Sunday, December 28, 2014

India - An Expert in Exports!

A look at India’s top Automobile OEM Exporters.

Based on the investments for capacity expansion from Auto OEM’s two years back (http://management-punditz.blogspot.in/2012/03/investomania-list-of-investments.html), the team at Management Punditz had predicted that the India will slowly emerge as an Export Hub. The country is currently looking at a manufacturing capacity of 30-35 lakh passenger cars per year and the OEM’s can leverage this capacity only exporting their models to other countries / continents. India is also in the race to displace Thailand as the Global Auto Hub by 2020.(source).

While the local market is going through a tough time, these OEM’s can leverage on their manufacturing base for exports. The best example here is Nissan – The Japanese manufacturer exports upto 70% of its production! While the company is fighting hard to gain ground in the Indian market, it is effectively utilizing its resources to leverage on the demand elsewhere. Many auto OEM’s have jumped the bandwagon to start or even increase exports from the sub-continent. ‘Make in India’ campaign is adding blitz to the process and is trying to attract even more OEM’s to start exporting from India. But can India prove its competitive edge – We still are behind in terms of liberalizing our policies and our taxation structure is inconsistent. Our manpower unions just add to the woes. Sustaining profits and supportive policies by Government will the key for the growth. We yet face many challenges here (see why Mercedes Benzopts out for using Indian operations for exports and exports on decline).  

See segment-wise Top exporters based on Apr'14 to Nov'14 data –

Passenger Cars: 
The Passenger Car makers which was under pressure in domestic market underwent a tough time in Exports as well and witnessed flat YoY growth. Hyundai saw a double digit degrowth as it deliberately stopped exporting its popular i10 and i20 models from India to Europe (source) and is using Turkey as its base for supplying the cars to European market. Even Renault has shifted exports to Romania to export RHD Dusters and particularly use Indian output for domestic requirement (source). However, automakers such VW & GM are strongly exploring Exports as an option to leverage on its un-utilized manufacturing capacity. Many European, African & South American countries are catered from India currently. Exports allow the OEM's to better their overall profitability and manage their operations much better.
Trivia: Exports contribute near to 20% of overall production of passenger cars.

Commercial Vehicles:
Note: Exceptional performance of Volvo-Eicher and initiation of exports of Piaggio.
Trivia: Exports contribute near to 12% of overall production of commercial vehicles (LCVs/MCVs/HCVs).

Three Wheelers:
Note: Atul betting big on exports. Bajaj makes a benchmark performance and the export volumes are just envious! TVS follows the suit and the export volumes is considerable. Piaggio recognizes the opportunity and sees a good growth. 
Trivia: Exports contribute near to 42% of overall production of three wheelers!

2-Wheelers:
Note: Bajaj proves again what makes it India's most profitable OEM and sets a benchmark in 2 wheeler exports as well. Hero posts one of the highest YoY growth and depicts its plan for international markets. 
Trivia: Trivia: Exports contribute near to 14% of overall production of passenger cars.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Car of the Year - Nominees Special

Hey!

Various Automobile Publishers & Media houses are busy testing the cars launched in 2014 and announce the winner based on the assessment of the panel. Also some are collecting the Viewers/Readers choice for the award.

However, at Management Punditz we strongly believe that a car's importance to the overall brand and us depends on the 'VOLUMES' it contributes to the portfolio. We are closely scrutinizing the cars that were launched in 2014 with respect to the percentage share they are building up their OEM's business since the day they were launched in the Indian Market. The statistics will be shared with the result on 1 Jan, 2015.

Without much ado, let's look at the Management Punditz nominations for the coveted Award -


While we'll announce the Winner with the rankings on 1 Jan, 2015; we'll be happy to hear from you on your choice for the award. Do share your views on the comments section!

Note: Cars such as Fiat Punto Evo, updated Maruti Alto, updated Chevy Sail, etc are exempted from the list due to their low significance or variance from their earlier counterparts. 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Indian Car Sales Figures - November 2014

Source: Autocar


Source: Livemint

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Indian Car Sales Figures - October 2014

