a long term. Also these fans would emerge as 'promoters' of your brand. It is also a way to breed brand loyalists.

One could mostly remember the Brand news being dissipated through these forums - perfect channel to announce new launches, product videos and also raise contests. Brands also organize several promotions, surveys and advertisement campaigns through the medium -

So, if you have just liked BMW's page of Facebook - remember that it is being tracked :)

Unmetric compiled its report by sourcing data from its social media benchmark platform. Where brands like Mahindra & Mahindra, Tata Motors and Maruti Suzuki had multiple pages, weighted averages were taken to combine all the data. All statistics were gathered from July 1st, 2012 to September 30th, 2012.
(click to enlarge)

More on the study conducted by Unmetric could be found at - http://www.rushlane.com/mahindra-facebook-fans-tata-1255493.html

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Indian Automotive Print Ads

Print advertisements that made the difference!

Astonishingly you wouldn't find any non-Indian OEM's ad in the list. The understanding of the Indian customer by the Indian Auto makers has made the cut. Majority of the ads in the countdown have made their respective brands a cult of their time and is still admired by many. With time; TV has overtaken Print as the preferred media for the Auto makers and thus the quality of creativity in print ads have deteriorated. Print is now being used by OEM's only to dissipate monthly schemes.  

The list starts -

1. Tata Safari :

2. Mahindra Scorpio :

3. Tata Indica (Launch ads) :

Image SOURCE : Team-BHP

4. Tata Nano :

5. Maruti Omni & Esteem (B&W) :

6. Premier Padmini :

7. The Best saved for the last (Mahindra Classic) :

Now that we have re-kindled some old memories, we would want the Auto OEMs to focus on applying their creative instincts back on print ads and hence make their brands immortal in our memory pool. We at Management Punditz strongly feel that print advertisements is an area untouched by foriegn brands and needs immediate attention. 

NOTE: Our readers can click on the images to enlarge it to full size.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Indian Car Sales Figures - November 2012

November 2012 Sales Figures - Pan India

·         1) November turned out to be a cracker of month for 2 M’s – Maruti & Mahindra. Diwali celebrations was not very apparent in the offtake figures for November for other OEMs. With the year-end falling in the dealers were obviously apprehensive in stocking vehicles. However November proved to be a good month for Petrol specific models (namely Alto, i10, Eon). The month also witnessed the launch of the newest member of Chevrolet family – Sail UVA. Even the top-end SUV Rexton was launched in markets such as Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad & Chandigarh from M&M’s stable.
·         2) Swift sisters have undoubtedly been the flag bearers for Maruti. It is one amongst the few brands to cross Oct’12 offtake (Nov Swift+Dzire – 30837 units v/s Oct – 29822 units). Alto 800 have bought the much required numbers to Maruti  and thus help retain its leadership; i.e. Alto numbers – 23550 vis-à-vis Tata all models combined – 21119 units, Toyota – 12281 units, Chevrolet – 6746 units, Ford – 7577 units, and list involves all OEMs except Maruti and M&M. In which other part of the world would we be able to see such kind of dominance!
·         3) Alto has kindled the trendsetter (what Hyundai terms its Eon). With an aggressive and dynamic promotional campaign, Eon registered its highest billing numbers for last 6 months in Nov’12 (8449 nos.)! Never in past 6 months, i10 has sold over a 1000 units more than i20. With a near 10k mark (9782 units) i10 figures bring smile to the Korean automaker. Although with a month-on-month degrowth Verna & Elantra prove to the segment leaders. The feature rich fluidic designs play a vital role yet again to establish Hyundai into the premium segment. So, has Elantra truly been a signature of success? The mentioned graph is self-explanatory:

