The festival season hasn’t set off fireworks for automakers, despite several new launches, if data for November are anything to go by.
“New launches have been crucial for the industry as it helps in creating an excitement within the customers. However, this time new launches could not generate interest,” said Surjit Singh Arora, analyst with brokerage Prabhudas Lilladher.
Some of the new launches during the festival season include Maruti Suzuki’s new Alto, Tata Motors Safari Storme and Manza Club Class, Ford’s new Figo, Nissan’s Evalia and some others.
Sales of market leader Maruti Suzuki remained below expectation as it sold 90,882 units in November 2012 compared with 82,870 units in November last year registering a growth of 9.7%. The company’s mini car segment, which includes its newly launched new Alto, saw a decline in sales by 5.8%.
The dispatches in November remained low as the demand is generally weak in the year end. Moreover, analysts say that Diwali was not good as far as retails were concerned.
At 34,751 units, Hyundai India’s sales declined marginally when compared to the 35,000 units sold in November last year. For Tata Motors, passenger vehicles division sales were at 18,031 — less than the 27,735 units sold in November last year. Companies like Toyota and Ford too saw a dip in sales by 26% and 28.57%, respectively.
Only Mahindra and Mahindra saw a 32% growth year-on-year as it sold 24604 units compared with 17813 units on the back of strong diesel vehicle portfolio.
“The overall customer sentiment still remains negative. The difference in petrol and diesel prices has put a pressure on the car industry as sales of petrol cars continue to decline,” said Abhishek Banerjee, senior analyst with Asian Market Securities.