The record sales slowdown that the auto industry is going through in India has left no established maker untouched. The monthly sales figures are bringing bad news for the car companies and even the arrival of festive season is also not offering any respite to the makers. One among such makers is Tata Motors which has seen a higher than fifty percent fall in sales for the month of August 2019 when compared to August 2018. The Indian automaker saw its sales go down by 58% in August 2019 when compared to the August 2018 sales.
Although the company has several new products in its line-up like the Nexon, Tiago, Tigor and Harrier, the sales for the brand are still not picking up. The brand is also running huge discounts on its models across the line-up but still the sales for its cars remain sluggish. Although the newly launched Harrier SUV from the brand performed well initially, the recent months have seen its dispatch numbers come down by a huge margin. Tata Motors’ commercial vehicle division – the automaker’s bread and butter – also saw a huge 49 % decline in August 2019 sales.
Talking about the monumental sales slowdown that the company is facing in its domestic market, the president of Tata Motor's passenger vehicle division, Mayank Pareek stated,
Under the challenging market situation, we continued to focus on improving retail sales. Our retail sales were 42% more than offtake and as a result the network stock came down by over 3000 vehicles. This prepares dealers well for the festival season. Our prime focus remains on the working capital rotation of the channel. Our aim is to improve the retail capability, till August 2019, 72 new sales outlets were added and 3500+ sales executives were recruited. Marking the onset of the festive season, we will drive positive sentiments with special offers and several special editions. We have kick-started this by further increasing the style quotient of the Harrier with the Harrier Dark Edition. We are hopeful that the recently announced financial package by finance minister will help in improving the liquidity of market and to reduce the ownership cost. This will certainly help the industry to revive and drive the growth.
The makers in the Indian market are now looking toward the government for relief from the slowdown that the industry is finding itself in. The companies are also demanding a tax cut on the vehicles sold in India and want the government of India to reduce the GST charged on vehicle purchases from 28% to 18%. The upcoming BS-VI emission norms along with the slowing economy of the country is acting as a double blow for the carmakers in the Indian market. Although a good monsoon in 2019 and the hope of economy gathering momentum is expected to revive car sales in India, whether that actually happens remains to be seen.