Vehicle manufacturers in India have offered heavy discounts to help stimulate sales growth this year

Vehicle manufacturers in India have offered heavy discounts to help stimulate sales growth this year

India's automotive sector has suffered tougher times lately as the domestic economy has turned down. In this month's management briefing, Tony Pugliese examines the latest developments. This second instalment looks in a little more detail at domestic market trends by marque and exports [includes data tables].

Light passenger vehicles

Maruti-Suzuki is by far the dominant player in India's domestic light passenger vehicle market. It is the only company to exceed 1m units in domestic annual sales. It accounts for roughly 40% of this market with key models such as the Alto, Swift and Wagon R. Sales in the first half of FY2015 increased by close to 15% to 558,330 units.

Hyundai is the second-most popular passenger vehicle brand in India, with sales declining just slightly in FY2014 to 380,253 units, thanks to particularly strong demand for the i10 and i10 Grand models. Sales rebounded by close to 13% to 203,033 units in the first half of FY2015.

Honda has made strong progress in recent years, with the launch of the Amaze small four-door saloon helping the brand increase sales by 82% to 134,339 units in FY2014 even as the overall market contracted. Sales continued to grow in the first half of FY2015, by a further 48% to 88,200 units.

Domestic brands have bared the brunt of the market decline in last couple of years, with Mahindra reporting an 18% drop in sales to 254,344 units in FY2014 and a further drop of 11.6% to 110,687 units the first half of FY2015.

Similarly, Tata Motors saw its passenger vehicle sales fall by close to 37% to 198,812 units in FY2014, as demand for its Nano micro-car and other models plummeted. This trend continued in the first half of FY2015, with sales falling by a further 32% to 73,137 units.

Indian domestic light passenger vehicle sales by brand, 2012-2014*

Brand FY2013 FY2014 Apr-Sep
FY2014
Apr-Sep
FY2015

Maruti-Suzuki 1051046 1053689 486908 558330
Hyundai 383611 380253 179992 203033
Mahindra 310706 254344 125264 110687
Honda 73483 134339 59617 88200
Tata Motors 314464 198812 107777 73137
Toyota 165504 128811 65577 67091
Ford 77225 84469 41665 41141
GM-Chevrolet 88150 80890 43491 28554
Nissan 37006 38220 12328 25739
Renault 52463 57368 30939 21073
Volkswagen 65472 52528 29101 20274
Others 45885 39962 18595 15059
Total 2665015 2503685 1201254 1252318
* Fiscal years ending in March. Source: Siam.




Toyota too lost significant ground in FY2014, with sales declining by over 22% to 128,811 units as competition from other foreign brands such as Honda intensified. Sales have since stabilized, with volumes rising by over 2% to 67,091 units in the first half of FY2015.

Ford reported flat sales of 41,141 units in the first half of FY2015 after moderate gains in the previous fiscal year; while GM-Chevrolet reported a 34% drop in first-half sales after a weak performance in the previous year.

Commercial vehicles

Light commercial vehicle sales in India fell by 17.6% to 432,111 units in FY2014, from 524,522 units in the previous year, as small businesses struggled with high inflation and high interest rates. The negative trend continued in the first half of FY2015, with sales falling by a further 14.4% to 189,359 units.

Tata Motors has traditionally dominated the Indian commercial vehicle market, but its lead has been eroded - at least in the light commercial vehicle segment. The company's sales in this segment fell by over 27% to 82,714 units in the first-half of FY2015, after a 31% fall in the last full financial year.

Mahindra has gained significant ground in the same period, with sales increasing by over 4% to 157,316 units in FY2014 and were slightly stronger at 73,455 units in the first half of FY2015.

Ashok Leyland reported a 22% drop in LCV sales in FY2014 to 27,283 units, followed by a 16% drop to 11,273 units in the first half of FY2015. Force Motor enjoyed a 5% rebound to 10,263 units in the first half of FY2015 after a 12% fall in FY2014.

Domestic sales of medium and heavy commercial vehicle declined by over 25% to 200,627 units in FY2015, from 268,689 units in the previous fiscal year. The market has since stabilized, with sales declining by 1.2% to 104,204 units in the first half of FY2015.

Tata Motors' dominance is stronger in the medium and heavy segments. Its sales fell by over 23% to 110,187 units in FY2014, but it still accounted for 55% of segment sales. In the first half of FY2015, its sales fell by 3% to 56,428 units.

Ashok Leyland is showing early signs of recovery, with sales rising by over 5% to 28,290 units in the first half of F2015 after a 27% decline to 51,827 units in FY2015. Eicher Motors, now in partnership with Volvo Trucks, saw its sales stabilize at 12,082 units in the first half of FY2015, after declining by over 30% to 24,391 units in FY2014.

Indian domestic commercial vehicle (CV) sales by brand, 2012-2014* 

Vehicle Type FY2013 FY2014 Apr-Sep
FY2014
Apr-Sep
FY2015
Light commercial vehicles (LCVs)


Tata Motors 301410 207700 113749 82714
Mahindra 150892 157316 73142 73455
Ashok Leyland 34795 27283 13441 11273
Force Motor 21786 19152 9730 10263
Eicher 9123 9615 5382 5554
SML Isuzu 3838 3893 2340 3074
Piaggio 2469 6968 3308 3026
Others 209 184 107 0
Total LCVs 524522 432111 221199 189359





Medium & heavy commercial vehicles (MHCVs)

Tata Motors 143447 110187 58077 56428
Ashok Leyland 70916 51827 26920 28290
Volvo-Eicher 35051 24391 12995 12082
SML 7719 5496 2992 3263
Mahindra 3806 3243 1631 2037
Others 7750 5483 2875 2104
Total MHCVs 268689 200627 105490 104204
Total CVs 793211 632738 326689 293563
* Fiscal years ending in March. Source: Siam.



Exports

Hyundai is by far the largest exporter of vehicles in India, with 233,260 units shipped overseas FY2014 - mostly i10 and i20 models to Europe. Exports in the last year have been affected by weak demand in Europe, with overall shipments falling by 31% to 97,021 units in the first half of FY2015 after a 10% decline to 233,260 units in FY2014.

Maruti-Suzuki, the country's second-largest vehicle exporter, saw its exports rebound in the first half of FY2015, by over 15% to 63,457 units, after a 16% drop to 101,352 units in FY2014.

Nissan's exports grew by over 17% to 116,115 units in FY2014 and by a further 12% to 66,634 units in the first half of FY2015, thanks to strong overseas demand for its Micra and Sunny models.

Ford and Volkswagen's exports also increased sharply in the same period, following the recent introduction of the EcoSport and Vento models respectively. Among the companies reporting sharply lower exports were Toyota, which mainly exports the Etios to markets in South-east Asia and South Africa, and Renault, which exports the Duster SUV.

Indian vehicle exports by brand, 2012-2014* 

Brand FY2013 FY2014 Apr-Sep
FY2014
Apr-Sep
FY2015
Hyundai 259811 233260 140924 97021
Maruti-Suzuki 120388 101352 55112 63457
Nissan 98971 116113 49653 55634
Ford 29316 48088 17951 39495
Volkswagen 8214 32588 10946 32239
Tata Motors 50831 49892 25035 24316
Mahindra 30231 27756 11451 12328
Toyota 23442 27266 16672 8153
Ashok Leyland 8999 9404 4433 5569
Renault 2810 14930 8523 3412
Honda 2610 5054 2964 3356
Others 3818 4860 2401 3746
Total 639441 670563 346065 348726
* Fiscal years ending in March. Source: Siam.



See also: October 2014 management briefing: India automotive update (1) - Overview