·         4) Mahindra is the Maruti of the UV space – this statement turns out true again with M&M strategically placing products in all price-range. With the entry-level gap being filled by Quanto, the premium SUV territory is now embarked with Rexton. The strong product portfolio has made the ‘UV’maker the unshakable no.3 player in the Indian Automotive space.
·         5) Bolero crosses 10k figures yet again. Scorpio & XUV record a similar 4.2k figures. Quanto now seems to be stabilizing at 2.2k to 2.5k mark. With over 12,000 bookings, we expect the numbers to go higher. But the OEMs intention to increase the capacity levels for Quanto is not clear as of now. The figures for Xylo & Verito has been in a ‘reality-check’ mode and hence the lack-luster offtake (1756 & 1235 units respectively).
·         6) Tata seems to have lost it completely. The focus for the automaker does not seem clear with its entry level Nano and its SUV/MUV range. Heavy discounting on its models have a taken a toll on its brands and Tata’s need to re-work on their strategy on war footing. The Indica & Indigo family haven’t gained much with the new ev2 or the club class. Even with the new Storme launched, the Safari numbers remain stagnant at near 1k figure (1052 units).
·         7) The Duster has proved to be the Alastair Cook for Renault. Duster alone is contributing to ~80 percent sale of Renault. The brand has set new records and is currently the largest selling SUV and 13th best selling passenger car in India!!! The real
·         8) Toyota saw tremendous dip (by 26%) in its sales. The OEM attributed the plant shutdown for its  lackluster performance.
·         10) With 133 units for Fabia – it has been the worst offtake for the brand till date. Post Rapid launch, Skoda’s focus on Fabia has decelerated and thus the outcome. Even Rapid fails to achieve numbers as per its potential due to the step-motherly treatment to the brand (promotions majorly shifted to Vento!)
·         11) VW’s unique promotions and discounts allows the automaker to continue sale momentum for Polo & Vento. The brands were able to match their October offtake figures.
·         12) Was it the right time to launch Sail-UVA? This should be the thought of General Motors after seeing the dip in Beat numbers. Although the Sail-UVA being launched in the much-hyped Swift/i20 category, the brand hasn’t been able to bring the expected amount of pull.
      13) Honda has over times emerged to be one of the most honky-donky performer - with a fluctuation greater than share prices, the sales of Honda is extremely difficult to monitor. Ex: Honda City which had done 3976 numbers falls to 1218 units within a month! Similar is the case for Brio - from 3700 units to 2199 units. 
·         However, December 2012 is ready with a bang to fill excitement in the market with mouth watering offers –
1.       General Motors

2.       Ford Midnight Sale & December Dhamaal

3.       Hyundai December Delight (http://bit.ly/HyundaiDecemberDelight)
4.       Tata Motors December Delight (discounts upto 1 Lakh)
5.       M&M – discounts upto 70k
·         Let’s hope the industry ends the year with a positive note!

   A list of Top 20 Brands of the month -

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Automotive Advertisements that connect!

What better time for discussing the aforementioned topic, post the release of the Mahindra's "Live Young, Live Free" campaign.

Seldom automotive ads could touch the Target Group in a holistic manner. The communication most of the times used to narrow down on features rather depicting the connect. Automotive advertisements are one of the most difficult ads to create - the understanding of the consumer requirements and association with the brand needs to be spot on! The message has to be a combination of aspiration and utility - the mixture needs great level of creativity to be precise.

Months ago I encountered the BMW - Feeling Remains ad. I simply re-winded the ad several times for the pleasure of it. It was a feeling that lingered on after watching the ad - the advertisers just hit the sweetest spot. The communication just emphasized how the Bavarian Automaker wanted to connect the feelings and emotions of their cars with consumers looking for the ultimate driving thrill. If observed deeply the characters depicted in the movie are the exact Target Segment of the Brand (by the way characters have been dressed, the locale they are present). The ad felt like -

There was only one Indian Ad that had been fresh through years in my mind - "Reclaim your life" of Tata Safari. It had a perfect symphony of exotic visuals, catchy music and touching message to establish the connect. The volume of my TV used to be the maximum when the ad used to be aired. Tata Safari just found a loyalist in me even though I'd never driven that car! It achieved an aspirational value just with the communication.

Strange, ain't it; how your desires are captured by marketers and presented before you. The excitement and thrill of off-road and adventure has caught the attention of youth. The conversationalist Indian, now isn't scared to explore new places. Weekend trips are a routine and once-in-a-year travel has become a part of life. The evolving trend has been beautifully captured by the new ad shot by Mahindra. It really celebrates the emerging quest for freedom and adventure. Have a look on the ad -

The ad showcases the Mahindra portfolio of products in exotic locations. The heli-cam shots have amazingly captured the natural landscapes and mountains of Kerala & Ladakh. The ad is directed by Prakash Verma of Nirvana Films (Interface Communications). The music is catchy and so is the message. The ad has already clocked over 8.5 Lakh views within a week of its post in Youtube. We wouldn't be surprised to see 'We are the living' anthem repeatedly being broadcasted and used by Mahindra Automotive Portfolio in the coming months!

Saturday, November 10, 2012


That is what Maruti Suzuki replied to Hyundai with its all new Alto 800. Needless to say earlier generation Alto had literally put India on wheels and ruled both the sales charts and hearts for more than a decade. With over 20 lakh vehicles on road the brand had become the best selling model in the world! Mind you, every 2nd minute an Alto is sold; and no other auto maker is even close of achieving the feat. Alto has become the most aggressive brand averaging 3 lac units per year. The spurt in dieselization and increase in the petrol prices had started to woo away customers from the brand. Maruti believes that a new look and improved features could revive the ailing brand.