With 2 biggest festivals that the country celebrates (Dusshera & Diwali), the auto Industry couldn’t find a respite from the falling numbers. Indian Government too provided its push by reducing the fuel prices, yet the customer sentiments weren’t affected. Only Maruti, Hyundai & Honda were able to post a positive Year-on-Year growth – not to forget the slew of launches these OEM’s had in past one year. However, the biggest beneficiary has been the Indian Consumer with many options in EVERY segment that one can think of; and that too with the ever-best offers! But, the question to ask is – in name of new launches, are the safety norms being neglected. NCAP has asked Datsun to withdraw GO from the Indian market and the all-time best selling hatchback Swift gets ZERO stars in the test? It is high time the safety standards are given its due recognition by both Consumers & Auto Manufacturers.
Maruti has some big launches with the new Alto K10 – the cheapest automatic. The Alto family combinedly does over 21k units and emerges as the top selling brand of Oct’14. Dzire proves again by posting ~18k units – the Indian’s love for compact sedans is undying and is working well for OEM’s with products in the range. Ciaz does a mind-boggling 6144 shipments and overtakes City easily. Does Maruti finally make its impact in the segment – the next 3 months would be crucial to understand the trend. The Hero for Maruti has been the Gypsy with over 1k offtake – a Government bulk order in the offering? The updated Swift was launched as well – but the NCAP tests related to the carline made more news.
October 2014 Sales Figures - Pan India
Hyundai makes the biggest leap with multiple performers in the fold now. Indian Market surprises us yet again – i20 clocking more numbers than the Grand i10? Yes, and that’s the uniqueness of our market – we would not shy away from paying more price if the car is found value-for-money. Eon does well by garnering ~7k units and also gain a YoY growth.

Tata has put everything now in terms of gaining lost ground – Zest still remains vital for the OEM’s existence. Yes, existence is a strong word – but that’s how the current condition is. The company is slowly monitoring Zest’s performance to launch the Bolt. The company’s effort to regain customer confidence is appreciable – and the coming month’s would help us understand the acceptance of the OEM’s efforts by the consumer.

The new Scorpio still lacks the punch and feel of the earlier generation – YoY numbers signify degrowth of 3%. But the new model has helped the Indian major retain its numbers for sure. Bolero yet again delivers with over 9k units and the XUV performs as well. The company is fighting hard for the 3rd slot and does it with style with over 5k units ahead of Honda. Can it sustain? – Depends on Honda J

Honda yet again displays its inconsistency – 3.5k units for Amaze & 3k units for Mobilio is just not justifiable. It is high time the OEM rationalizes its manufacturing and marketing plan in such a fashion that it clocks the numbers CONSISTENTLY. Any form of leniency can be found negative for the Japanese manufacturer.               

A Look at the top 20 brands -

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Indian Car Sales Figures - September 2014

September 2014 Sales Figures - Pan India

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Indian Car Sales Figures - August 2014

August 2014 Sales Figures - Pan India
August marked the beginning of the festivities with Janmashtmi and Ganesha Chaturthi - but was the fervor around the auto industry as well? To a certain extent yes. While the biggies (say Maruti & Hyundai) witnessed YoY growth, homegrown MNC's Mahindra & Tata continued to take the hit. August saw a spurt in terms of big launches - the 'Zest', Punto 'Evo' & i20 'Elite' saw life in the month. The new launches are very promising and crucial for their respective OE's to cash in the festive demand and make a mark in their respective segments. 
Source : The Hindu
The biggest launch of the season has to be the 'Zest' - in short Tata Motors' future lies in this critical launch. Tata have tried all the formula's to make this product a success - like revamping dealer facility, assuring 3+3+3 (free 3 years warranty + 3 yrs maintenance + 3 yrs Roadside Assistance), load it with plethora of features (like cheapest diesel automatic?) and price it attractive. The latest news announces 10k bookings already garnered by the carline. Can the buzz grow and sustain to the required levels? - the product does have the potential. 

Similarly 'Elite' i20 promises to offer the best-in-class features and unseen luxury for the segment. Hyundai's New Product Development has been envious for sure! The Elite scores in all parameters - right from looks to driveability, from comfort to features that no other car in the segment or even in the higher segment can boast of. The challenge for Hyundai would still remain on maintaining its focus on its ENTIRE portfolio and avoid cannibalization. Grand has already eaten into i10's market share (i10 which was averaging at around 6k units per month has dropped to 2.5k units/mth!) and lets hope elite does not shudder grand's/Xcent's/Verna's pie. Verna by itself is facing stiff competition from the segment leader City and sees tougher challenge from Ciaz. Can Ciaz make the race more interesting? - lets wait for Sep'14 numbers for that.

Maruti continues to deliver stupendously on ALL its carlines. Alto pleasantly jumps back to the 20k+ mark and the trend is positive for its siblings Wagon R, Ritz, Swift & Dzire as well. These 4 cars proudly continue to rule in the Top 5 charts yet again. Celerio has somewhat managed to fill the gap of Estilo & A-star - I somehow am not impressed with the volumes the brand is able to garner. It is a tough push for Ertiga - and it hovers around 4.5k units. SX4 offtake diminishes basis the upcoming 'Ciaz' launch. Maruti happily milks the Omni, Eeco & Gypsy brands - see the offtake numbers and be surprised :)

Honda lives its dream run and that too with style! The Jap OEM has already overtaken M&M in July'14 as the third biggest Passenger car OEM and easily achieves the feat in Aug'14 as well. It leaves no space for M&M to regain its spot. However, the production constraint has left the OEM blue-faced - 757 shipments of the new Honda City is just not fair! We have observed irregular production schedule for the carmaker and is not positive in long run. 
Mobilio manages to meet our expectation and offtake of 5530 units is exemplary. Honda has to focus on rapidly increasing its production as per the demand to meet customer expectations and pose a real challenge to its Korean counterpart (Hyundai).

