Helped by easy availability of retail finance and soft interest rates, India's auto sales during January rose about 45% to 11.14 lakh units
The Indian auto industry on Tuesday reported the highest-ever sales in a single month at over 11 lakh units in January, boosted by easy availability of retail finance and soft interest rates, reports PTI.
According to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), the total sales in the domestic market stood at 11,14,157 units, against 7,68,698 units in the year-ago period, a jump of 44.9%.
"These are the highest-ever sales (recorded) by the auto industry. Economic growth, reduced interest rates and better money supply have helped the industry in posting such growth," SIAM director general Dilip Chenoy told reporters in New Delhi.
He said the high growth in terms of percentage in January was also contributed by last year's low base. "Reduced commodity prices compared to last year also helped."
The earlier record for highest sales by the industry was in October 2006, at 10,17,198 units.
The domestic passenger car segment also posted its highest-ever sales at 1,45,905 units, against 1,10,300 units, up 32.3%, in the corresponding month last year. It was the 10th straight month of growth for this segment.
Car manufacturers had earlier touched a sales peak of 1,29,358 units in March 2009, Mr Chenoy said.
During the month, major manufacturers including Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai Motor, General Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra reported their individual record-breaking sales.
Asked about prospects for February, he said, "It will depend on multiple factors like pent-up demand and price rise. We will still have good growth in the month."
According to SIAM figures, motorcycle sales rose 43.7% to 6,50,633 units in the past month from 4,52,809 units in January 2009.
Carrying forward the upward march that began in July 2009, sales of commercial vehicles in the country soared over two-fold to 53,447 units, against 23,154 units in the same month in 2009.
In the domestic passenger car segment, sales of market leader Maruti Suzuki increased 18.6% to 70,029 units in January from 59,060 units in the year-ago period.
The country's second-largest carmaker, Hyundai Motor India, also registered 40.9% growth at 29,601 units compared to 21,015 units in January 2009, SIAM said. Tata Motors' sales rose to 22,707 units from 15,406 units in January 2009, up 47.4%.
In the motorcycle segment, market leader Hero Honda's sales moved up 24% to 3,66,050 units in January 2010 compared to 2,95,241 units in the year-ago month. Its rival Bajaj Auto's sales soared nearly three-fold to 1,79,212 units, against 66,207 units.
Chennai-based TVS Motor Company also posted 31% growth at 39,654 units from 30,271 units in the same month a year ago. Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India saw its bike sales rise 9.5% to 40,174 units from 36,677 units.
SIAM said that total two-wheeler sales in January 2010 surged by 43.4% to 8,34,383 units from 5,81,729 units in the corresponding month in 2009.
Another public awareness campaign that seems to have completely lost the plot
A couple of columns back, I had indicated how USP-deprived brands are jumping on to the social service bandwagon. Now, every bleeding heart marketer wants to save the world. IDEA has a long list of social evils up its sleeve. The Times Group wants to sort out Indo-Pak relations through song, shairi and dance. Parle Hippo munchies wants to solve the world hunger crisis. And even before I could start distributing Hippos to the malnourished, in comes Aircel with its ‘Save the Tiger’ campaign.
Aircel, in cahoots with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) India, has launched a campaign to highlight the dwindling numbers of tigers in our forests. Apart from the mass media, they have created noise on Facebook and Twitter. In fact, a website has been launched too: saveourtigers.com.
The TV campaign consists of four commercials. One features a lost and lonely little tiger cub. Its mom has gone missing, you see (read: driven out of the forest because of the mad urban encroachment). The rest of the commercials are loaded with celebrities (the ad world can’t do without them!): Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Baichung Bhutia and southern star, Suriya. Each of whom makes an emotional appeal to save the tiger from extinction.
All very fine and dandy, but there’s a huge, huge problem with the concept (the same as IDEA’s ‘Save the trees’). What exactly are we, the aam aadmis, supposed to do to save the animal? For that, Aircel conveniently gives out no answers. Because there can’t be any. We already KNOW the tiger is under threat, the junta is pretty aware of that. What needs to be done is to put some serious pressure on the state governments and the forest departments to make sure poaching and encroachments into forest areas is stopped. And if Aircel had the right intentions, that’s what it would have done. Instead of releasing silly campaigns in the mass media, with no action plan spelt out for the viewers. In other words, another fake public service (or should it be animal service?) campaign created to build the marketers’ own brand, and not much else. What a bloody joke! Tomorrow, another chap will release a ‘public service campaign’ to create awareness on potholes on our city roads! The whole thing is turning into a big tamasha.
By the way, I really do think Shri Bal Thackeray must forget Shah Rukh Khan and hijack this campaign immediately. His party is facing near-extinction, and there’s an action plan possible too: vote for Shiv Sena in the next elections and save Tiger Thackeray from extinction. Now, this makes sense!
The commercials promoting the Indian Premier League seem to have got it bang on
The Indian Premier League's latest avatar is desperate for people to get their frightened butts into the stadia. Quite strange that, given all the real moolah lies in television viewership. And the IPL jamboree is only about money, no matter what Mr Lalit Modi says. Guess the organisers are very worried about a lacklustre show in the stadia (which is actually half the fun for a T20 match) and have briefed their agency to create television ads solely with the intention of capturing the in-stadia fun.
Off-line, Sharad Pawar (who, frankly, should be more worried about the commodities price rise rather than IPL ticket sales, but that’s Indian politics for you) has already done his bit by begging Balasaheb Thackeray to ‘allow’ the Aussie cricketers to play in the Mumbai matches (read: no trouble in the Mumbai stadia). The rest of the work, the television commercials will have to do.
The campaign involves three TVCs. Each commercial attempts to bring out the orgy of fun spectators have during the IPL matches. In one commercial, a young female fan demands a sixer be hit, and creates a scene in the stadium, much to the consternation of the security. And she happily catches the ball when the (unseen) batsman duly responds. In the second film, skimpily clad firang cheerleaders move step for step with a bhangra dancing fan. The third film highlights the high that funnily dressed fans feel when their shenanigans get beamed on the large stadium screens. And therefore television sets. Their ten seconds of fame.
I think this is a pretty sound strategy. There are too many security restrictions at a cricket ground these days, too many dos and don’ts, too many threats of violence. Which is why a whole lot of us quickly flee to the comfort and safety of our television sets at home. And without packed and happening stadia, the T20 format of the game loses its zing. Also, the TV ads do manage to capture the fans’ energy and gusto quite well. (I especially like the bhangra-oing blonde babes). And they have stuck to the brief: there isn’t a single shot of the cricketers in action; the entire focus is on the cheering fans. Hopefully the crowds will be back, and hopefully we’ll see a safe tournament.
Now if only the BCCI would create a campaign to educate Indian fans on social behaviour. No ogling and leching at the cheerleaders. No chucking empty water bottles when the home team loses. No burning of seats. No booing of rival team players, etc, etc. And of course, a special ad for Shah Rukh Khan: No smoking, please!