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How carmakers are planning a revival for the sector

August 23, 2019 14:52 IST

Market leaders saw good traction for new cars, including the electric ones.

Illustration: Dominic Xavier/

Car manufacturers introduced 14 new models, while pulling out 10 old ones from the Indian market in the first four months (April to July) of the financial year 2019-20 (FY20).

This is a traditional strategy to boost sales in times of slowdown.


And it seems to be working, as market leaders saw good traction for new cars, including the electric ones.

According to data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, micro and compact segment witnessed highest activity in the period.

Market leader Maruti Suzuki pulled out old Wagon R, which clocked sales of 58,185 units during April to July 2018, and replaced it with the new Wagon R.

The latest model registered sales of 51,157 units in the first four months of FY20.

In the same period, Maruti also stopped sales of Gypsy.

It has been reported that the company may look at bringing back the model as a mini-SUV.

Korean firm Hyundai discontinued Eon in the last quarter of 2019 and hence there were no sales of the model in the first four months of FY20 as against 17,288 units in the same period last year.

The company, India’s second-largest passenger carmaker, sold 21,258 units of Santro during the period and its new compact SUV Venue managed to clock sales of 25,397 units.

Hyundai launched India’s first complete electric car Kona and managed to sell 42.

All the three products were not available during the same period last year.

While Tata Motors discontinued Nano and Sumo, it launched Harrier’s diesel version and sold 5,810 units of it in the four months.

Other latest models that clocked good sales numbers include Mahindra XUV300 (18,546 units), Mahindra Marazzo (5,235 units), Toyota’s Glanza (6,225 units), Honda Civic (1,168 units), MG Hector (1,508 units) and Honda CR-V Diesel (102 units).

Toyota Prius hybrid Nissan Kicks and Ford Gurkha are the other three models launched.

Industry representatives said new products had received a good response and this provided a breather to companies battling the slowdown.

The firms have lined up around 25-30 launches for the festive season.

After launching XL6 on Wednesday, R C Bhargava, chairman, Maruti Suzuki, said, “At this stage, everybody is hoping that this festive season will be better than last year and at this stage, one can only hope.

"The new launches will not be able to turn the market around but will be able to make some changes.

"How the festive season turns out will also depend on some measures taken by the Centre and state governments.”'

Hyundai Motor India MD & CEO S S Kim, on the sidelines of Grand i10 Nios launch, said while new products could help increase sales, sustaining the momentum would require help from the government.

T E Narasimhan in Chennai
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