For the first time, the Indian auto industry has recorded sales of over 3 million units in the fiscal year of 2016-17. Eight of India's sixteen carmakers revealed their total sales for the year to SIAM (Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers) and though the official sales have not been released to the public yet, the astonishing growth is already well known. The passenger vehicles industry has recorded 10.52 percent year-on-year (YoY) growth.
Once the other remaining automakers also release official word on their yearly sales, we will know exactly how much progress we made. For the 11-month April 2016 to February 2017 period, the PV industry registered total sales of 27,64,206 units, or 2,35,794 units short of three million, thus when the sales by the aforementioned eight carmakers are added up, the total sales are way beyond the three million mark. Maruti Suzuki is India's leading carmaker, at the moment, and it has had a phenomenal year when it comes to sales. It leads everyone else in the utility vehicle segment, thanks to surging sales of the Vitara Brezza. This segment has seen a steady rise in demand, rising from 31.8 percent year-on-year to an impressive 18,311 units. The Ertiga MPV is also extremely popular and jumped 107 percent to 1,95,741 units. Other models such as the Swift, Ritz, Celerio, Ignis, Baleno and Dzire were responsible too for Maruti's leading position.
The Ciaz, particularly, brought in a lot of business with it as it sold 64,448 buyers units. The only space where Maruti is not putting its best foot forward is the Alto and Wagon R, both models are doing a little worse than usual since the past year, with sales down by 4.4 percent.
Hyundai has been another game-changer and crossed the milestone of five million sales for the first time in a fiscal year. The company sold over 44,757 units in March, up 8.6 percent on-year and a total of 5,09,707, in the year 2016-17, nailing the growth percent at 5.2 percent.
Mahindra & Mahindra had a less than satisfactory year, with sales down by at least six percent. It sold a total of 2,36,130 units in 2016-17, to record zero or flat growth. Speaking in defence of its lack-lustre performance, Rajan Wadhera, president, automotive sector, M&M, said, “However, the auto industry continues to see mixed reactions due to several external challenges and the more recent one being the unexpected verdict on the sale of BS-III vehicles that has derailed many planned operations. Going forward, factors such as the likely softening of interest rates, revision in fuel prices, GST implementation and the Union Budget’s focus on rural are expected to bring back demand.”
Honda did good with year-on-year growth of 8.7 percent, thanks to new additions to its line-ups such as the City sedan and the WR-V crossover. Its overall sales were down by a 22 percent as compared to 2015-16 sales of 1,92,059 units. The City with 6,271 units was the biggest seller while the WR-V with 3,833 units was the next best.
The Tiago hatchback may just have been the saving grace that Tata needed this year as the company recorded a growth of 84 percent from last March. The company even credit the Hexa SUV and the Tigor. Cumulative sales for the fiscal were 1,53,151 units, a growth of 22 percent.
Toyota, too, saw a steady increase in its market performance as they showed 81 percent year-on-year growth to 13,796 units. Models such as the Innova Crysta have helped the company maintain a decent position as it has sold close to 75,000 units in India. Approval for hybrids seem to be up again - the Camry Hybrid has sold 1,146 units in the April 2016-February 2017 period.
Ford India sold 8,700 units in the domestic market in March, up 15.07 percent year-on-year (March 2016: 7,560). For the fiscal year, it recorded total sales to the tune of 91,405 units, up 14.33 percent.
Nissan Motor India showed an increase of 21 percent over March 2016. The company also broke a few personal records as this is the first year it has sold over 57,315 units in FY'17, registering a growth of 45 percent over the previous financial year. The carmaker plans to launch eight new products in India by 2021 with an aim to achieve 5 percent market share. It currently has a market share of 1.9 percent within the country's passenger vehicles segment.