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Automobile Newsletter - December 31, 2012 to January 04, 2013

India Infoline News Service | Mumbai |

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars celebrates 10 Years of Excellence. On 1 January 2003 the Home of Rolls-Royce officially opened for business and the first car was presented to its delighted customer at one minute past midnight.

Top Stories 

Maruti Suzuki sales up 3% in December

Car market leader Maruti Suzuki India Limited sold a total of 95,145 units in December 2012, a growth of 3.2% over December 2011.

This includes 13,072 units for export. The Company had sold a total of 92,161 units in December 2011.

Bajaj Auto December sales up 13%

Bajaj Auto Ltd. said that its total vehicle sales was up by 13% in December to 3,43,946 units, with exports also up 5% 126,016 units.

Commercial Vehicle (CV) sales was up 9% at 45,596 units in the month.

Total motorcycle sales for the month also surged 13% at 298,350 units.

Hero Cycles plans to acquire two European cycle makers: reports

Hero Cycles, part of the OP Munjal led Hero Group is reportedly planning to acquire two European cycle makers, at an estimated deal value of around Rs 5-5.50bn.

The two companies - a manufacturing unit and a distribution business - are expected to catapult Hero Cycles into world's third-largest player in the cycle business in terms of revenues, according to reports.

Reports said that the acquisitions are likely to materialise by early 2013.

Hero enjoys a 5% share in the annual 120-million-unit global markets and revenues of about Rs 27bn.

Infocus News

M&M registers 18% growth in passenger vehicles in December 2012

Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. (M&M Ltd.), India’s leading SUV manufacturer, announced a 6% rise in its auto sales numbers, which stood at 45297 units during December 2012 as against 42761 units during December 2011.


The company’s domestic sales stood at 42307 units during December 2012, as against 39891 units during December 2011, an increase of 6%. The Passenger Vehicles segment (which includes the UVs and Verito) registered a growth of 18%, having sold 22761units in December 2012, as against 19341 units during December 2011.


The 4 wheeler commercial segment which includes the passenger and load categories registered a sale of 13706 units, while the 3 wheeler segment clocked 5209 units in December 2012. Exports for the month of December 2012 stood at 2990 units, a growth of 4% over December 2011.


Speaking on the monthly performance, Pravin Shah, Chief Executive, Automotive Division, Mahindra & Mahindra mentioned, “High interest rates, rising fuel prices and an overall slowdown in economic growth has kept consumer sentiment low during 2012. This is also evident in the auto industry sales performance for December, which traditionally has been a lean month. We do hope that corrective measures are announced and implemented soon bringing in the much needed buoyancy and growth for the industry.  At Mahindra, we are happy to maintain our growth momentum even during these challenging times”. Read more…

Domestic News

Mahindra Tractors sells 13712 units in Dec 2012

Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. Farm Equipment Sector (FES), a part of the U.S. $15.9bn Mahindra Group, maintained its leadership position in the tractor industry in December 2012.

Domestic sales in December 2012 stood at 13712 units, as against 15315 units during December 2011.

Total tractor sales (domestic + exports) in December 2012 stood at 14759 units, as against 16484 units for the same period last year. Exports for the month of December 2012 stood at 1047 units.

Mercedes-Benz India raises prices by 1-3%

Mercedes-Benz India quantified price increase plan for their vehicle range in India. The increase in the price range is from 1-3% and will be effective from 14-January, 2013.

Eberhard Kern, Managing Director & CEO, Mercedes-Benz India commented, "Rising inputs cost, volatility of the rupee-euro, high interest rates and other associated factors have put significant pressure on us.

Consequently, we are forced to share a part of this burden with our customers and we will increase prices of our vehicles to the tune of 1-3% effective 14-January, 2013. However, to support the purchase decisions of our discerning customers, Mercedes-Benz Financial Services will be supporting with various finance options."

The price of the B-Class will be increased by 1%, for the C-Class and E-Class sedans it will be 1.5% and for the S-Class sedan, the rise in price will be 3%.

