General Motors India has recorded sales to the tune of 9,006 units in March 2013. This was against 10,588 units sold in March 2012. During the month, the company sold a total of 3,006 units of Chevrolet Beat, 3,272 units of SAIL and 1,853 units of Tavera. This decline of 14.95% in sales was despite the company introducing some attractive schemes to increase showroom traffic which failed to meet its mark. The subdued sales pitch is apparent throughout the automobile sector and is primarily due to the severe economic constraints besides a host of other factors which have all resulted in lower than expected sales ever since the start of the year.
High interest rates, political uncertainties and high fuel prices have all compounded problems for the auto sector with no hope in sight at least in the immediate future. The festive season at the end of the year may bring in some hope of revival if at all but till then the situation is not expected to improve. The Chevrolet portfolio in India includes Captiva, Cruze, Sail, Sail U-Va, Spark, Beat and Tavera.
Mr. P. Balendran, Vice President, General Motors India, said, “Despite offering various schemes, the show-room traffic has come down drastically and enquiry conversions are also not taking place. The market sentiment continues to remain subdued due to poor economic conditions and various other factors including high interest rates, high fuel prices and political uncertainties. We are not expecting any improvement in the short term but there can be some movement during the festival season which is also possible only if the interest rate comes down and economic situation improves in the coming months,” Mr. Balendran added.
Last month,Chevrolet Spark was announced compact car segment during 2012 in the JD Power India Automotive Performance Execution and Layout (APEAL) study alongside Maruti Suzuki Estilo with 837 points on a scale of 1,000. Lowell Paddock, President and Managing Director, General Motors India accepted the award on 11th March 2013. Last month also saw Sudhir Malhotra, Director After-Sales, Chevrolet Sales India being honoured with the ‘Best After Sales Head’ Award by World Auto Forum in the Indian automotive industry for 2012.
In the United States, GM sold a total of 245,950 vehicles in March 2013 which is a 6% increase in sales as compared to the same period last year. Apart from this retail sales increased by 4% while fleet sales saw an increase of 12%. A recovering economy and new products have helped GM capitalize and post positive growth figures for the year. As the American economy continues to get stronger each day, people are opting for trucks and crossover variants along with small car models. Cadillac, Buick and GMC saw an increase in sales figures that were recorded at 50%, 37% and 12% respectively. Chevrolet did not do worse nor better and its sales figures were approximately the same as last year. Trucks, pickup, vans and SUV saw an increase of 2% while the crossover segment saw an increase of 31%. In the midst of positive growth, car sales saw a decrease in sale by 3% while pickup sales sky rocketed with a positive growth of 6%.
The new Cadillac ATS saw sales figures of 3,587 units for the month of March 2013. Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave registered increased sales percentages of 54%, 77% and 55% respectively in March 2013. Redesigned midsize crossover segment saw an increase of 62% while the Buick Encore with sales of 3,000 units saw an increase of 19%.
Kurt McNeil, vice president of U.S. sales operations said, “GM delivered its best March sales in five years thanks to a strengthening economy and new products, and we are expecting our third consecutive increase in market share versus last year.” He added, “Sales of smaller cars have been robust for some time. Trucks have improved in lockstep with the housing market and the strength of the crossover market signals that America’s families are more confident about their financial health.”