Over 6000 bookings before launch, 200 deliveries at a dealership in Kerala is the testimony of response it got and that makes us believe that Maruti is all set to take off. Whenever Maruti  gets gloomy it comes up with products to revive everything just as it did with Esteem, Zen,wagonR, Alto,swift,dzire and the now Alto800.

Talking about its looks, it has taken a leap to a different level. It looks a generation ahead of the old one with its uber wave-front design. The petal shaped headlight and the twin grill gives it front a character and curves on the sides makes it appealing and a bit up market too. Similar story impresses you at the back as well with smoothening tail lamps and a smiley curve. . Eon was impressive in its looks and had set the trend that even entry level cars can look stylish! Alto 800 continues to do so - As you step in, your expectations are already steep and it lives up to that with good material quality and finish. Sliver lines in the centre treat your eyes and you get a proper practical bottle holder besides gear lever. Another practicality is added by rotary vents on the sides which are certainly easy to adjust unlike other squared ones in all Maruti models. As you shift yourself to the back, leg space is not that comfortable but u do get better head room since it 70 mm wider and higher than eon. Boot space is about 177lts whereas in eon its 211lts. Needless to say dual tone interior in eon takes a leap.

Under the bonnet it uses the same FAD 800 cc engine which delivers 47bhp and 7.03kgm of torque, it is not at all peppy as it was in Alto and u don’t need to rev too hard since it responds quite generously. It’s good to drive in the city traffic as it picks up from 3rd gear with ease. On the highway as well it does justice as you rev hard till you touch the 100kmph mark and thereon lack of power is inevitable. Whereas Eon produces 55bhp and 7.65kgm of torque and it impresses you clearly on the highway with that extra power. As you expect Maruti claims its mileage to be 22.74kmpl which is ahead of eon which covers 21kms on highway for one lt of fuel. So the question is would you travel 1.7kms extra in the Maruti  being price conscious or you won’t mind and just blow it in the eon.

Quite clearly Eon is a bit better to drive and has a slight more leg room and boot space, but you get more head room in Alto 800. On the outside, Maruti plays clean and sharp and comfortably wins the battle of beauty. 

Most importantly someone who is aiming for a car of that category is one who is the first time buyer and quite price sensitive too many a times. Maruti alto 800 costs 2.44lac for the base model whereas Eon charges Rs.  2.78L for D-lite base model which is 2k costlier than the mid variant lx of Maruti alto 800. Hence in terms of pricing Maruti has played its trump card and that is the reason Hyundai is offering hefty discounts in Eon this festival season. Quite comfortably Maruti is low on your pocket, high on style quotient and practical in all sense. So ladies and gentleman, if I were you; I would’ve clearly choosen Alto800 and it’s the time to khisco….!

(Author - Anshul Chawla - Is an automobile enthusiast who love and live cars! Can be ignited at anshul_chawla@live.com)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Indian Automotive Trend - 2012-13

A lot has changed this year in the Indian Automotive Space. Alto is no longer strategically important to Maruti Suzuki as Ertiga has proved to be. Renault clearly overpowers the likes of Skoda, VW, Fiat, GM with the success of just one product - all hail the 'Duster'. M&M pips Tata from the third slot without having an hatchback in its portfolio! Hyundai successfully manages to guard its second spot with the increased numbers from its higher priced products (such as the Verna, Elantra)!