The M-Class SUV will be dearer by 3% and the prices of the CBU range of vehicles comprising the CLS-Class, SLK-Class, R-Class and the SLS AMG will also be increased by 1%.

Hyundai domestic sales up 4.7% from Jan-Dec 2012

Hyundai Motor India Ltd, the country’s second largest car manufacturer and the largest passenger car exporter recorded a 4.7% jump in domestic sales, 3.1% in Exports and the Cumulative sales stood at 4.1% in calendar year (CY) Jan-Dec 2012. 


Domestic sales in December 2012 were 26,697 units against 29,516 units in the corresponding month last year. Aggregate sales were 47,833 units against 49,050 units last year. Exports were 21,136 units in the month against 19,534.


Hyundai operates on January- December as business year. Commenting on the year-end sales Mr. Rakesh Srivastava, VP- Sales & Marketing, HMIL said, “In the year 2012, in difficult market conditions, we refreshed i20, launched Sonata and Elantra which resulted in strong volumes and consolidated our leadership position. The marketing initiatives in the rural market, corporate sales and focused efforts on exchange sales through Hyundai Advantage helped increase sales of petrol variants. This strong sales was led by Eon and i10. The increased production capacity of diesel vehicles with strong price value equations gave a higher than industry growth in diesel models. Overall we were able to improve on volumes while maintaining market share in passenger cars.”

The segment-wise cumulative sales for December 2012 are: A2 segment 41,069 units (Eon, Santro, i10, i20); A3 Segment 6,270 units (Accent and Verna); A4 segment 428 (Elantra), A5 segment 20 units (Sonata); Santa Fe (SUV) 46 units.

Mercedes-Benz India sells 7138 units in 2012

Mercedes-Benz India announced its sales achievement for the period from January- December, 2012.

During the period, Mercedes-Benz India has sold 7138 units of cars as wholesale (Wholesale refers to no. of unit sold by manufacturer (MBIL) to its dealer partners).

Mercedes-Benz India achieved segment benchmark in terms of overall sales in luxury cars in India (The range of cars priced upwards Rs 30 Lakhs).

The new M-Class SUV launched in India in May-2012 has been a runaway success and is booked until May-2013. The B-Class pioneered the Sports Tourer category in India and is also booked until February 2013. The S-Class which epitomizes luxury motoring continues to remain the overwhelming leader in its segment.

Mercedes-Benz India has pursued its aggressive network expansion strategy in 2012. With opening of 6 new touchpoints in Tier II & III cities, Mercedes-Benz India now is present in 31 cities with 72 touchpoints and has the densest network among all luxury car manufacturers in India.

Eberhard Kern, Managing Director & CEO, Mercedes-Benz India commented, "Our sales performance has been overall in line with expectations. At the same time we have managed to retain our profitability and premium in 2012. 2013 would be an exciting year for us. We will continue to delight our customers through an array of fascinating products, engagements and experiences."

Ashok Leyland sales dip 19.3% in December

Ashok Leyland has reported 19.3% decline in total sales during December 2012 at 7,299 units.

The company registered 88.2%jump in sales of small commercial vehicle ‘DOST’, with 2,069 units being sold during December 2012 against 1,099 in the year ago period, according to reports.

Reports said that the company witnessed 34.2% decline in sale of commercial vehicles during the month at 5,230 units.

India Ratings affirms IFB Auto at ‘IND A’/stable

India Ratings has affirmed IFB Automotive Private Limited’s (IFB Auto) Long-Term Issuer rating at 'IND A’ with a Stable Outlook. A list of additional rating actions is provided at the end of this commentary.

The affirmation reflects IFB Auto's continued strong financial profile despite a dip in EBIDTA margins to 6.3% in FY12 (year end March) from 7.8% in FY11 due to muted sales growth of 4.4% in FY12.

This was because of the economic slowdown in the domestic passenger car segment and the company’s negligible presence in after markets and exports. To diversify its business, IFB is expanding its market by procuring orders from the non-auto sector and commercial vehicle segment, which will be reflected in FY13 sales.

