2012 will go down in the history as an eventful year for the auto industry, marked by exciting new launches and a flurry of upgrades, sudden spurt and double digit growth. It was also a year of market slowdown, decelerated further by global economic slowdown, interest rate hikes, petrol price hikes, frequent labor unrest and the government’s frequent policy/tax structure changes.
But as they say, there is a silver lining to every cloud. This year also managed to bring in good news, with almost every major car manufacturer making huge investments in the Indian market and the market for luxury cars expanding by an unbelievable 50 per cent, while consumer-wide acceptance of new cars has prompted many global auto giants to invest in India.
However, if you take a close look at the economic report of April-October 2012, the current scenario of cars in India seems dismal at this point. The cumulative production data between April-October 2012 has only grown by 4.12 per cent over same period last year, while the automotive industry manufactured about 1,829,490 vehicles in October 2012 against 1,596,500 in October 2011, a growth of 15 per cent.
Even the domestic sales indicated a mere rise of just 5.26 per cent over the same period last year; although in October 2012, the overall sales picked up by 14.81 per cent. Passenger vehicles segment recorded a growth of 10.53 per cent, passenger cars grew by 2.84 per cent, and utility vehicles increased by 60.54 percent during April-October 2012 as compared to same period last year. On the other hand, passenger car sales grew by 23.09 per cent over October 2011 in October 2012. Total passenger vehicles sales also increased by 33.65 per cent in October 2012 as compared to same month last year.
The cumulative growth of commercial vehicles recorded a high of 4.26 per cent in April-October 2012 as compared to the same period last year. On the other hand, whole light commercial vehicles grew at 18.19 per cent, medium and heavy commercial vehicles (M & HCVs) registered negative growth at -13.99 per cent.
The sales record of three wheelers clocked a 2.57 per cent rise in April-October 2012. Sales of passenger carriers grew by 6.48 per cent during April-October 2012, while goods carriers posted a slump in growth of -12.19 per cent during this period.
The two wheeler segment recorded a growth of only 4.47 per cent during April-October 2012. The sales of scooters increased by 32.39 per cent, mopeds by 23.21 per cent and motorcycles by 6.71 per cent respectively in October 2012 as compared to same period last year.
During April-October 2012, the cumulative automobile exports posted a slump of -4.94 per cent as compared to same period in 2011. While passenger vehicles registered an overall growth of 5.74 per cent, commercial vehicles recorded a growth of mere 1.63 per cent; even the sales of two and three-wheelers declined by -3.77 and -26.35 per cent respectively during this period. In October 2012, two-wheelers exports declined by almost 4 per cent.
The Indian auto market at present is one of the strongest emerging and fastest growing auto markets in the world. If our government succeeds to handle the challenges well, then by 2050 the Indian automobile industry will be the world’s largest market.
About the author: I am Suchorita Dutta, an avid car enthusiast, blogger, and a writer by profession. I love discoursing about cars, especially the cars in India.