Ford achieves the feat of sales of over 1Lakh Ecosport in just within 14 months! However, only 60% of the sales were in the Indian market - an Irony how the car which was Made for India and Made in India is NOT made readily available in India. Ford really needs to learn from Honda in terms of taking the plunge and giving the Indian market the importance it deserves. No longer an Ecosport customer would wait for the car - rather he'll opt out for a City or a Elite i20 or even a Mobilio. 

M&M needs some serious introspection currently - with the petrol prices dropping and diesel increasing the Indian major is facing some real threat from the market conditions. It's rural stronghold is now being challenged by the new entrants (see the rapid expansion drive of the Renault's & the Ford's). Its marque Bolero has not touched the 10k mark for 5 months in a row now! Scorpio sees a sudden fall in numbers - facelift expected shortly? Verito, Vibe, Quanto are in the extinction mode. Rexton faces tougher avenues in lieu of the Fortuner & Santa Fe. Xylo still pushes itself around.

The Datsun couldn't leverage on the India story - cannot see any reason why the brand should not perform! It made a breakthrough entry but not sustain! The OEM needs to be aggressive in front of the Maruti's and the Hyundai's or else it wont survive. Terrano settles at 1.5k average and manages itself to gain on the Duster hype. The 'new' Sunny could not revive the brand and still faces anonymity in the segment. 

The 'new' Polo gains momentum and the brand touches the 2.8k mark after 11 months. The capable hatchback still faces challenge bcoz of its pricing and low dealer network. Can the facelift lift the brand? Only time will tell.

A look on the top 20 cars for August 2014 -

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Indian Car Sales Figures - July 2014

July 2014 Sales Figures - Pan India
A look on the top 20 cars for July 2014 -

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Indian Car Sales Figures - June 2014

June 2014 Sales Figures - Pan India
A look on the top 20 cars for June 2014 -

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Indian Car Sales Figures - May 2014

Source: Sahara Samay
Source : ET
May 2014 Sales Figures - Pan India

Monday, May 5, 2014

Indian Car Sales Figures - April 2014

April 2014 Sales Figures - Pan India

KEY OEM PERFORMANCE -

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Indian Automobile Export Performance - FY13-14

Car exports from India remained flat during the fiscal year 2013-14. Hyundai and Maruti Suzuki, two of the biggest car exporters, posted a decline in shipments, while overseas sales by Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen increased. 
Top 10 Car Exporters - India
Maruti Suzuki lost its coveted second slot in the lucrative car exports, 10 years after it ceded the crown to South Korean, Hyundai Motors as it grapples with intensified competition in overseas markets.
Source : ET

In the new pecking order, Nissan Motors India has moved ahead of Maruti in terms of export numbers as its current models Mirca and the Sunny sedan outsell Maruti's list of top seller like A-Star, Alto and DZire.Nissan India increased its export increased its export numbers by shipping 18% additional cars in the last financial year to take its tally to 1.16 lakh units, while Maruti Suzuki lost 16% in overseas sales to end the fiscal at 1.01 lakh cars sent out of India. 


Two-wheeler exports from India grew 6.52 percent to 20,83,938 units in 2013-14 from 19,56,378 units in 2012-13. 
Motorcycle exports rose 6.48 percent to 19,82,755 units, while scooter shipments were up 3.15 percent to 93,931 units. Bajaj Auto exported 13,23,173 motorcycles, an increase of 2.32 percent, while Hero MotoCorp's overseas sales declined 17.05 percent to 1,13,238 units in 2013-14. Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) exported 1,11,710 units, up 7.65 percent from the previous financial year. Yamaha's exports stood at 1,93,129 units, up 45.8 percent.
In the scooter segment, HMSI exported 51,932 units, up 20.85 percent, while Hero MotoCorp's exports declined 28.55 percent to 17,525 units. TVS dispatched 18,693 units to foreign locations an increase of 7.62 percent. 
Two Wheeler Export Numbers
Three-wheeler exports remained healthy and TVS was the biggest gainer in the previous fiscal with 103% YoY growth. Bajaj still remains miles ahead of competition and posts over 2.6 lakh export units in FY. M&M becomes the only OEM with a negative YoY growth.
Three Wheeler Export Numbers
Commercial Vehicle Industry also experiences a negative growth and the industry sees no respite in exports as well. 
Commercial Vehicle Export Figures
In a year where the entire auto industry was reeling to build numbers in the domestic market, the huge production capacity of the OEM's could only be utilized in building up export volumes. While Nissan, Ford, VW, Renault and othe passenger car makers identified the opportunity - other OEMs as well are jumping in the bandwagon to make India their export hub and start shipping their products to other countries. No wonder Hyundai ships to over 140 countries from India and rakes up on its overall profitability. Bajaj is also the most profitable 2-wheeler manufacturer! - with the export volumes it currently has, the OEM has surely paved way for other biggies to explore the potential. 
FY 2014-15 will be a crucial year with majority of the OEMs giving equal focus to exports when compared to domestic sales and the competition would shift to the next level!