A look on the numbers (Oct'12) - Duster alone vs Skoda, VW, Fiat & GM -

The notable trends of the year were -
  • a> 'Diesel'ization - A large chunk of the customers moved to purchase higher priced diesel cars. The consumer was ready to shell out a lakh more for the diesel counterpart as he/she wasn't ready to bear the fear of the 'any-time' increasing petrol prices. No doubt i20/swift fared better in comparison to the only-petrol variant available Wagon-R, i10, Alto or Eon.
  • b> First Time Buyers readiness to pay more - This clearly infers a rise in the disposable income of the first time buyer. Gone are the days when consumers were ready to accept the basic features of a car. Nowadays the customer wants 'more' and luxury is in! A car is surely a style statement more than a means of transportation. A probable Alto customer is now buying a Figo/Micra/i20/Beat and is happy shelling out the extra bucks.
  • c> Platform Sharing - With the decline in success-rate of new products, OEM's are apprehensive in investing huge money in developing new products. Also the time-to-market is reduced with the concept of Platform Sharing. Lets see some examples -
    • i. As against Rs 5.5 bn spent on Xylo, only Rs 1 Bn has been spent on Quanto. The same platform is simultaneously being used on 3 products - Xylo, Genio & Quanto.
    • ii. Maruti using the Swift platform for Dzire
    • iii. Renaut & Nissan have mastered the trick - Micra / Pulse and the platform raised to Sunny / Scala
    • iv. VW & Skoda were the pioneers - Fabia / Polo to Vento / Rapid 
    • SX4 hatch showcased in Auto Expo
      • The results are clearly visible - Honda is now planning to bring a sedan version of its successful hatchback Brio. We wouldn't be surprised to see a hatchback version of SX4/Cruze/Fiesta either in the times to come.
  • d> UVology - You need to have an SUV/MPV in the portfolio to keep the cash registers ringing - this was the mantra for all OEMs this year. The segment has magically grown over 50% and have clearly outnumbered their peers in the similar class - Ex: A Duster sells 5406 units in comparison to the similar priced Verna which does 5050 units (Verna being the leader in its class). XUV 5oo alone sells higher than all the D-segment cars combined!!! This has now started a war between OEMs to fasten their plans of launching their MPVs/compact SUVs. These UVs are not only bigger/better but offer equal value to their sedan counterparts. Ex: A Duster provides a mouth-watering mileage of 20.45 kmpl and Ertiga provides 20.77 kmpl!! 
  • e> Add as many NEW products as you can - Earlier, Indian consumers characteristic was orthodox and were skeptical to try new products. 'Tried-and-tested' was the mantra and thus hampered the propositions of new entrants. The recent developments new saw the shift of customers to NOVELTY. If an OEM had a better offering, it was accepted with open-heart. Stalwarts like Tata are facing sudden downfall - the reason being no new product offerings in their kitty (the previous launch Aria was on 2010 - no new product offered from the stable ever since).
    • * This has now led to a slew of new product launch plans from various OEM's. The automakers are now on a product-offensive strategy mode and expect a host of new launches in the coming times.
  • Design as the new 'Differentiator' - The best example for the aforementioned point is Hyundai . With its fluidic design philosophy it has earned a lot of admiration and allowed to successfully establish in high-end segments. The fluidic Verna easily over-threw the segment leader within months of its launch. The neo-fluidic Elantra is on the footsteps of Verna and is currently the best performing vehicle in its segment. Eon also set the trend of having stylishly looking products in the entry level category. No wonder Maruti answered with its 'wave-front' design inspired Alto 800! Even M&M tried something similar with a "Cheetah" inspired XUV 5oo :) The same concept was heard from Ford when they had introduced the 'kinetic' Fiesta!
Indian Automobile Market is now one of the most Volatile and Vulnerable markets in the world. And its is imperative that it would be the most important market for the OEMs considering its tremendous growth potential.  

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Indian Car Sales Figures - October 2012

