Mercedes Benz retail, Audi retail, BMW India top secret, and even SIAM can’t tell
BMW India is yet to reveal their sales figures for FY 2013 here. In this context, a discussion with SIAM confirms that sales figures are available if the 3 quarters in 2012, that is from April to December 2012. However, there is no figures to speak for in regards to January-March 2013 sales.
Most reports from the luxury automaker here have been in the form of quarterly reports. There is no doubt that sales figures in the Indian auto market are neatly compounded to form part of BMW Group’s monthly global sales. A quick recap of numbers shows in Oct 2012 132,823 BMW vehicles were sold globally, +15.4% sales increase in comparison to the previous year. For the period up to/including October for the year sales stand at 1,242,817 units, +9.3% sales increase in comparison to the previous year. In Nov 2012 145,452 BMW vehicles were sold globally, +26.4% sales increase in comparison to the previous year. For the period up to/including November for the year sales stand at 1,388,274 units, +10.9% sales increase in comparison to the previous year.
In Dec 2012 152,286 BMW vehicles were sold globally, +18.8% sales increase in comparison to the previous year. For the period up to/including November for the year sales stand at 1,540,085 units, +11.6% sales increase in comparison to the previous year. For January 2013, 107,276 vehicles were sold as compared to 96,184 vehicles sold in 2012 Jan, equating to +11.5% sales increase. In February 2013, 114,908 BMW vehicles were sold globally, +7.0% sales increase in comparison to the previous year. For the period up to/including Feb 2013, sales stand at 222,207 units, +9.2% sales increase in comparison to the previous year. In March 2013, 159,195 BMW vehicles were sold globally, +4.4% sales increase in comparison to the previous year. For the period up to/including Feb 2013, sales stand at 381,404 units, +7.0% sales increase in comparison to the previous year. While global group sales have been encouraging, and positive, there is no clarity of knowing what degree of Joy BMW India has contributed to these numbers.
Sales volume revelation has stuck a sour note here, in regards to retail figures as against wholesale figures that are provided to SIAM by automakers operating in in India. BMW’s last sales report for India came earlier this year in January 2013, when they revealed sales figures for Oct-Dec 13, and thereby maintained their position as India’s No 1 luxury car maker by a margin of 375 units over Audi, for the year 2012. After that, they have not revealed expected 2013 Q1 sales figures. On the other hand, Mercedes Benz India and Audi India revealed their sales figures for Q1 2013, which says that their sales stand at 2,009 units and 2,616 units respectively. In that respect, the MB sales report footnote read, (The Sales Volumes indicated in the figures above refer to ‘Retail’sales figures.‘Retail’ is a term that indicates the cars sold by dealers to Mercedes-Benz customers in India).
Now this clears the confusion, to a certain degree. Since SIAM requires automakers to submit wholesale figures and BMW Group makes available only retail sales figures, the group has now decided not to reveal sales volume until there is a revision in what SIAM requires automakers to submit. Mercedes Benz India has over time revised parameters in sales volume number submission to SIAM going from wholesale to retail numbers only recently. Audi India offers retail sales reports. While there is almost always a difference in wholesale and retail numbers, with the former being easy to audit, the difference does not amount to much. Clearly, it is an individual automaker’s prerogative on what they wish to reveal at the moment. While the Indian luxury auto market has not been buoyed by inconsistency in respect to sales, it is also true that despite being a growing market in the segment, numbers here contribute to a small amount in the global perspective. And that is what can be worked upon to reach full potential, and sell a lot more cars in the years to come.
This is unusual, and at the same time surprising. SIAM has broached the topic of unfair advantage as reported by TOI. Further comments are awaited from Mr. Sugato Sen in regards to ‘on what grounds BMW can refuse to share monthly or quarterly sales while operating in India’, and what changes will come about based on this development.
In consideration to unfair advantage, by not revealing sales figures, BMW India is being aloof to the requirement of the Indian auto industry. Non availability of data (wholesale or retail) has made it impossible to determine which luxury automaker is in the lead for Q1 2013. Based on what is available, it wouldn’t be unfair to say that this development has withheld the possibility (based on comparison) of making it known whether or not Audi India have already reached the top, and so, any celebration in order, are hereby postponed for an indefinite time. Apart from determining which company has sold the most cars, there is also no way of knowing what the luxury auto market accounts for in terms of sales, and where the segment stands in the overall order of things. There is also no doubt that when sales increases for a company, there is a boost in buyer sentiment, that can go a long way in augmenting it.
SIAM releases wholesale (and not retail) auto sales report by the second week of every month. The data they reveal is not only of statistical importance, but is also used by varied sources for research based purposes, which gives an insight to how the Indian auto industry is performing and faring at any given time.
BMW India launched the new 7 Series sedan in Mumbai earlier yesterday for a price of Rs 92.90 lakhs. The sales figures were not revealed during the event.