Source 1
Source 2

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Indian 2 wheeler Industry Performance - March 2014

The month of March is always met with a spur of activity in the market place primarily because of the financial year ending. Manufacturers and dealers throw open deals to make every purchase sweeter for the end consumer. It was indeed a great year ending for the Indian 2 wheeler industry, clocking a growth of 7.4% over Feb 2014 and a whopping 12% over March 2013. This indeed is a positive sign for the auto industry when the country is gripped in political drama! Let's have a look at the OEM and brand wise performers:

Hero Moto Corp: Hero proves again why it is the largest 2 Wheeler manufacturer by clocking a 12% growth YoY and contributing to the overall industry growth. There is a lot of buzz in the Hero camp with a slew of products lined up this fiscal year primarily in the Commuter and Sports segment. This should help Hero maintain its leadership position and sustain volumes greater than 5 lakh units consistently. 82% of the volumes came from Motorcycles which contribute only to 11% of growth whereas the scooters grew by 22.1%.  

   


1.       Bajaj Auto: The Chakan based manufacturer is clearly struggling in a bullish 2 wheeler market. With hardly 1% growth YoY, is not great going in the Bajaj camp. They have cluttered the market with various offerings in the Sports-commuter segment (125CC) and the commuter segment. They are stretching the Discover brand name and with a lot of offerings under the same umbrella, the consumer is confused rather than excited. It seems, their flanking strategy is not working. Bajaj has plans to give a minor facelift to the Pulsar in terms of new dual tone colour options for the range. They have already done it for the 200NS which was launched with a lot of ambition but is losing steam. Pulsar has been flat and discover which is the major volume driver is still losing out to shine big time. This is highlighted by the drop in MS in Executive segment by 4% for BAL.


         HMSI: Honda is on a roll and they continue to grow on their strong hold in the scooter segment. They are very close to hitting the TWO LAKH mark in scooter sales which is a phenomenal achievement. Along with this they have a share of 58% of the scooter market! In sometime down the line HMSI is all set to threaten the “Hero” of 2 wheelers. With the Launch of the Activa-i, the 125CC scooter, HMSI is all set to increase its foothold in the scooter segment. However HMSI is facing trouble in the Premium segment with the CBR twins and Unicorn losing steam because of KTMs stronghold. But with HMSI all set to bring in a few more bikes courtesy its Japanese mother company, the competition is set to heat up.

1.       TVS Motors: The Chennai based company seems to be focusing on motorcycles more than Scooters. However it has tasted success with the Jupiter in the market which was fought by the Scooty and Wego alone. Overall they have grown by 15.8% YoY which is a very positive sign for the company. However the major cause of concern is that TVS is doing nothing about the Apache which is fighting a losing battle in the Premium segment. With competition heating up. TVS better do something quick! However TVS volumes are still coming from the 2 wheels that drives the nation- MOPEDS. They are the only company selling it but almost 50% of the volumes come from this segment.

  



1.       Yamaha: A company known to build one of the World’s best motorcycles is ironically riding high on the success of the scooters that hit the market. The Alpha and the Ray have contributed to 28.7% growth YoY! Not surprisingly 40% of Yamaha’s sales have come from the Alpha. The FZ continues to be the Lord of the streets and is challenging the dominance of Pulsar month on month. With the Quarter litre bike(R25) from Yamaha teasing the media and the upgrades for the FZ and the R15, the Indian consumer, am sure is waiting for Yamaha’s next move to make a purchase decision!
      

      Suzuki: Suzuki has been struggling in India and yet they have managed to clock 28,475 units. 70% of these numbers being clocked by a single scooter called Access is a sign that Suzuki needs to do something real quick before the other entrants catch on! However the launch of Inazuma is a part of a turn around story for Suzuki. These guys have some of the World’s best motorcycles and they have the ability to bring them to India.

2.       Mahindra & Mahindra: M&M breathed new life into the Executive segment with the Centuro that showcased that the consumer can get some never before seen premium features without paying a bomb for it! Kudos to that. M&M have managed to do good numbers primarily because of this as the Scooter segment has crashed badly (49.6% de-growth).

3.       Royal Enfield: Since these guys focus on a niche market I have not included them in the brand wise figures. However the company managed to sell 23,170 bikes last month posting a healthy 90.9% growth. 

