Nano may help Tatas pip Hyundai from no. 2 slot

Written by Yogima Seth | New Delhi | Updated: May 14 2009, 03:49am hrs
Hyundais undisputed number two position in the passenger car category for years is at stake, literally. With one lakh Tata Nanos to be delivered this year, analysts expect Tata Motors to overtake Hyundai despite the fact that the gap between the two has widened to 83,153 units in 2008-09 as compared to 49,254 units in 2007-08. While Hyundai registered a 12.6% increase in sales at 2,43,599 units in the last financial year as compared to 2,16,307 units in 2007-08, Tata Motors posted a decline of 3.95% in passenger cars at 1,60,446 units vis--vis 1,67,053 units in 2007-08.

However, since Hyundai is expecting to grow by 3-5% in 2009-10 as against the estimated over 50% growth by Tata Motors with the launch of Nano, industry experts feel that Hyundai might have trouble in retaining its lead over Tata as the company has no new product lined up for this year. Eventually, while Hyundai is expected to end the current financial year at around 2,50,000 units, Tata Motors may achieve similar volumes, even if sales of its other cars remain constant.

Assuming that the passenger car industry will largely remain flat in 2009-10, for all players, and that there could be a some shift from two-wheelers to four-wheelers to the Nano, Tata Motors have a chance to surpass Hyundai in terms of total passenger car sales in the current financial year, says Abdul Majeed, analyst and partner, Price Waterhouse.

While Tata Motors marketshare will go up significantly this year because of Nano, Hyundai i20 will face a tough competition from the soon-to-be launched Ritz from Maruti. Since Hyundai has no new product slated for launch this year, it is possible that the company slips behind Tata Motors, says another analyst. We want to retain our marketshare, for which our sales have to grow according to the industry growth. Since industry has been projected to grow by 3-5%, we will also grow by the same rate, Arvind Saxena, senior V-P (sales and marketing), Hyundai Motor India, had said last week.