A good July for automakers in India
And the best is yet to come.
Low fuel prices, a series of new model launches and better than expected monsoons have boosted consumer sentiments and, in turn, vehicle sales in India. Automakers announced sales numbers on Saturday, and there was a combined growth of 17.2% and a total of 206,455 units sold in the month of July.
Maruti Suzuki posted the strongest numbers, with a growth of 22.5% and total sales of 110,405 units, due to high demand for its mini-cars (37,352 units sold), the Alto and WagonR, and compact cars (48,381 units sold), Swift, Celerio, Ritz and DZire.
Hyundai scored with its new premium hatchback, the Elite i20, and SUV, Creta. Sales for the South Korean automaker increased by 24.7% last month, to a total of 36,500 units.
The new-generation Honda Jazz, launched in India early last month at a starting price of Rs. 5.3 lakh (about US$8,400), drove up demand for the Japanese marque, increasing total sales by 18.4% to 15,709 vehicles sold; as much as 36% of the total sales number is attributed to the Jazz.
Volkswagen and Toyota also saw increased sales volumes, by 18.2% and a slight 1.2% respectively, which is equivalent to 4,029 units and 12,070 units. VW’s improvement in market share is credited to the refreshed mid-size Vento sedan. 2014 had not been good year for VW, but a slew of specially made-for-India products slated for launch in the next two years, and growing trust in the brand has begun to boost the German marque’s growth in India.
The rest of the year could be even better, with more new launches, the festive season that starts in October and upcoming monetary policy,
A recent study released by the UN predicts that India will overtake China as the most populous country by 2022. With China’s double-digit growth shrinking to a single one (the number ‘seven’, to be exact), India could be the new China in more ways than just having the most people. In 2011, there were only 13 cars to every 1000 Indian population; 2014 data indicates that there were 113 cars to every 1000 population in China. Since one cash cow has been milked dry and needs time to recover, it is perhaps time for automakers to turn to the heifer.