The Indian automotive industry faced one of its worst slowdowns during the last year, which could be attributed to various reasons including the economic slump, difficult financing as well as the uncertainty surrounding the transition from BS4 emission norms to more stringent BS6 norms in April 2020.
Ravi Bhatia, President, JATO Dynamics India said that the rising congestion in metro cities, as well as the growing ride-sharing apps like Ola and Uber also contributed to the decline in sales.
The slump is believed to be the biggest decline the industry faced in over two decades, and manufacturers had to resort to offering hefty discounts to bring their sales back on track. Despite the banging entry of Kia Motors and MG Motor in the country last year, the overall sales still saw a decline as compared to the preceding year.
We have compiled a list of Indian subsidiaries of the major automakers with their total passenger vehicle sales in 2019, as compared to the same in the previous year. It should be noted that only those manufacturers which existed in the market throughout both the years have been included in the list. Take a look –
Six manufacturers managed to cross the 1 lakh mark last year, including Maruti Suzuki (14,85,943 units), Hyundai (5,10,260 units), Mahindra (2,19,663 units), Tata (1,52,944 units), Honda (1,34,741 units) and Toyota (1,26,701 units). However, all of these manufacturers registered degrowth in sales as compared to 2018.
The new entrants Kia Motors and MG Motor took the 9th and the 12th spot in terms of annual sales respectively, which is a commendable achievement since both the marques entered the market in the second half of the year. To top it off, both of them had only one offering each in their respective line-ups. While Kia sold 45,494 units of Seltos last year, MG managed to sell 15,930 units of the Hector.
As compared to 2018, only Renault India could register growth in sales last year, thanks to the launch of its sub-4-metre MPV Triber, as well as the Kwid facelift. Renault recorded a total sale of 88,869 units in 2019, as compared to 82,368 units it managed to sell in 2018. This has resulted in YoY growth in sales by 8% for the French manufacturer.
Maruti Suzuki India ended the year with the highest sales in the market and continued to retain a market share of over 50%. However, even the launches of S-Presso and XL6 couldn’t save the Japanese carmaker from a decline in YoY sales. Maruti sold 2,45,236 lesser cars in 2019 than the preceding year and suffered degrowth of 14.2%.
The Hyundai Venue launch helped Hyundai keep its YoY decline in sales down to just 7%. The Korean company also ended up increasing its total market share from 16.4% in 2018 to 17.4% in 2019.
On the other hand, Nissan Motor India was at the receiving end of the worst YoY decline in sales. The Japanese carmaker saw a 43.3% decline in sales from 41,583 units in 2018, to just 23,580 units sold last year.
Nissan was followed by FCA India Automobiles, which is responsible for selling cars manufactured under the Jeep and Fiat marques. The Italian-American automaker was only able to sell 11,238 vehicles in India in 2019, as against 19,030 units it sold in the preceding year, resulting in a 40.9% degrowth.
Rajesh Goel, Senior Vice President & Director of Sales & Marketing, Honda Cars India believes that the slump will likely continue till the next festive period. He said, “The market seems to have bottomed out” for now. “It may still take a few more quarters, at least till the festive period later this year, to fully recover. However, we remain confident,” he further added.
With the 15th edition of the biennial Auto Expo set to be held in less than a month, carmakers are readying new products and concepts for the Indian market.
On the other hand, the April 1 deadline for the BS6 emission norms is fast approaching as well, and manufacturers are working towards upgrading the cars in their respective Indian line-ups to comply with the stringent norms by March since they do not want to end up with unsold BS4 stock or offer bizarre discounts to clear the stock ahead of the deadline.
India’s biggest manufacturer, Maruti Suzuki India has already sold over 3 lakh BS6-compliant vehicles including the petrol variants of Swift, Wagon R, Dzire, Baleno, Alto, Ertiga, XL6 and S-Presso, in the Indian market till now.