While the passenger vehicle medium and heavy truck and scooter segments are to end the year with positive growth, it will be mix-bag for other categories.
The passenger vehicle (PV) industry is set to close this fiscal with a decent single digit growth after two years of decline. The withdrawal of excise duty benefits (by the end of December 2014) didn’t’ have any big impact on the volumes.
During the 11-month of fiscal 2014-15, PV sales (include cars and utility vehicles) reported a growth of four per cent at 2,356,76 units when compared with 2,265,451 units in a year-ago period.
Both passenger cars and UVs reported a growth five per cent each at 1,700,006 units (1,615,335 units) and 500,588 units (474,581 units) respectively.
Of the 14 players (excluding luxury car makers) in the car market, only five companies – Maruti, Hyundai, Honda, Toyota and Nissan – managed to improve their sales during 2014-15, according to Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).
In the mean while, Tata Motors managed to arrest the fall in its sales with the launch of its all new sedan (Zest) and an hatchback (Bolt). Under a new head Mayank Pareek, formerly with Maruti, Tata is looking to stage a strong come back in the car segment.
Maruti’s march continues…
Increased competition failed to rattle Maruti dominance in the Indian PV market so far. Overall economic slowdown has played spoilsport for many companies to establish their presence in the small car segment, where Maruti is still the undisputed leader.
During the 11-month period, Maruti’s market share in the domestic PV market grew to 45 per cent from 42 per cent in a year-ago period.
Its market share in the passenger car segment is over 50 per cent and stood at 52 per cent as of February this year.
“Maruti had seen a major challenge to its dominant market share position with global carmakers armed with cheap capital, aggressively launching products with a singular focus on gaining market share, at the expense of financial prudence. MSIL did lose market share in the passenger car segment from 50 per cent to about 40 per cent in FY12. However, it has regained the same on the back of its vast distribution network (about 1200 dealerships in about 800 cities) and strong service network (3000 workshops in 1400 cities) and strong product portfolio,” said a report of Emkay Global Financial Services Ltd
“Going ahead, with a strong product pipeline in the next two or three years coupled with further enhancement of distribution network and production capacity, Maruti is likely to at least hold on to market share even as competition further intensifies, it added.
Meanwhile, the company is also creating new wave of excitement with its auto gear shift (AGS) technology in entry level cars.
Its first AGS-fitted entry car Celerio and the AGS variant of its new Alto K10 have received strong customer response. While the price difference between the auto gear shift and manual variants is in the range of 45,000-50,000, AGS variants of Maruti also promise as much as mileage as its manual variants. The bookings of both the models are estimated at over a lakh units.