December 2016 was a tricky period for carmakers, dealers and buyers alike. The primary cause, of course, was demonetisation. In November 2016, the existing Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes ceased to be legal tender, which made people wary of parting with their money. Additionally, sales generally dip in December as buyers often want a car that is both made and registered in the New Year. However, while car sales were hit, the year-on-year impact has varied from manufacturer to manufacturer.
Here’s a quick look at how the last month of 2016 turned out for car sales in India.
With domestic sales of 106,414 units in December 2015 vs 111,333 in December 2016, India’s largest carmaker saw a dip of around 4.4 per cent. A detailed break-up reveals the following:
While Hyundai did see an overall sales growth of 5.2 per cent in 2016, sales in December alone dropped by 4.31 per cent. The brand sold 40,057 units in December 2016, compared to 41,861 units in December 2015. 2016 mainly focused on brand-building launches like the sixth-gen Elantra and all-new Tucson, with most of the sales being driven in by the Creta, Grand i10 and Elite i20.
Honda Cars India recorded a domestic sales drop of nearly 18.64 per cent in December 2016 (10,071 units) compared to the corresponding period in 2015 (12,379 units). Mr. Yoichiro Ueno, President and CEO, Honda Cars India Ltd. said, “After a severe impact of demonetisation in Nov’16, the Dec’16 sales continued to be challenging. We expect the New Year to gradually bring back normalcy in the market.” The Amaze sold the most with 3,322 dispatches to its name with the City following closely at 2,898 units sold.
Mahindra sold 16,698 vehicles in the passenger vehicle segment (which includes UVs, cars and vans) in December 2016 as against 18,197 vehicles during December 2015 – a drop of 1,481 units or 8.15 per cent.
In December 2016, Tata Motors passenger vehicles, in the domestic market, recorded sales of 10,827 units, equating to a growth of a whopping 35 per cent over December 2015! Tata itself has attributed this sales rise to the success of the Tiago which has been consistently selling between 4,000-6,000 units every month.
Toyota Kirloskar recorded a good December 2016. The Japanese automaker managed a double whammy by launching the new Innova Crysta and Fortuner in the same year, which along with the updated Etios, helped achieve sales of 12,747 units in December 2016, compared to 10,446 units in December 2015 – a growth of 22.07 per cent.
Renault managed a growth rate that was off the charts with an overall sales increase of 146 per cent in the year 2016. It registered a growth of 9.2 per cent with 11,244 units sold in the month of December 2016 as against 10,292 units in the corresponding month in 2015.
Nissan reported 3,711 domestic sales in December 2016, a 21 per cent increase against 3,065 units sold in the same month a year ago. Brand Nissan itself didn’t have any significant launches to its name, except for the new GT-R, which is its halo product in India. The numbers were primarily driven by the redi-GO hatchback, which retails around 3,000 sales every month. Fun fact - overall, the redi-GO sells more than every other product in the Nissan and Datsun India portfolios put together!
2016 proved to be a year of double-digit growth for Ford India, but December 2016 saw a little dip. The month saw Ford record a sales figure of 5,566, compared to 5,924 in December 2015 - a drop of 6.04 per cent in the domestic market.