Car sales hit speed breaker
|Hyundai Motor India continued its smooth
run, posting a 23.89% jump in sales at to 22,311 units this
September as against 18,009 last year.
September failed to revive sentiments in Motown, with the car
industry still stuck in first gear, though two-wheelers have their
growth engine revving.
Workers at Indian car plant
If only just The liquidity crunch and the September Shraadh season
have hit sales across segments. Maruti Suzuki posted a marginal 2.53%
increase in sales to 64,682 units, compared with 63,086 in September
It took a hit on sales due to de-growth in its largest A2 segment,
comprising Zen Estilo, Swift, WagonR and Alto, which declined 1.29% to
45,621 from 46,216 a year ago. The sharpest dip in sales was recorded by
Maruti 800, which fell 33.6% to 3,467 units.
Hyundai Motor India continued its smooth run, posting a 23.89% jump
in sales at to 22,311 units this September as against 18,009 last year.
Its new small car i10 continued to generate strong demand both in the
domestic and overseas markets.
"Export for the month is the highest due to demand for i10 from many
overseas markets," senior V-P (marketing & sales) Arvind Saxena said.
India's third largest carmaker Tata Motors saw its sales dipping nearly
9% to 16,586 units in September against 18,216 last year. The main hit
came from the 24% decline in sales of Indica hatchback to 8,598 units,
while sales of Sumo and Safari remained flat at 3,321. The sales of
Indigo sedan, rose 100.5% to 4,667 units.
Mahindra & Mahindra reported a 31.67% jump in sales at 24,481 units
this September, compared with 18,593 last year.
The sales of its utility vehicle range increased, while Logan sales
dipped 19.78% to 1,752 last month against 2,184 in September 2007.
American major General Motors saw its sales dipping 10.38% to 5,154 in
September, from 5,751 last year. Premium car maker Honda Siel Cars sales
dropped 45.29% to 3,104 in September as against 5,674 last year.
Luxury carmaker Skoda Auto India reported a 34.78% increase in sales
to 1,213 in September 2008 compared with 900 in the same period last
The largest two-wheeler maker Hero Honda reported a 22.47% jump in
sales in September to 3.85 lakh as against 3.14 lakh last year. Honda
Motorcycle and Scooter posted a 17% increase in sales to 94,181 against
80,171 last year. Bajaj Auto reported a 6% rise in sales to 2.18 lakh
against 2.06 lakh a year-ago. TVS Motors posted a jump of 19.25% in
sales during September to 1.37 lakh.
Auto industry sources say that a large portion of the modest overall
growth in car sales has been due to billing. Retail response continues
to be extremely sluggish and carmakers are simply piling stock at the
dealer end in the hope that the Dusherra-Diwali combo in October will
take care of it.
The Economic Times
With the Big Three U.S. automakers struggling as consumers shun their
gas-guzzling vehicles, Suzuki Motor Corp looks in an enviable position
with its line-up of tiny, fuel-saving cars.
That, and its mile-long lead in the nascent Indian market, have
catapulted the once stolid car maker to No. 10 in the world measured by
number of cars sold in the first half of this year, and lifted its
profits steadily for nearly a decade.
But if you ask Osamu Suzuki, the 78-year-old chief executive who has
held the post for the last 30 years, it's against all the odds that the
company, founded by his wife's grandfather, has made it this far. "When
I reflect on what the industry looked like back in 1978, it was the
Golden Age for the Big Three," said Suzuki, who joined the company in
"And every 10 years or so, there's been a big change - whether it's
trade liberalisation or the introduction of emissions standards - and
each time, competition got tougher. It still amazes me that we even
survived these 50 years." It's tempting to dismiss Suzuki's comments as
good-natured if somewhat false modesty but engage him in conversation,
and the sense of crisis is palpable.
"If, on top of the volumes, we had our own hybrid, our own fuel-cell
technology, our own diesel, CNG and ethanol cars, then yes, we would be
a 'top' company," he told Reuters.