(     (Author's Profile:  Manu Sasidharan. Am a hardcore petrol head, an auto enthusiast and an amateur designer. I have been in close touch with the industry for a long time and am abreast with the action in the automotive sphere. Driving is my passion and combined with a love for travelling makes me a nomad by nature. On the education front, I have done my Engg in Electical and Electronics from Cochin university and my Management studies from Symbiosis Pune.)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Indian Car Sales Figures - March 2014

March 2014 Sales Figures - Pan India
Highlights:
Source : Autocar
  • Cars that made an impact in Mar'14
    • Datsun GO: 2068 offtake in the first month of the launch. With high-impact ads the hatchback is getting the right attention. Will it embark the comeback of Datsun? Only time will tell.
    • Maruti Celerio: Is it an AMT revolution? The initial numbers are positive and has surely caught the attention of Indian buyers on cost effective Automatic Transmission. Find here an interesting insight -
Source : ET
    • Honda City: The response for the sedan has been hands down stupendous. The long wait for the Japanese major has turned be extremely fruitful and currently seems unstoppable. 9,518 units offtake in one month is just AWESOME!
    • Nissan Terrano: Has given significant boost to Nissan - however the gap still persists in comparison to Duster. Wholesale of 3075 units in Mar'14 has been encouraging.
    • Mahindra XUV500: Time and again the carline has made headlines - for the right reasons in Mar'14. 3525 units signifies the potential still available with the brand.
    • Mahindra Scorpio: India's best selling SUV is not an easy tag in today's scenario and Scorpio has earned it quite respectably. M&M sold over 50,900 units of Scorpio in FY14 which is more than the French carmakers Duster (46,700) & Ford's Ecosport (45,000).
Source: ET
    • Hyundai Xcent: Seeing the huge response Grand i10 garnered in the market and with the aggressive pricing - Hyundai has surely launched a winner! Not sure on how it would affect Amaze / Dzire, but the segment is surely gonna grow leaps and bounds.
We have the Tata's Zest & Bolt in the pipeline. Also we expect positive outlook from the General Elections. It is now that the Automotive Industry should start the growth and we expect that to happen gradually - April still is a concerning month for the industry. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The 2014 Formula 1 season is finally here!

March 14th saw the start of the 2014 Formula 1 season with the new rules, new regulations and new drivers in place. With radical changes made to the powertrain, the design, the aerodynamics and so on, F-1 2014 promises to be an interesting one. FIA as usual has made life hell for all the teams with even more stringent rules, making these open roofed cars squeeze out every possible power out of their engines and lay them on to the tracks better than their rivals in the quest for the ultimate trophy of the “Champion of the World” title in the world’s most advanced racing series.

      1.       The lineup:
The lineup for this year’s F-1 is very interesting and the most hyped about move being Kimi the Ice Man moving to the Scarlett red Scuderia Ferrari.

      2.       The schedule for the year:

The Indian GP has been dropped for 2014 and this season will see the addition of the Russian GP. Moreover the Austrian GP (RedBull ring) sees a return this year.


      3.       The regulations: 2014 brings one of the biggest changes to F1 and regulation changes of this scale has never happened in the recent past. I will cover these regulations in 5 parts:
a.       Engine: The engine is now a 1.6 litre V6 turbo charged unit in all cars. This is a huge move from the naturally aspirated 2.4 litre V8 seen last season. The immediate impact will be on, well you guessed it right, POWER! The V6 will be able to pump out only 600bhp against the 750 odd bhp that the V8’s used to churn out. You might think that this is a serious downgrade and the cars will be slower. But hold on to that thought for a while as the new cars will develop an equal of 760 horses when it lays the power on the road and this magic is done by the upgraded KERS.
b.      KERS: Kinetic Energy Recovery System made inroads to F1 in the 2009 season and didn’t have much fan following due to the high level of complexity in terms of car dynamics and electricals in the car. However KERS was a system that generated power out of waste! So FIA decided to make it mandatory this season and now the unit is called the ERS. Unlike the previous KERS - which gave drivers an extra 80bhp for just over six seconds per lap - the 2014 ERS gives drivers around 160bhp for approximately 33 seconds per lap. This means that the system will generate a huge surge of torque and acceleration in an instant and for longer duration than the KERS. The ERS primarily uses the waste heat from braking to drive an alternator to generate the power. However with Great power comes great responsibility so the FIA has allowed teams to now use Electronic rear brake control system.
c.       Design and Aerodynamics: To compensate for all this additional weight, the minimum weight has been increased from 642 Kg to 691 Kg in 2014. Moreover you will see all the cars getting a nose job done for safety reasons with the maximum height of the nose dropped from 550mm in 2013 to 365 mm. So the cars this season will have a lower front nose and also a narrower front wing as the FIA has reduced the wing from 1800mm to 1650mm this season. Moving to the rear, the twin tail pipe will be history and all teams will have to use single tail pipe which must be mandatorily angled upwards to prevent the aerodynamic advantage that a few teams used by using air blown diffusers. Along with this no body work can be placed behind the tail pipe. The rear wing’s lower beam has been removed and the main shaft has become slightly shallower. What is interesting is that with these changes the cars will matter lesser and driver-skills will be of more importance to lead the pack
d.      Fuel : FIA wants every team to extract the maximum efficiency out of the car and in this effort the ruling body has now put a 220 pound (100Kg) cap per car. This is the maximum amount of fuel that can be used per team per car. Usually, teams use about 150-160 Kgs of fuel depending on conditions. Now the teams will really have to balance the cars between performance and efficiency.
e.      Point system: F1 has always been a predictable sport and rarely are there seasons wherein the championship went to the wire. To create more excitement and public interest towards the end of the season FIA has decided to award double number of championship points in the last race. This will be for the driver’s as well as the constructer’s championship. So the Abu Dhabi GP is going to see some interesting racing drama if no team dominates the points table

