We are through 2018 and the last quarter has been quite challenging for the entire automotive industry. Thankfully, December has managed to stem the downturn and we hope it turns out to be the base for a rise in 2019. Month-on-month, Maruti Suzuki has suffered the biggest loss, to the tune of 17 per cent, followed closely by Tata Motors at 16 per cent. But if you compare the year-on-year numbers, both car makers have sold 1 per cent more cars over December 2017.
Which means, that the low December sales is just a part of the annual sales cycle but the low year-on-year growth seems to be a worry as it was expected to be around 5-10%. Nonetheless, Ford and Toyota along with Hyundai and Honda have registered year-on-year growth and it certainly shows some green shoots for the next year.
Amongst new launches, the Santro and the Ertiga are both doing quite well with the compact hatchback just eclipsing the MPV in numbers. This shows the popularity of B+ and C Segment cars that offer space and also the demand for modern compacts like the Santro. On a side note, the Eon seems to have been taken off the shelf but with no formal announcement as yet. Honda’s Amaze has cemented the second spot in the compact sedan race while the Tata Nexon has done the same in compact SUVs.
We again have a slew of launches in the New Year starting with the new Camry, the Harrier, the Kicks, the Wagon R and then the V-Class. From a budget hatch to a stretch-saloon and luxury people movers, cars across segments will set the course for 2019.