"But we aren't doing any of that. We don't even know how to spell
hybrid. Right now, we're just trying to keep up - not even catch up -
with the crowd."
Suzuki says it must be open to any future, including the possibility
of being taken over, to ensure its survival. "If it were the best option
for Suzuki, I would sell a 51 percent stake in a heartbeat, to GM or
whomever. We simply are in no position to be selective."
It's a strong statement for someone who is widely accepted as the
architect of present-day Suzuki Motor.
His thrifty ways have earned him and the company a reputation of
master penny-pincher - an art in an industry of low margins. In the
1970s, Suzuki saved the little-known car maker from the brink by
convincing Toyota Motor to supply engines that cleared new emissions
regulations that Suzuki didn't have.
Think about Bengal and India, solve Singur row: PM
With the row over Tata's Nano car project in Singur eluding a
solution, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Wednesday that it is in
the interest of West Bengal and India that the issue is resolved
The prime minister also said he did not want to apportion blame but
sincerely believed that even now it is "not too late" to find a
negotiated settlement which would meet the concerns of those farmers who
are agitating as well as the concerns of the investors, the Tatas.
The Tatas, West Bengal Government and the Mamata Banerjee-led
Trinamool Congress are locked in a dispute over farmland acqusition that
has led the industry group to consider moving out of the state. Work
remains suspended at the Singur for nearly a month. Tata Group Chairman
Ratan Tata is due to hold talks with West Bengal Chief Minister
Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee in Kolkata on October three to discuss the
company's Nano car project which has run into strong resistance from
Trinamool Congress over farmland acquisition issue.
Sri Lanka Insurance partners with the ACDSOA
Sri Lanka Insurance, has tied up with the All Ceylon Drivers School
Owners Association (ACDSOA) to provide training and workshops for all
its member driving schools of the importance of driver and passenger
safety and the importance of repairing a vehicle to manufacturer's
specifications after a collision. The workshops will be carried out at
the Formula World Seeduwa.
The All Ceylon Drivers School Owners Association was established in
1961 directly under the supervision of the Labour Ministry and work
closely within the purview of Ministry of Transport.
The Asociation has a member school base of over 500 spanning all
regions of the country excluding the North and some parts of the East
and is a major stakeholder in most of the important decisions in motor
traffic education. Apart from conducting training and workshops for the
member organisations the association takes upon itself the
responsibility of educating the members well in advance of all the new
rules and regulations to be imposed by the Motor Traffic Department and
also provides assistance obtaining various vehicle licences and the
other documentation pertaining to motor traffic.
As Paris Motor Show opens industry faces sluggish demand
Auto makers are gearing up to show their latest models at the Paris
Motor Show this week against an industry backdrop of sluggish demand for
new cars and growing fears over a prolonged global economic downturn.
A new range of small and fuel-efficient city cars such as the Toyota
iQ and Ford Ka as well as several hybrid models are expected to take
center stage at the biannual show that begins Saturday, but may do
little to distract from the industry's woes.
Earlier this month, Citigroup cut its global auto forecasts for 2008
and 2009 and now expects this year to be the first year of negative
growth in the car market since 2001.
In the U.S., the largest automotive market by sales, industry sales
are on track to fall to a 15-year low of about 14.1 million to 14.3
million new cars and trucks.
"We don't want to be too gloomy, but mature markets plunged over the
summer and even emerging markets failed to provide as strong a spur to
global growth as in prior periods," Citigroup analyst John Lawson said.
"We see August as a likely bottom, but remain cautious on the volume
outlook." Following some profit warnings and sales-target revisions
during second-quarter earnings, several auto makers, including Daimler
AG and BMW AG, have announced plans to cut production this year to avoid
building up inventories.
Ford Motor Co., General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC have already
slashed production in the U.S. while attempting to boost output in
Europe and other markets.
But it remains to be seen whether demand for cars will pick up next
year. Investors will monitor closely any comments from executives in
Paris that hint at the outlook for 2009.