      4.       Some other changes: Drivers now get to choose their car numbers. This number will remain permanent for thr entire duration of their careers. Drivers can choose from 2-99 and No:1 being the sole right of the previous year champion. However Vettel has chosen to go with No:5 and leave No:1. So there will be no No:1 car this season! FIA has also introduced a pole position trophy to be given to the driver with the most number of pole positions.

To conclude, 2014 looks to be a really exciting season where the championship depends on driver skills more than the car dynamics or performance. This is interesting because now the smaller teams who don’t have deep pockets will not be a back marker but will throw some serious challenge to the front runners. Hopefully we will see some very competitive racing from a sport that has always been the pinnacle of technology and perfection. Can the 4-time world Champion take the coveted World Champion title again or will someone in a Scarlet red car snatch it; well only time can tell!
Enjoy the season, drive safe and remember always wear your seatbelt!!!!

(Profile:  Manu Sasidharan. Am a hardcore petrol head, an auto enthusiast and an amateur designer. I have been in close touch with the industry for a long time and am abreast with the action in the automotive sphere. Driving is my passion and combined with a love for travelling makes me a nomad by nature. On the education front, I have done my Engg in Electrical and Electronics from Cochin university and my Management studies from Symbiosis Pune.)

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Indian Two Wheeler Sales Figures - Feb 2014

Domestic Offtake Figure
India rides on 2 wheels and this is supported by the fact that the world’s largest 2 wheeler market continues to post a growth of 10% amongst the downturn. With 7 auto majors fighting it out for a bigger share of the pie, the competition is all set to get hotter. The recently concluded Auto Expo 2014 was abuzz with a slew of new launches lined up to excite the ever demanding Indian consumer. 2014 is surely bound to be a defining year for the Indian 2 wheeler industry.

Mahindra 2 Wheelers make a very strong comeback by riding on the success of its flagship Centuro and posts a 207% growth YoY. Yes! Yamaha does it right again in Feb’14 and has a 32.5% growth. Also HMSI grows leaps and bounds consistently and does a 43.8% growth. We’ll not be surprised to see HMSI with its aggressive approach for the subcontinent challenges the numero uno position off Hero Moto Corp in coming time!

Highlights-
1. Hero Moto Corp: Mr. Anil Dua, Sr. Vice President (Marketing & Sales), HMCL, said “We have been consistently selling over five lakh units every month, and this is clearly indicative of the inherent market demand that exists for our products.” The world’s largest 2 wheeler OEM has posted a flat growth of 0.6% this month. Hero has showcased the upgrades for Passion, Xtreme, Karizma and ZMR. Along with this the 125cc scooter and the soon to be launched HX250R is expected to stir up the competition in the expanding scooter segment.

        2. Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India: HMSI changed the Indian mindset by offering the Activa and it still continues to have a strong hold in the ever increasing scooter segment. This has a strong contribution in the 43.8% growth that the Gurgaon based OEM has posted. The Motorcycle division contributed 1,52,487 units (compared to 108533 in Feb’13) and the scooter division contributed 1,76,034 units (compared to 119911 in Feb’13). The auto expo saw the launch of the Activa 125 scooter. Along with this HMSI displayed the CBR650R and the CBR500R both of which will make inroads to India. HMSI seems to be slowly bringing its performance motorcycles courtesy its Japanese based mother company.

3. Bajaj Auto: Bajaj Auto continues to struggle in the Indian market by posting a 6% degrowth for the third consecutive month. However Bajaj has seen a 5% increase in exports this month with 1,42,009 units (against 1,35,149 units in Feb’13). Interestingly, a company whose foundations were built on the scooter segment is still not looking to capture the ever increasing scooter segment in India. The auto expo also highlighted Bajaj’s clear intention to stay as a motorcycle company by showcasing the interesting looking CS400 and the SS400 bikes. Along with this the news of the Pulsar 200SS and the KTM RC390 and KTM RC200 expected to be launched this year the Pune based OEM is expected to take Indian Motorcycling to the next level and post positive figures. However, it will be interesting to note how long Mr. Rajiv Bajaj will stay back from exploring his options in the scooter segment- only time can tell!

