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India July 2014: Is the Datsun Go a flop?

Datsun Go India July 2014. Picture courtesy of livemint.comOnly 800 Datsun Go found a buyer in July.

* See the Top 60 best-selling models by clicking on the title! *

Great news coming from India: after two years of wobbliness, new car sales seem to finally be out of trouble: up a very satisfying 10% year-on-year in July to 194,042 registrations (temporary figures), lifting the year-to-date total back into positive at 1,453,321 units, up 0.5% on 2013. Last month I announced that if the Datsun Go, the most important launch of the year in India, fell below 1,000 monthly sales there would be reason to worry. Well this is exactly what just happened in July. After debuting at 2,068 units in March, gaining 30% to 2,690 in April, then dropping 26% in May and 45% in June, the Go is down a further 27% to a poor 800 units and out of the Top 40 in July, even falling below the notoriously unsuccessful Tata Nano (875 sales at #39). For more on the relevance of the Datsun Go in India check out Strategy: Understanding the Indian car market.

Datsun Go India July 2014. Picture courtesy of gaadi.comClouds are piling up for the Datsun Go in India…

On the Go’s shoulders rest Carlos Ghosn’s hope of creating a budget brand in India by resurrecting the Datsun logo. Although no sales objectives were communicated at launch, 800 units for its 6th month in market, while sales should be growing exponentially as punters get used to the new brand and word-of-mouth spreads, is surely not what Renault-Nissan had in mind for the Go in India. These figures are not end-consumer sales but factory sales to dealerships, however a declining trend indicates that dealers are not re-ordering any new cars and struggling to sell the ones they have as stock piles up. It is too early to be too formal about the Go’s success or lack-thereof, but sales do need to reverse back up fast or the Go will be remembered as another failed attempt at selling low-cost to Indian consumers after the Nano. And I don’t see how much traction one can get from just 800 monthly units. So my answer to “Is the Datsun Go a flop in India”?
So far, sadly yes.

Honda City India July 2014. Picture courtesy of indiaautosblog.comThe Honda City breaks into the monthly Indian Top 5 for the first time this month.

But wait there’s more action in the Indian models sales charts in July: the Maruti Swift DZire astonishingly takes the lead for only the third time ever after May 2013 and May 2014 thanks to 18,634 sales and 9.7% share, kicking the Maruti Alto down to 2nd place at 16,997 units and 8.8%. The Alto is still however #1 year-to-date by far at 155,145 sales vs. 124,407 for the Dzire. Another significant event inside the Top 5: the arrival of the Honda City for the very first time in the nameplate’s career in 5th place (previous best: #7 reached last March) with 7,697 sales and 4% and best-selling non-Maruti in the country this month. Notice also the Hyundai Xcent very solid again at #8, the Maruti Celerio back up 5 spots to #9 and the Honda Mobilio landing directly at #18 with 3,365 sales and 1.7% share for its very first month in market.

Previous month: India June 2014: Maruti Wagon R up to 2nd place

One year ago: India July 2013: Ford Ecosport breaks into Top 10

Full July 2014 Top 60 models Ranking Table below.

India July 2014 – models:

PosModelJul-14%Jun2014%PosFY13
1Maruti Swift DZire18,6349.6%3124,4078.6%23
2Maruti Alto16,9978.8%1155,14510.7%11
3Maruti Swift15,7038.1%4120,5758.3%32
4Maruti Wagon R11,7626.1%290,3026.2%44
5Honda City7,6974.0%753,5893.7%731
6Hyundai Grand i107,0233.6%664,7814.5%518
7Mahindra Bolero6,7483.5%561,5404.2%65
8Hyundai Xcent6,6523.4%929,8922.1%15 –
9Maruti Celerio6,3943.3%1439,0782.7%11 –
10Maruti Omni6,3423.3%1142,9973.0%911
11Hyundai Eon6,0203.1%1047,4913.3%86
12Toyota Innova5,5912.9%1233,2272.3%139
13Maruti Ertiga5,4282.8%1535,9152.5%1210
14Ford Ecosport5,3972.8%1329,8852.1%1623
15Maruti Eeco5,3382.8%1926,5431.8%1720
16Honda Amaze4,5072.3%840,4892.8%1013
17Mahindra Scorpio3,4431.8%1629,9072.1%1416
18Honda Mobilio3,3651.7% –3,3650.2%49 –
19Tata Indica/Vista3,2561.7%2323,4231.6%2012
20Maruti Ritz3,0591.6%1819,2541.3%2521
21Hyundai Verna2,8531.5%2023,2941.6%2115
22Renault Duster2,8211.5%1723,9491.6%1914
23Mahindra XUV5002,8131.4%2221,5961.5%2325
24VW Polo2,7171.4%3014,9281.0%2822
25Hyundai i102,6111.3%2422,0151.5%227
26Tata Indigo/Manza2,5241.3%2617,8981.2%2626
27Hyundai Santro2,0351.0%2520,8531.4%2417
28Toyota Etios Liva1,9821.0%2810,8710.7%3328
29Toyota Etios1,7680.9%2716,0501.1%2724
30Toyota Fortuner1,6110.8%349,4070.6%3435
31Nissan Terrano1,6000.8%3114,2051.0%2949
32Hyundai i201,5930.8%2124,7931.7%188
33Chevrolet Beat1,5630.8%2913,3670.9%3127
34Ford Figo1,5190.8%3214,1411.0%3019
35Tata Sumo1,3390.7%398,7610.6%3533
36Chevrolet Tavera1,2220.6%358,3770.6%3741
37Skoda Rapid9000.5%436,4480.4%4139
38Toyota Corolla Altis8820.5%422,4760.2%5258
39Tata Nano8750.5%4011,1020.8%3234
40Tata Safari/Storme8250.4%445,9630.4%4243
41Chevrolet Enjoy8120.4%417,0210.5%4037
42Datsun Go8000.4%378,6470.6%36 –
43Nissan Sunny7500.4%483,4840.2%4844
44Ford Fiesta6420.3%n/a6420.0%n/a67
45Fiat Grande Punto5540.3%465,2450.4%4552
46VW Vento5290.3%367,2240.5%3830
47Chevrolet Sail Sedan5170.3%494,0920.3%4638
48Chevrolet Sail3700.2%502,8510.2%5047
49Mahindra Xylo3230.2%455,2930.4%4436
50Nissan Micra3000.2%385,7220.4%4342
51Hyundai Elantra2550.1%512,2230.2%5355
52Maruti SX42330.1%521,5820.1%5754
53Hyundai Santa Fe2080.1%531,2230.1%62n/a
54Mahindra Quanto2050.1%573,6480.3%4740
55Maruti Gypsy2030.1%n/a1,4760.1%5974
56Tata Aria2010.1%n/a7440.1%n/an/a
57Mahindra Verito1920.1%n/a1,5120.1%5845
58Mahindra Verito Vibe1680.1%601,3140.1%6162
59Fiat Linea1640.1%592,0920.1%5463
60VW Jetta1630.1%581,3670.1%6064

Source: Management Punditz

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