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Car launches at auto expo: Discounts fail to attract car buyers as they wait for BS-VI and new launches at Auto Expo, Auto News, ET Auto

NEW DELHI: January automobile sales continue to remain under pressure as buyers trench discounts on vehicles meeting BS-IV emission norm that will be discontinued from March 31, 2020. India's passenger vehicle domestic sales saw a dip of 3.79 percent to 253034 units in January 2020 when compared to 263012 units in the same month last year.

“There is no change in the economic factors which can reflect on demand. Probably customers are waiting for new products to be launched at Auto Expo and BS-VI technology that can impact the resale value of the cars going forward. Apart from this a lot of pre-buying of diesel cars has happened in the past months” said Ashim Sharma, Partner & Group Head Business Performance Improvement Consulting (Auto, Engg. & Logistics) at Nomura Research Institute.

According to industry experts, the car buyers are waiting for upcoming BS-VI compliant cars and new launches at the Auto Expo, starting February 7, 2020. While the subdued market sentiment continues to be the chief reason for tepid demand.

Around 70 new launches and unveilings of vehicles are expected at the Auto Expo to be held between February 7th-12th.

Carmakers with BS-VI models have emerged as winners. Maruti Suzuki with its 10 models with BS-VI has sold 5 lakh BS-VI compliant vehicles and the only manufacturers to post a positive sales (minus new entrant -Kia & MG) last month. Maruti Suzuki launched its first BS-VI petrol model in April 2019.

Source: Industry Data

Maruti Suzuki now sells Alto, Eeco, S-Preso, Celerio, WagonR, Swift, Baleno, DZire, Ertiga and XL6 with BS-VI engines.

Maruti Suzuki sold 144,499 units in the domestic market, recording a growth of 1.7 per cent year-on-year in January 2020 over 142,150 units in the same month a year ago. Maruti Suzuki's total domestic sales include 2,249 units of Glanza supplied to its partner Toyota Kirloskar.

“We are seeing active interest of consumers for BS-VI vehicles. Many consumers are also waiting for the new launches awaited at Auto Expo as they would be new and BS-VI complaints. We might see better traction in the month of February” one of the dealers of leading car manufacturers told ETAuto. Hyundai Motor India sales remained negative at 8.30 percent at 42002 units, despite the strong demand for its newly launched Hyundai Venue and i20.

The home-grown automaker, Mahindra & Mahindra which returned to positive in the month of December has reversed to negative by 11.6 percent at 19800 units in January 2020.

Industry experts say it is a transition period. Most BS-IV vehicles inventory at dealerships have gone drastically, at the same time new BS-VI vehicles are being shipped. However, with few models complying BS-VI technology are available for some companies.

Tata Motors passenger vehicle sales in the domestic market in January 2020 were 13,894 units as against 17,826 units in the same month of the previous year, a drop of 22 per cent.

The only silver lining in the passenger vehicle segment is the sales of newly launched Kia Seltos and MG Hector which are giving an additional 20,000 volumes to the PV segment.

Kia Motors recorded highest ever sales with 15,450 unit sales in January 2020 retaining its position as the 4th largest automaker in the country in terms of sales. Seltos with 15,000 unit sales becomes the sixth highest selling model in the country while Carnival also got a head start with 450 units dispatched to dealers.

Kookhyun Shim, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, Kia Motors India said “ The consecutive month on month growth is proof of consumers' trust in the brand – Kia and also Seltos. We are thrilled to launch our second product Carnival and globally unveil our compact SUV for India at the Delhi Auto Expo 2020 and look forward to getting equal love from the patrons.”