Car sales to grow up to 9 pct in India in 2014: JD Power

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Mar 12 2014, 02:21am hrs
Car sales, Car sales februaryThe Indian car market is reeling under a prolonged slump. Reuters
Car sales in India would be back on track and grow by up to 9 per cent in the current year with leading manufacturers such as Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai Motor introducing new models to expand market share, global marketing information services company JD Power said.

An expected improvement in buying sentiment post the general elections would also lift the car sales, it said.

Introduction of new models as well as the improvement in buying sentiment post the general elections would play a vital role in bringing back growth in the Indian passenger car market, the market research firm said.

"Growth will be back this year. We expect the Indian passenger car market including utility vehicles and small LCVs (up to 5 tonnes) to grow in the range of 6-9 per cent in 2014," JD Power Executive Director Mohit Arora told PTI.

The growth won't be spectacular but it would be back, he added.

The Indian car market is reeling under a prolonged slump. Annual car sales fell for the first time in 11 years in 2013, posting a 9.59 per cent dip. In February, the sales rose by 1.39 per cent, the first time after September last year.

During the April-February period of this financial year, Indian passenger vehicle sales fell by 5.9 per cent.

Commenting on the projections for 2014, Arora said that Maruti Suzuki, Honda and Hyundai would gain market share during the year, while others including Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra would lose share.

"Industry has levelled out and market shares are getting defined. So, some would gain in the market while others would lose out. With new car launches in sight, Maruti and Honda would further enhance their market shares," Arora said.

Even car makers like Renault and Nissan would consolidate their market share in around 3 million strong Indian passenger car market, he added.

"Even Tata Motors could see some growth in market share post the launch of their new models--Bolt and Zest around October this year," Arora said.

JD Power Vice President and General Manager Asia Pacific Operations Gerrit Kuyntjes said that quality of products and sales experience would be the main factors that would help car manufactures post growth.

"Other emerging issue that could influence customer choice would be a company's brand image. It could well be the next battleground for car makers in the country," he added.

When asked about the commercial vehicle sale projections he said: "We could see a sharp uptake depending upon the decisions of the new government."

Sales of commercial vehicles were down 29.84 per cent to 47,982 units in February, the 10th straight monthly decline.

Besides, the Indian tractor industry is expected to grow by 8-9 per cent over the next five years mainly on account of ease of financing, hike in MSP and low tractor penetration.