4. TVS Motors: The Chennai based manufacturer has seen a growth of 5.9% with the major contribution coming from the scooter segment. With Scooty continuing to rule the sub 100cc market and the Wego giving tough competition to Activas and Dios, we can see some good fight in this segment. With its new launch of the Jupiter and a refresh on the Wego and the 100cc Scooty Zest lined up for launch, TVS is all set to fight hard! The auto expo saw the OEM flex its muscles in the performance segment with the 300cc sports version of the Apache and the 250cc Draken-X21 concept with killer looks. The Graphite-an automatic scooter with paddle shift tech also made its way to the stand highlighting the manufacturers increased focus in the scooter segment.

5. Yamaha: Yamaha posted a healthy 32% growth this year and the major contributors were the performance segment and the scooter segment (Ray). The company has seen returns from its investment in the Ray and the market has accepted the scooter well. Sources have said that YMI is working on a 150cc version of the Ray. The OEM has already launched the 110cc Alfa. Yamaha has always been giving a stiff competition to the king of performance segment- the Pulsar with its FZ series and R-15 and the Fazer. With the R-25 a 250cc performance bike debuting internationally, we can expect Yamaha to bring it to India to heat up the competition.

6. Suzuki: Suzuki has a rather dull year with the company posting a de growth this year. Suzuki had a strong hold in the scooter market with the Access 125. However with no refresh and a relatively dull looks, am afraid the competition has got the better of the OEM. Even in the motorcycle division, the company had no products to pull the crowd. They had to use the Hayabusa and intruder to pull some enquiries to the showroom. The auto expo saw the launch of a brand new scooter- Lets 110 and the 150cc Gixxer which had some good muscular looks. It also launched a high end motorcycle Inazuma and the V-storm with a steep 15 lakh price tag.

7. Mahindra 2 wheelers: After struggling for so long with the 2 wheeler segment MTWL seems have got it right finally. With the Centuro getting some good response from the market for its attractive and very innovative features never seen in Indian motorcycles. The Centuro has also won a slew of awards which further highlights the prowess of the bike. Another major aspect is that MTWL has increased its dealer network which has increased the number of touch points aiding to increase in sales. The Mumbai based manufacturer also took the covers off its 300cc Mojo Motorcycle during the auto expo. With the company pointed in the right direction we can see some “innovative” bikes from their stable in the days to come.

(Profile of the Author:  Manu Sasidharan - Am a hardcore petrol head, an auto enthusiast and an amateur designer. I have been in close touch with the industry for a long time and am abreast with the action in the automotive sphere. Driving is my passion and combined with a love for travelling makes me a nomad by nature. On the education front, I have done my Engg in Electical and Electronics from Cochin University and my Management studies from Symbiosis Pune.)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Indian Car Sales Figures - February 2014

February 2014 Sales Figures - Pan India
·         Feb’14 (being a valentine month) saw some love flowing in from the finance minister towards the automobile industry and the Excise Duty Cut was announced during the Interim Budget. It surely was a breather to the industry and is an extremely positive sign for the average car buyer as well. However, the offtake figures had some other story to be told. March’13 remains a crucial month for the industry and has a lot at stake – we believe the month to show strong growth.  

·         Maruti showed strong sign of recovery and posted offtake of 99758 v/s 97955 units in Feb’13. The slight growth of 1.8% was accentuated by the new kid in the block – Celerio which contributed valuable 7323 units to the kitty. Swift and Dzire continued their momentum and doesn’t show any signal of stepping down below 18k figures respectively. Omni & Alto wonderfully did their job and posted 6733 & 24623 units respectively.

·         Hyundai had flat growth in Feb’14 v/s Feb’13. While Grand i10 impresses again with over 10k offtake, i10 & i20 have seen decline which questions the performance sustainability of these two brands in long run. Santro boldly shows its value and does a stupendous 4002 units (v/s i10’s 4041 units!). Verna gets repeated nightmares with the Honda competitor spoiling its party. It is over 4 months that Verna has touched 4k units and it seems that it’ll never touch it again!

·         Honda undoubtedly has ‘the best time of its life!’. Both Amaze & City are delivering success month-on-month and with no surprise Honda opens its next manufacturing unit in Tapukara, Rajasthan which will double the production capacity of the Japanese auto giant in India. Honda's first ever diesel offering in India, Amaze, is the first car to roll out from the new plant. With the new plant in function, Honda Cars India will be able ramp up the production capacity to 2,40,000 units/year from the existing 1,20,000 units/year which the company's manufacturing facility in Greater Noida in Uttar Pradesh is capable of. All waiting for the new Jazz & Mobilio to join the party!

