The last month of the financial year 18-19 has closed on a subdued note for the passenger car segment in India. Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL) continued its reign with a 50.5 percent market share but saw a decline in sales in March 2019. Taking into account sales of Maruti Suzuki and NEXA in the domestic market and exports, the company registered a decline of 1.6 percent in the past month.
Domestic sales which had stood at 1,47,170 units in March 2018 went down to 1,45,031 units in March 2019. This is the 9th consecutive month that Maruti Suzuki India has posted stagnant sales. MSIL did report its highest growth of 4.7 percent in terms of total sales of 18,62,446 for financial year 2018-19 with domestic sales at 17,53,700 units and exports at 1,08,749 units during the said period.
Hyundai Motors India car sales fell by 8 percent in the past month. Sales which stood at 48,009 units in March 2018 dipped to 44,350 units last month. The company however registered growth of 2.5 percent in 2018-19 financial year with domestic sales and exports to the tune of 7,07,348 units as against 6,90,184 units sold in the same period of the previous year.
Another automaker to register a decline in passenger vehicle sales was Tata Motors. The company’s passenger vehicles sales in domestic markets dipped 12 percent in March 2019 to 17,810 units as against 20,266 units sold in March 2018. In terms of total sales, the company reported a 1 percent decline to 68,709 units in March 2019 as compared to 69,409 units in the same month last year.
Honda Cars India Limited has reported a 27 percent sales growth in March 2019. Sales stood at 17,202 units in the past month as against 13,574 units sold in March 2018, thanks to the tenth generation Honda Civic was launched in the country at a starting price of Rs 17,69,900, giving a much needed boost to the executive sedan segment in India. Even in terms of annual growth, the company reported an 8 percent increase in domestic sales to 1,83,787 units during 2018-19 as against 1,70,026 units sold in the same period of the previous year.
Mahindra and Mahindra also reported an increase in sales in March 2019. Sales of passenger vehicles increased by 5 percent to 25,982 units, as compared to sales of 24,767 units in March 2018. Mahindra launched three new offerings last fiscal including the Marazzo, Alturas G4 and the XUV300 and registered growth of 11 percent for FY 2018-19 with sales of 6,08,596 units.
Toyota Kirloskar Motors has seen a 2 percent increase in sales in March 2019. Sales in the past month stood at 12,818 units up from 12,539 units sold in the same month of the previous year. For the past financial year, the company clocked sales growth of 7 percent as compared to that seen in FY 2017-18 with the recently launched Camry Hybrid Electric Vehicle being well received by customers in the country. The new Camry premium sedan has already crossed 500 bookings since it was launched in January 2019.
Ford India sales dipped 8 percent from 9,016 units sold in March 2018 to 8,271 units sold in the past month while the Ford Figo was launched in the past month and expected to add to company sales in the months ahead with its several cosmetic and mechanical updates and new features making it a better contender to rivals such as the Maruti Suzuki Swift and Hyundai Grand i10.
Likewise, sales of Renault, Nissan, Datsun, VW, Jeep and Skoda also dipped in the past month despite most automakers offering heavy year end discounts across segments. This trend is expected to continue in the month ahead especially with the 2019 General Elections coming up, we can expect low interest in car sales till results are declared.