FY 2014-15: A Year of Mixed Fortunes

The financial year gone by was a mixed bag for the auto market. M&HCVs and passenger vehicles showed a semblance of promise, regaining a tad upward movement in sales. The fag-end of the year, at the same time, saw the two-wheeler sales slowing down, while LCVs continued to be in the rut.

The vehicle sales in March 2015 mirrored the performance of auto market during the year inasmuch as M&HCVs stayed on course and passenger vehicle sales witnessed a modest uptick. Other segments of the auto market clocked unflattering sales numbers.

PASSENGER VEHICLES record a modest uptick

Domestic sales tally of passenger vehicles numbering 244,395 units in March 2015 vis-à-vis 238,061 units a year ago crawled up by a paltry 2.7% in March 2015.

Maruti Suzuki India’s sales juggernaut encountered a speed bump in March 2015 when the company just managed to record a measly 1.4% growth in domestic sales that stood at 103,719 units, as against 102,269 units during March last year. In the mini segment, sales of the Alto and WagonR combined rose by just 0.2% to 40,159 units from 40,085 units a year ago. In the compact segment comprising the Swift, Dzire, Celerio and Ritz, the domestic sales of the company were down 12.5% y-o-y to 38,710 units. Ciaz clocked 4,251 units in domestic sales in March 2015. Omni and Eeco in the UV segment sold 11,768 units, up 20.7% y-o-y. 

During the year 2014-15, Maruti Suzuki’s cumulative sales in domestic market at 1,170,702 units and the highest ever for the company, were up 11.1% y-o-y. 

Hyundai Motor India (HMIL), the country’s second largest carmaker, registered domestic sales of 39,525 units, marking an increase of 12.9% (March 2014: 35,003 units). The company’s exports continued in reverse gear, posting a massive 38.9% drop from 16,705 units a year ago to 10,215 units in March 2015.  For FY 2014-15, the company sold a total of 420,668 units in the Indian market, posting a growth of 10.6% (2013-14: 380,523 units).

Rakesh Srivastava, Senior VP - Sales and Marketing, HMIL, said, “In a market with weak sentiments, Hyundai achieved its highest-ever single month sales of 39,525 units with highest-ever financial year sales of 420,668 units. The market share of 16.3 % is the highest ever with a strong performance from new models like the Elite, i20 Active, Xcent and Verna and led by strong marketing initiatives to engage rural markets and repeat buyers. The 2015 outlook seems challenging.”

Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M), with its passenger vehicle portfolio of diesel-engined UVs and the Verito sedan & Vibe hatchback, posted domestic sales of 21,030 units in March 2015, which represented a 10.3% dip vis-à-vis 23,433 units in March last year. 

Pravin Shah, Chief Executive, Automotive Division, M&M, commented, “With factors such as expectation of normal monsoon, settling down of petrol and diesel prices and the likely softening of interest rates, we expect the auto industry to perform better in FY 2016.”

Honda Cars India (HCIL) reported its highest ever monthly domestic sales of 22,696 units during March 2015, clocking a growth of 23.2% (March 2014: 18,426 units). The company also posted its highest ever annual domestic sales of 189,062 units during 2014-15, recording 40.7% growth y-o-y.

The product-wise domestic sales break-up for HCIL in March read: City (9,777 units), Amaze (8,128 units), Mobilio (3,049 units), Brio (1,642 units) and CR-V (100 units). With its record sales of 9,777 units in a single month, the fourth-generation City sedan crossed the fastest 100,000 cumulative sales mark in just 15 months, clocking 101,299 units of sales since its launch in January 2014.

Jnaneswar Sen, Sr Vice President - Marketing & Sales, HCIL remarked, “2014-2015 has been extremely fruitful for Honda. During 2014-15, HCIL expanded its dealer network in both existing markets and Tier III cities. The company now has 232 facilities in 152 cities across the country.”

Passenger Vehicles Business Unit of Tata Motors sold 15,039 units in domestic market in March 2015, a growth of 19.0% (March 2014: 12,640 units). The Zest sedan and Bolt hatchback were big contributors to the total sales tally. While passenger cars sold 12,977 units - higher by 33.0% over March 2014, the UV sales declined by 28.0% y-o-y to 2,062 units in March 2015.

Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) clocking domestic sales of 13,333 units in March 2015, posted a handsome 62.5% growth y-o-y. During the FY 2014-15, the Japanese carmaker’s sales in the Indian market added up to 141,347 units, reflecting a 9.7% rise y-o-y. March 2015 was the fifth consecutive month that the company clocked double-digit growth. “With the launch of the new Corolla Altis, Etios, Etios Liva and Etios Cross in 2014 and new Innova and Fortuner in 2015,  we saw an increased acceptance from customers, which continues to grow month after month,” said N Raja, Director and Sr VP (Sales and Mktg), TKM.

General Motors India (GMI) rounded off the fiscal year on a sombre note. The company’s domestic sales volume of 3,823 units in March 2015 marked a sharp 42.1% decline from 6,601 units a year back. 

Ford India sold 5,253 cars in March 2015 in the local market, down 17.4% (March 2014: 6,356 units). The company’s 2014-15 cumulative domestic sales aggregated 75,138 units, shrinking by 11.0% y-o-y. 

Nissan Motor India registered domestic sales of 4,717 units in March 2015, witnessing a negative growth of 31.7% y-o-y. With cumulative domestic sales of 47,474 units, the company recorded a 24.2% growth during the FY 2014-15 (2013-14: 38,220 units). 

Volkswagen India reported domestic sales of 4,577 units in March 2015, up 22.4% over 3,741 in March 2014. However, during the year 2014-15, the company’s sales in the Indian market dropped 14.3% to 45,018 units, as compared to 52,528 units during the year 2013-14.

TWO-WHEELER BIGGIES GAIN

Hero MotoCorp (HMCL), the world’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer by volume, posted domestic sales of 520,423 two-wheelers in March 2015, witnessing a 2.9% uptick. The company’s two-wheeler exports numbering 11,327 units, however, plunged by 38.0% y-o-y during the month.

Marking its highest ever annual sales for any fiscal year in FY2014-15, the company recorded total sales of 6,631,826 units (domestic + exports), growing by 6.2% y-o-y.

Commenting on the 2014-15 sales, Pawan Munjal, Vice Chairman, MD & CEO, HMCL, said: “FY 2015 was a year of milestones for us in terms of sales, expansion of our global footprint, product innovation and customer engagement. Our record sales performance is reflective of all these efforts. In FY 2015, the industry continued to be sluggish due to the overall market sentiment and the slowing rural economy. Despite such a challenging market environment, we managed to buck the trend and registered growth, further consolidating our leadership. The journey from here promises to get better and exciting. Thanks to a series of measures undertaken by the new government at the Centre, the economic outlook is definitely better, and it is likely to fuel growth and help the industry.”

Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) reported sales of 399,218 units (including exports) during March 2015, inching up by just 1.8% over 392,060 units sold in March last year. While domestic sales at 384,452 units in March 2015 posted a paltry 2.7% increase, the exports plummeted by 17.2% y-o-y to 14,766 units during the month.

HMSI continued its excellent run during the FY 2014-15, witnessing a 19.6% growth in its total sales, including exports, which added up to 4,452,010 units (2013-14: 3,721,942 units).

Bajaj Auto remained in a deceleration mode, registering a 20.7% drop in domestic sales of its motorcycles to 134,660 units in March 2015 from 169,869 units a year back.

Making a gradual progress, the Chennai-based TVS Motor sold 167,428 two-wheelers in the domestic market, posting a marginal growth of 1.2% (March 2014: 165,482 units). 

Royal Enfield continued its dream run in March 2015, with domestic sales at 32,854 units, growing by 41.8% over 23,170 units in March last year.

COMMERCIAL VEHICLE SALES SHOW PROMISE 

While LCV sales continue to be in the slow lane, the gradually improving sales of medium and heavy commercial vehicles (M&HCVs) are cause for comfort. 

Domestic sales of Tata Motors commercial vehicles fell 4.3% y-o-y to 32,085 units in March 2015. M&HCV sales in domestic market at 14,878 units were higher by 19.8% y-o-y. Tata’s LCV sales aggregated 17,207 units in March 2015, representing an 18.5% drop y-o-y.

Ashok Leyland continued its good run in March, selling 11,787 units in domestic market, which translated into 33.5% increase y-o-y. 

VE Commercial Vehicles’ sales grew 6.4% y-o-y to 4,084 units in March. 

With mining activities resuming in certain parts of the country and a larger push for infrastructure spending by the government, the CV sector should benefit in 2015-16. However, two-wheeler sales are encountering headwinds. The unseasonal rains are likely to put a further damper on the rural market.

 

 

 

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