·         Happy to see Ford renewing focus on Figo. The capable hatchback does over 3k units after 4 months! The brand had just lost way post launch of Ecosport and all dealers were busy in ‘selling’ only Ecosport. The new ad campaign for Figo was also announced in Feb. However, the product portfolio of Ford remains a gamble (with only Figo & Ecosport available to run the show)

·         Tata sees some traction in Nano with the launch of Twist and has the best offtake in past 15 months! Indica & Indigo still giving a strong fight for survival. Aria surprisingly crosses the 50 mark – again.

·         Fiat back to its average run – Punto posts ~ 1k offtake and Linea has 420 units offtake (is the new linea shipped to the dealers in the lot?).


·         SUV’s – The baap of all SUV’s Scorpio proves its mettle again and has a stupendous offtake of 4503 units (can we thank the finance minister yet?). Bolero touches the 9k mark and continues its dominance. Duster now seems to stabilize at 3k figure (but don’t forget the numerous ads mentioning the ‘Unstoppable Indian’ to push the brand). Terrano fails to impress – does less than half of Duster. 

A look at the top 20 cars of the month –

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Indian 2 wheeler (Bikes/Scooters) Sales for 2013

Data based on Domestic Offtake for the year 2013 (Jan to Dec)

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Indian Car Sales Figures - January 2014

January 2014 Sales Figures - Pan India

·         Jan’14 sales figures is surely gonna be shielded from the upcoming Auto Expo. It is astonishing to observe the investments made by the Auto companies in new products during the downturn – a clear sign on how the newer products would define the future. With over 70 new launches planned in all segments, the Indian Auto Expo would be emerge to be one of the most important Auto Exhibitions in the world!
·         January 2014 continued the trend and disappointed us in overall. However, the Japanese ruled the roost (name Honda, Maruti Suzuki & Nissan) and had a good run in the first month of the year.
·         The current scenario has taught an important lesson to all automobile manufacturers – Agility and Product offensive is the key to success. OEM who have adapted to the aforementioned philosophy would sail the tide successfully – Honda exactly showed how it needs to be done! Firstly a diesel engine for Indian market in Amaze and then an Amazing price for the Diesel City – rightly a breakthrough combination for the Japanese major. City clearly emerges the leader of the segment and overtakes the rival Verna with a huge margin. Need to appreciate the readiness of Honda in terms of supplying over 7k City’s within first month. Amaze maintains the momentum – and delivers 7398 units in Jan’14 as well. The compact Sedan market is surely on fire – expect more traction in the segment with new launches (name Zest by Tata, Xcent by Hyundai, Figo Sedan by Ford).
·         Maruti makes no mistake to become the market leader again. It’ll also emerge as the technology leader with the launch of ‘Celerio’ – Automated Manual Transmissions would be firstly bought on the Indian soil with this crucial launch. The eZdrive is being promoted aggressively and is surely catching the fancy of the urbane Indian driver who wants the luxury of an automatic at an entry-level price. Swift & Dzire twins maintain the good run and seems uncatchable by any competition. Ertiga still seems shaky and would have to see how successful it would be in coming months. Ritz is slowly losing its sheen and with Celerio pitching in would deteriorate further.
·         Hyundai has left no stone unturned in terms of making the ‘Grand i10’ a GRAND success. Over 50k units shipped within the first 6 months of its launch is no small feat! Eon jumps back to over 7k figures and puts an impressive show. Verna is successful in posting 3803 nos – would be interesting to see the rivalry heating up with the launch of Diesel City! i10 & i20 need to buckle up as it is losing numbers to Grand.
·         Another segment which had a great run in Jan’14 was entry level SUV – right from Ecosport to Scorpio, Duster to Terrano posted positive numbers. Happy to see the segment gaining steadily. Duster + Terrano combinedly delivers over 6k units! XUV crossed 3.5k mark after 12 longgg months! Ecosport produced ~3.9k numbers for Ford – need to focus more on Domestic demand rather than exports.
·         Tata sees some traction in Nano with the launch of Twist and posts an offtake of 2250 units.
·         Fiat has a surprise run – Punto posts over 1k offtake after 22 months. Surely has more to offer considering the hatcback’s potential. Linea couldn’t gain much on its stripped down variant and has a lackluster performance.

Game changing production focused Cars to be expected at the 2014 Auto Expo –
Ø  Tata
o   Zest (new compact sedan)
o   Bolt (new hatchback)
Ø  Datsun
o   Go hatchback
Ø  Honda
o   Mobilio
o   New Jazz
Ø  Hyundai
o   Xcent
Ø  GM
o   Adra (compact SUV)
Ø  Ford
o   New Fiesta
o   New Figo Sedan
Ø  Bajaj
o   RE60 based city car
Ø  Maruti
o   Celerio
o   Ciaz sedan
Ø  Fiat
o   Punto Cross (Avventura)

Refresh showcase planned for Beat, Sunny, Corolla, Santa Fe, Fluence, Koleos.
 
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