* See the Top 25 All-brands and Top 90 models by clicking on the title *
New car wholesales in India register their first year-on-year decline since October 2017 in July at -2.6% to 288.735 units. There’s a couple of reasons behind this surprising fall that does not question the health of the Indian market. First, we’re looking at an extremely high comparison set as July 2017 figures were boosted by the GST implementation, resulting in an all-time high volume at the time, a record that would be beaten two months later in September. Second, this year the month of July was right in the middle of religiously inauspicious periods in the south of the country such as Aashada month in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, Karkidakam in Kerala and Aadi in Tamil Nadu. Important decisions aren’t likely to be made during this time, including purchasing a new car. However the year-to-date tally remains in record territory at +6.3% or almost 200.000 additional wholesales to 2.014.622 units, the first time in Indian history that the 2 million unit-mark is eclipsed after just 7 months.
Brand leader Maruti is down (-1%) but still manages to improve its market share year-on-year to 52.8%, keeping Hyundai (+1%) well below at 15.1%. Boosted by the new Amaze (see further down), Honda (+17%) posts the largest year-on-year gain of any Top 10 manufacturer to leap onto the podium at #3 with 19.970 units and 6.9% share. That’s Honda’s first podium since September 2015, highest volume since October 2015 (20.166) and highest share since March 2016 (6.9% also). Mahindra (-6%) is up one spot on June despite declining faster than the market while Tata (+14%) posts a solid gain but drops two ranks on last month to #5. Dramatically, the next 6 brands all fall heavily, such as Volkswagen (-48%), Datsun (-35%), Renault (-31%), Toyota (-23%), Skoda (-11%) and Ford (-7%). Only Jeep (+28%) is in positive in the remainder of the Top 12.
Model-wise, the Maruti Dzire (+74%) as well as its hatch variant the Swift (+46%) continue to fly much higher than in 2017, in fact Dzire+Swift July sales alone, adding up to 45.640 (+61%), outpace all brands in the Indian market bar Maruti and including Hyundai (43.481)… The Maruti Alto is now almost certain to lose the title of #1 car in India by the time 2018 comes to an end, the Dzire now sporting a 19.000-unit advantage after 7 months. However, a new element has popped up very recently as far as the Dzire is concerned: discounts, of up to INR22.100 (US$320): doesn’t look like much but it is a lot for the price of the car. The reason? The smashing success of its direct competitor, the new generation Honda Amaze (+249%) which has become this month the first Honda to sell more than 10,000 monthly units in India, after becoming the first Honda to crack the Indian Top 10 in May, a ranking it has held since. The Hyundai Verna (+544%) and Maruti S-Cross (+83%) also impress this month.
Full July 2018 Top 25 All-brands and Top 90 models below.