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India August 2020: Tata (+154%), Kia (+74%), Renault (+41.3%) headline resurgent wholesales (+19.6%)

The facelifted Nexon helps Tata sales up 154%.

The coronavirus pandemic and the Indian new car market have started evolving in opposite directions. On one hand, India has endured the highest new daily Covid-19 cases of any country since the start of the pandemic (85.687 in August 26) and nears 4 million total cases. On the other hand, as business in the country is by and large back to normal despite the sanitary crisis, wholesales in August surge 19.6% year-on-year to 234.142 units, cutting the year-to-date fall to -35.9% at 1.238.896. The fact that August 2019 was a particularly dreadful month (down -30.6%) when dealerships were stocked up also helped make this month perhaps look better than it is. According to local media however, OEMs have a positive outlook for the rest of the year and have already prepared for the festive season, with Ganesha Chaturthi & Onam being celebrated in Western & Southern parts of the country. Much better expected August volumes prompt us to up our 2020 Indian forecast again from 2.08 million (-30%) last month to 2.23 million (-25%) which would still be the lowest annual result since 2009.

Hyundai Creta sales are up 95.9% thanks to the new generation.

Brand leader Maruti (+21.3%) manages to slightly outpace the market to improve its share to 48.3%, however remaining below the 50.5% it holds so far in 2020. Hyundai (+19.9%) almost exactly matches the market growth rate and remains at a strong 19.6% share, well above its YTD level of 17.8%, but the best performer this month is without a doubt Tata (+154%) up 2.5-fold on August 2019 to reach 7.9% share vs. 3.7% a year ago. If Mahindra (+2%) underperforms while staying in positive, both Kia (+74%) and Renault (+41.3%) post stellar results, as does MG (+41.3%) at the tail end of the Top 10. Strikingly in the naughty corner we find global behemoths Toyota (-48.1%), Volkswagen (-36.3%), Nissan (-33.3%), Ford (-14.2%) and Honda (-9.4%), proving once again that the Indian market presents its specific set of challenges and worldwide success often doesn’t help here. Datsun (-45.1%), Jeep (-22.6%) and Skoda (-13.8%) are also falling into oblivion.

The Triber (+56.9%) celebrates one year in market and helps Renault up 41.3%.

Model-wise, the Maruti Swift (+19.5%) is up 4 spots on July to lodge its third win in the past 10 months after last November and February, followed by the Maruti Alto (+42.2%) which remains in the YTD lead. The Maruti Wagon R (+20.8%) is down one spot on last month but advances to #3 year-to-date. Below the Maruti DZire (+2.7%) underperforming, the Hyundai Creta (+95.9%) continues to fully benefit from the new generation and slides into the Top 5 for the 4th consecutive month. The Kia Seltos (+68.4%) is the only additional Top 13 model to outpace the market as it become the second fastest SUV to reach 100.000 wholesales (13 months) below the Maruti Vitara Brezza (12) but above the Hyundai Venue (15), Ford Ecosport (23) and Tata Nexon (24). Further down, the Maruti Ignis (+146.7%), Hyundai Aura (+145.3%), Tata Nexon (+127.6%), Tiago (+89.1%), Renault Kwid (+67.8%) and Triber (+56.9%) impress.

Previous month: India July 2020: Maruti (+1.3%), Tata (+43.2%), Renault (+75.5%) help stabilise market (-1%)

One year ago: India August 2019: Renault Triber, Kia Seltos land with a splash in devastated market (-30.6%)

Full August 2020 Top 15 All India-made brands and Top 85 All-models below.

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