The results are out. Fiscal year 2014 saw the auto industry post a flat growth of around 3%. However, the country’s largest car manufacturer Maruti Suzuki turned out to be the big winner in the passenger vehicle segment by registering an increase of around 300 basis point in its market share at 42% (see table). While Maruti managed to swim against the tide, the country’s largest commercial vehicle manufacturer Tata Motors and second largest motorcycle maker Bajaj Auto were not so lucky.
While Tata Motors saw its market share in commercial vehicles falling by around 620 basis points (49.8% vs 56% a year earlier), Bajaj Auto’s market share in motorcycles slid by almost 400 basis points (20.3% vs 24.43%).
Bajaj Auto, which saw newer rivals like Honda, Mahindra Two Wheelers and Yamaha gain ground at its expense, is confident of regaining lost territory this fiscal, its managing director Rajiv Bajaj told a business news channel on Wednesday.
In a tough market, Maruti Suzuki managed to improve its market share on the back of strong demand for the Alto mini car, Swift premium hatch and Dzire sedan in the early part of the year. In the last quarter of the fiscal, Maruti’s volumes got a boost from the launch of the Celerio in February, which garnered 30,000 bookings in the first month itself.
The company was thus able to maintain a flat volume growth at 10.53 lakh units, even though the overall passenger vehicle market fell about 6% in FY14 to around 25 lakh units. Maruti’s market share gains thus also came from the market share erosion of rivals like Tata Motors and Mahindra.
Tata Motors sharply lost market share in commercial vehicles (CVs) as volumes fell 28% to 3.19 lakh units.
In the fiscal, overall CV segment sales fell around 20% to 6.4 lakh units as macroeconomic growth slowed and mining activities remained low, leading to overall fleet utilisation levels falling to a record low of 60%. The CV market has contracted for almost two years
(CV sales fell 2% to 7.93 lakh units in FY13).
Tata’s loss in the CV segment was picked up by Mahindra and Eicher, while new entrant Bharat-Benz also made early gains, said analysts. Meanwhile, rivals like Ashok Leyland and AMW also recorded drops.
Interestingly, Tata Motors' CV market share had dropped to an all-time low of 47.8% for the first time in December 2013, on the