A quick look at Indian car sales in May 2011

It has been an eventful year for the Indian automobile industry, while some brands have registered great growth others haven’t fared too well. Let’s take a quick look at how major car manufacturers have done till now.

Volkswagen

Volkswagen India sold 6,185 cars in May 2011, registering a growth of 244% over the 1796 cars they had sold in May 2010. As usual, the Polo small car and the Vento sedan continued to be the backbone for the brand with a total of 5889 units sold in May 2011.

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The Polo is the star performer of the month selling 3,486 units surpassing the Vento’s sales of 2403 cars. The recently launched Passat too has received impressive response from customers and 184 units of the car were sold last month. In the last two months, Volkswagen sold 380 units in all. Among the other models, Volkswagen sold 101 Jettas, 3 Beetles and 8 units of the Phaeton.

Skoda

Skoda Auto India sold 2,761 units in May 2011, which is a spectacular sales growth of 100% when compared to the 1,381 units the brand sold in May 2010. Among Skoda’s product line up, the brand sold 1,556 units of the Fabia small car, 646 units of the Laura sedan, 385 units of the Superb luxury sedan and 174 units of Yeti small SUV.

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Laura and Superb continue to attract buyers in their respective segments. The Superb, continues to rule the segment in terms of sales. With increased localization from 15% to 40%, the Fabia is now cheaper than before and this drives its sales volume as well.

The Czech auto major is aiming to double its sales globally by 2018 to at least 1.5 million units. The company is looking towards the Indian market hoping it will contribute considerable sales to their global sales figures.

Nissan

Nissan Motor India Private Limited (NMIPL) has clocked a domestic sale of 1,588 units in May 2011, of which the Micra small car accounted for 1,566 units. Apart from the Micra, Nissan sold 22 units of the X-Trail premium SUV but their Teana luxury sedan and 370Z sports car did not attract even a single buyer.

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Nissan will now be looking towards enhancing their brand image in India and do what Volkswagen has managed to do with their Polo and Vento models; pull volumes.

GM India

General Motors India registered a marginal growth of 1.3% as the company sold 8329 Chevrolet cars in May 2011 as against 8225 units in May 2010.

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Among the models GM India sold, 3023 units were of the Chevrolet Spark, 2144 units were of the Beat, 1767 units were of the Tavera, 659 units were of the Cruze, 240 units were of the Optra, 218 units were of the Aveo, 143 units were of the Captiva and 135 units sold were Aveo U-VA cars.

Chevrolet Beat sales have come slightly downhill when compared to its sales in previous months. The Tavera has shown the potential to sell more if GM India launches the BS IV compliant variant.

The Chevrolet Cruze continues to be a strong contender in its segment and is doing well. The Chevrolet Optra, Aveo U-VA and Aveo however have had to struggle to attract buyers because of their dated looks and lack of any USP (unique selling propositions).

Tata Motors

Tata Motors passenger vehicles business reported a total sale and distribution of 21,549 cars which includes 19,401 Tata cars and 2,148 Fiat cars in the domestic market in May 2011, compared to 23,487 units (21,324 Tata cars + 2,163 Fiat cars) in May 2010.

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Tata Motors has registered a sales growth of 10% in May 2010 by selling 62,296 vehicles as against the 56,775 vehicles sold in May 2010. Also read: Tata sales in May 2011, up by 10%

In the domestic market, Tata sold 56,762 vehicles (including passenger and commercial vehicles) last month as against the 52,799 units sold in the year ago period showing 8% growth.

Ford

Ford, registered a dip of 12.79 per cent in sales during May 2011 as the company sold 7,046 units as against 8,080 units sold in May 2010. The cumulative sales statistics reveal that Ford India, sold 51,420 units during the January – May 2011 period and registered a 71% growth when compared to the same period last fiscal year.

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Ford will soon launch the new Fiesta sedan which could help boost sales a little, but will face stiff competition from the new ‘fluidic’ Hyundai Verna.

Michael Boneham, president and managing director, Ford India, told DWS Auto on the sidelines of a Fiesta Fashion event in New Delhi that the car will be launched in the middle of the year. Also read: Ford India MD confirms launch of “global” Fiesta in July

“We are looking to launch the car in July. We have said we are going to launch mid-year, and we just want to make sure that we get the car completely ready for our customers, as it’s a premium sedan,” Boneham told CarToq.

Hyundai

Hyundai Motor India Limited (HMIL) reported a surge of 14.62 per cent in the domestic sales. The company sold 31,123 units last month, as against 27,151 units sold in the same month last year. The company’s exports declined from 19,657 units in May 2010 to 16,643 units in May 2011.

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In the A2 segment Hyundai sold 40,520 units of Santro, i10 and i20, in the A3 segment which consists of Accent and Verna, the company sold 7,110 units, in the A5 segment which includes the Sonata Embera Transform, the company sold 14 units and in the SUV segment, the company sold 122 units of the Santa Fe SUV last month.

Maruti Suzuki

Maruti Suzuki in its domestic market, registered a 3.9% sales hike reaching 93,519 units in May 2011 ( As against May 2010). But, the company’s exports declined 13% to 10,554 units in May 2011 when compared to the exports in the same month last year.

Maruti Suzuki sales in the A1 segment (Maruti 800) declined by 11.6% to 2,262 units. In the A2 segment where Maruti sells ‘Alto’, ‘Wagon-R’, ‘Zen’, ‘Swift’, ‘Ritz’ and ‘A-Star’, the sales stood at 61,048 units, a 2.6% sales dip when compared against the A2 segment sales in May 2010.

Sales in the A3 segment where Maruti Suzuki has cars like the ‘SX4’ and ‘Swift D’Zire’ increased by 24.2% to 13,514 units in May 2011 as against the sales in May 2010. However, in the premium sedan segment where Maruti sells the ‘Kizashi’ the company sold only 50 units.

As the Indian car market widens and grows rapidly, more and more car manufacturers will find the country profitable. Brands like Volkswagen and Tata are living examples of the fact that ‘You reap what you sow”.