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India January 2019: Honda (+23.1%), Nissan (+55.3%) can’t help 5th market decline in past 7 months, Tata Nano out

The new generation Maruti Wagon R has arrived in India.

New factory shipments in India drop 1.6% year-on-year in January to 279.758 units, the 5th decline in the past 7 months accentuating the worry that the market may have plateaued for now. Sometimes touted as the world’s engine of growth alongside China, the fact that India’s growth is petering out is indeed worrying for the health of the world car market as it coincides with China’s recent weakness. The Top 4 best-selling brands however record a gain this month, led by Maruti (+0.2%) and Hyundai (+0.6%) timidly edging up while Mahindra (+2.7%) is a little more energetic and Honda (+23.1%) posts the largest gain in the Top 15 this month. In contrast, the rest of the Top 10 is in negative, with Toyota (-9.1%) the least affected, Tata (-11.1%) paying for a stellar score in January 2018 but Datsun (-49.2%), Ford (-18.5%), Volkswagen (-18%) and Renault (-15.8%) all in dire straits. Nissan (+55.3%) uncharacteristically jumps 6 spots on December to #11, a performance solely linked to the launch of the Kicks (#40) accounting for 9 out of 10 wholesales for the brand in January, while Fiat (+33.3%) also shines but at just 60 sales.

Second consecutive monthly win for the Maruti Alto.

Over in the models ranking, paradoxically as it lost the annual top spot in 2018 for the first time in 14 years, the Maruti Alto (+22.1%) lodges a second consecutive monthly win and the 4th in the past 6 months, distancing the Maruti DZire (-15.4%), Swift (-30.1%), Baleno (-5.9%) and Vitara Brezza (+11.8%). The Hyundai Elite i20 (+21.8%) is down 3 spots on December to #6, with the Creta (+11.1%) and Grand i10 (-15.1%) in tow. Thanks to the new generation now in dealerships, the Maruti Wagon R (-29.1%) is up 17 spots on December to return inside the Top 10 at #9 just ahead of the Maruti Celerio (+20.6%) in great shape. Relaunched last October, the Hyundai Santro (#13) seems to have hit a wholesales plateau which would be disappointing as it only managed one Top 10 finish (in November).

Farewell: the Tata Nano is no longer produced and disappears from the Indian charts this month.

Further down, the Tata Nexon crosses the 5.000 monthly factory shipments for the first time, breaking a new volume record and outselling its archenemy the Ford Ecosport for the second month running. The Maruti Marazzo (#24) solidly maintains itself inside the Top 25 for the 4th straight month. We welcome the promising 7-seater Tata Harrier in the Indian charts this month, landing directly at #54 but we say farewell to the Tata Nano, disappearing from the charts as it is now discontinued. Launched in July 2009 and reaching #14 for its first full year of sales in 2010, the Nano was at the time the cheapest car in the world and aimed at bringing the whole of India to four-wheels – it didn’t.

Previous post: India Full Year 2018: Maruti DZire ends 13 years of Alto reign, third nameplate to rank #1 in 35 years – 6 Marutis in Top 6 for the first time

One year ago: India January 2018: Tata up 55% to highest share in over five years

Full January 2019 Top 22 All-brands and Top 85 models below.

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