Snapshot – April 2015 has delivered good pickings for automakers in India, with volumes increasing by 20 % despite the month traditionally being a weak one as far as car sales go. The month saw some laggards turn things around and do well while some cars have slipped and fallen hard. CarToq takes a look at the top three month-on-month winners and losers in the Indian car market.
April 2015 saw the Datsun Go budget hatchback show a sharp increase in month-on-month sales growth, with the car clocking 1,062 units in the month, while March 2015 saw only 469 units of the car being shipped to dealerships. The Datsun Go is a much larger car than its direct competitors and is also endowed with a larger capacity petrol motor. However, the Datsun brand remains largely unknown in most parts of the country and Nissan doesn’t have a dealer footprint as strong as say a Maruti Suzuki or a Hyundai to help. A flash in the pan, or a genuine turnaround? The coming months will hold some answers.
Maruti Suzuki Ritz
The Ritz is a tall boy hatchback that’s a competent offering but one that few buyers opt for. The much more glamourous Swift dominates the numbers, and outsells the Ritz 10:1. However, April 2015 has been a decent month for the Ritz, with wholesale sales of 2,054 units, a 32 % boost month on month. The Ritz is sold with petrol and turbo diesel engines, which are identical to those offered on the Swift. The car, which features a tall boy design, suits those who need easy ingress and egress.
The Datsun Go+ is a sub-4 meter car that is substantial for the kind of price it is pegged at. Right from the outset, the sub-4 meter station wagon car has been doing better than its cheaper priced sibling, the Go hatchback. Like the Go, the Go+ uses a 1.2 liter petrol engine that’s good for 67 Bhp-104 Nm. The real change though, comes in terms of the body style, which is that os a station wagon. The Go+, with its capacious boot, makes for a comfortable car that will seat five passengers and that will carry a full complement of luggage.
Optimistic initial pricing has done many a car in, in the unforgiving Indian car market. The Honda Mobilio is yet another example of the pricing having gone wrong, and this is reflecting in the falling sales of this capable and car-like MPV. The Mobilio registered a 77 % drop in month-on-month sales, and closed April 2015 withjust 689 units, a far cry from the 3,049 units it did last month. Selling the Mobilio will get more challenging in the coming months as the Renault Lodgy’s sharp pricing is likely to take some more sales away from the Honda MPV.
Maruti Suzuki Gypsy
The Gypsy isn’t bought much by civilians and the tough, petrol powered off roader is mainly an army issue. Apart from the Indian army, various paramilitary forces and government agencies in the country opt for the Gypsy, which is very well suited for operating in harsh, unforgiving conditions. So, when this off roader shows a sales drop, it means that procurement has done down. This is a periodic phenomenon as government orders come in at irregular intervals, and everytime a large order comes in, the Gypsy’s sales get a big boost. In April 2015, the off roader sold 271 units, a big drop from the previous month’s 1,000 units.
The Honda Amaze also seems to be facing the heat as competition in the compact sedan segment has only been growing. The Tata Zest is pulling away buyers from both the Amaze and the Hyundai Xcent, even as the Maruti Suzuki Dzire continues to lead the field with no concern about competition. In April 2015, Honda dispatched 2,862 units of the Amaze to dealership stockyards. In the previous month, 8,128 units of the car were sold, which makes the drop pretty steep at about 65 %. With the Ford Figo Aspire lined up in the coming months, the climb could only steeper for the Amaze.