October 2012 Sales Figures - Pan India
·       1) HAPPY FESTIVE SEASON! Was the salute in my previous month’s post. It stood out to be true and majority of the OEM’s are truly ‘celebrating’ the festive fervor. The increase in the diesel prices boosted the demand for the almost dead petrol cars. The decrease in the interest for car loans came at the right time and pumped the required liquidity confidence in the market at the right time. The ‘UV’olgy still had its grip and even grew this season. October was also the month of new launches – ‘Alto 800’, ‘Ssanyong Rexton’, ‘New Ford Figo’, ‘Manza Club Class’, ‘Safari Storme’ to name a few.
·        2) Maruti and Resurgence seems synonymous. It spurted the automobile industry growth for October’12. It crossed the 1 Lakh figure (including exports) after a long interval. It recorded a 94 per cent jump in car sales during the month over the same month last year. The industry leader also launched its new Alto with a fresh ‘wave front’ design. It has already garnered over 30k bookings and the offtake numbers support the fact. Along with K10, the Alto brand had its ever highest offtake figures in past six months with 26600 numbers. The Swift family (Swift hatchback + Dzire) heralded the flag with a combined figure of 29822 units. Ertiga too jumps in the party with an ever-highest billing of 7289 cars. However, the refreshed Ritz couldn’t add any extra ‘JOY’ with its average offtake of 5389 nos.
·        3) Notable performance was from Kizashi – with 35 numbers in Oct’12; it equals the combined offtake of past 6 months (35 nos from Apr’12 – Sep’12). The surge was primarily through a 5-Lakh rupee drop in its price J Also the tall blue-eyed boy performs well (13608 units) on the base of confidence in petrol cars post the diesel hike.
·        4) The Estilo, SX4 & A-star are still in the dark and seem to slowly loose the sheen with time – with a meager figures of 1217, 695 & 587 units. Can a refreshed avatar change the fortunes of the aforementioned brands? Only time’ll tell.
·        5) Mahindra makes waves again. Not only in sales; but in customer satisfaction levels as well. Mahindra emerges as the most improved OEM in Sales Satisfaction Index & Customer Satisfaction Index studies from J.D. Power. The effort has been well applauded with the increased customer orientation levels towards the brand. No wonder an XUV 5oo sells more than all the D-segment cars combined in the same price band.
·         Bolero’s take on anything attitude works in its offtake numbers as well. It has been the most consistent brand in terms of sales numbers over several months now. It tastes its best billing till date with 11071 units. Scorpio proves its mettle again with its highest offtake in this FY – 4681 units. Quanto takes the concept of ‘Compact SUV’ to the next level – with over 5k bookings it is successful in dispatching 2044 units to the dealers.
·         6) Xylo & Verito figures remain average with 2044 & 1553 respectively. Can we term it as the Quanto effect? It’ll be too early to name that.
·        7) Rexton is received well. With launch in only 2 cities (Delhi + Mumbai), its offtake was 80 units. With launch in many more key cities this Diwali, we can expect Rexton to surely challenge the market leader ‘Fortuner’. However, supplies of this Korean magnet needs to be assessed.
·         8) The ‘trend-setter’ Hyundai also relishes in the festive hungama with its best  month in this financial year. i20 slowly approaches the 10k mark – initially touted to have a fortune similar to Honda’s Jazz; this uber-cool hatch amazes everyone with its sales figures month on month! It even surpasses its younger sibling i10 in terms of sales volumes (i20 – 9058 nos, i10-8988 nos). The recently added Daytime Running Lamps adds to its long feature list and hence allows an hatch owner to enjoy the luxury features of a sedan.
·       10) The neo-fluidic Elantra now adds another feather to the Korean carmaker – it consistently tops the sales in its segment (D1) with 668 units. Even the fluidic Verna set the sales chart on fire with 5050 units of offtake.
·         11) The OEM that gains the most with the increase in diesel prices is Honda. With 3700 units of Jazz & 3976 units of City, Honda gets justice. We also got to see the preview of the Brio sedan (with its launch in Thailand). We can expect the OEM to create some serious ripples with its to be launched diesel-offerings in the coming months. Even the Honda City-CNG was launched in India this October.
·        12) Beat takes a beating – almost de-grew by 50% month-on-month. Was this a UVA-Sail effect? Or else it was an effect of increase in diesel prices and Beat losing its advantage. Maybe both. The UVA Sail is expected to be priced less than a Swift and pose some serious threat to the iconic Swift. But with the average reviews of the Sail, its fate is totally dependent on the customers acceptance.
·         13) Tata is experiencing a hard time selling its ‘once’-iconic brands. It also launched a blitzkrieg of “refreshed” indica ev2, manza club class and Safari Storme to subsidize the falling sales. Karl Slym now has a mammoth task to protect Tata’s territory – Ex: it is slowly losing its taxi share of Indica & Indigo to Etios and Liva sisters. Bolero has clearly overtaken Sumo over the years. Safari has now Duster & veteran Scorpio to dare. Aria proves to be a costly affair.
·         14) Most importantly Tata Motors need ‘NEW’ product launches to revive. It has already set plans to charter product offensive strategy launch several new products in next 3-5 years.  
·         15) Renault seems to satisfy all its dealers with a record-shipping figure of 5406 units. It is also expanding exponentially – and is on track to achieve 100 dealers mark by the end of FY. The Scala & Pulse brands are also supporting adequately to the OEM.
·        16) Nissan’s dealers decision to oppose Hover Automotive India proves to be a shocker. Nissan’s dealers are unable to understand the reason how Nissan’s partner Renault is successfully bringing in new products and supporting the viability of its channel partners. Nissan dealers have now demanded Nissan’s direct intervention rather than using an intermediary (Hover) to improve the situation.
·        17) Toyota continues its dream run with Fortuner & Innova. However, its India-specific products – Etios & Liva are slowly losing their charm. Also their increasing penetration in taxi fleets points Toyota’s desperation to improve the volumes.
      18) Yeti with 6 units seems to come to a natural death situation. Skoda also fails miserably to improve its Fabia numbers – 256 units only! The situation is not great in its parent company VW too. With hefty promotions and discounts – only Polo makes a mark in Oct’12.

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