The ratings also continue to reflect IFB Auto’s comfortable liquidity position as reflected in its debt-free status and a cash balance of INR278.7m and liquid investments of INR799.6m as on 31 March 2012.

The ratings also reflect limited concentration risk for IFB, with its top five customers contributing less than 70% to its total revenue of INR4,181.9m in FY12 (FY11: INR4,004.4m).

International News

Rolls-Royce celebrates 10 Years of Excellence

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars celebrates 10 Years of Excellence. On 1 January 2003 the Home of Rolls-Royce officially opened for business and the first car was presented to its delighted customer at one minute past midnight.


Described at the time as ‘the last great adventure in automotive history’, production of Phantom was initially one car per day, rising to three by the end of 2003. Today, with a product range spanning two model families (Phantom and Ghost) and six models, the company’s craftsmen and women hand-build up to 20 cars each day. In 2011, Rolls-Royce celebrated a second consecutive sales record and the best result in the company’s then 107-year history.

The response to the company’s portfolio from customers, media and enthusiasts has been overwhelmingly positive throughout the company’s first ten years of business.  Each new model has been warmly welcomed and attracted worldwide acclaim, with the cars winning many design and luxury awards.

GM’s U.S. sales up 5% in December

General Motors Co U.S. dealers delivered the company’s highest December sales in five years, with deliveries up 5 percent year over year to 245,733 vehicles.

December was also GM’s best retail sales month of 2012. Retail volume was up 38 percent from November – about double the industry’s estimated increase. Incentive spending was competitive with industry-wide levels, according to J.D. Power PIN estimates, and remains below many Asian and domestic competitors.

“All four GM brands increased their sales year over year in December and we were strong across the board in cars, crossovers and pickup trucks,” said Kurt McNeil, vice president of U.S. sales operations. “We also achieved an important fuel economy milestone. In December, GM became the first U.S. automaker to sell more than 1 million vehicles in a single year that get an EPA-estimated 30 mpg or better on the highway.”

Opel plans to cut production by 10%: Reports

Opel, the European arm of General Motors, plans to cut production by 10% in 2013 in wake of weak demand in the European car market, said the reports.

In 2012, the loss making carmaker plans to churn out only 8,45,000 vehicles in Europe, said the reports.

The company at its Opel and Vauxhall plants in 2011 produced only 1.19mn cars in Europe; figures for last year remain unavailable.

European car sales slumped by 7.2% from January to November as compared to a year earlier, data from Association of European carmakers showed, volumes are expected to fall further, said the reports.

Ford India sells 10,899 cars combined in December

Record exports for the third consecutive month combined with steady domestic demand helped Ford India end 2012 with sales of 10,899 domestic wholesale and export units in December.


Despite persistent market challenges, domestic sales remained healthy with 6,517 vehicles sold in December this year compared to 5,978 units sold in the same month last year, a year-on-year increase of 9 percent.


Ford India’s exports rose to 4,382 cars last month – the highest-ever exports in its history, and have more than doubled from the 1,685 units exported in December last year. Exports hit an all-time high for the third consecutive month after shipments hit 4,211 units in November. Year-to-date exports stand at 30,435 – up 35 % from last year.


“Despite a tough business environment, we have seen record exports and sustained customer interest in December,” said Joginder Singh, president and managing director, Ford India. “It is great to see that we are closing the year on a positive note with strong growth momentum. As we head into 2013, we will continue to focus on providing products and services, with Quality, Green, Safe and Smart attributes, that our customers want and value,” he added. Read more…

Ssangyong Motor records global sales of 11,871 vehicles in December

Ssangyong Motor announced that the company recorded total sales of 11,871 vehicles in December 2012 – 5,365 vehicles in domestic sales and 6,506 in exports including CKD.


Ssangyong’s sales exceeded 10,000 vehicles for four consecutive months with an increase of 37% from the same month last year.


The domestic sales hit a monthly record high, increasing by 21.8% compared to the previous month and 53.2% compared to the same month last year thanks to an upward trend in sales of the Korando series. Exports also showed a steady growth with an increase of 26% as compared to the same month last year.

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