14 July 2011

automotive market forecast 2011

automotive market forecast 2011 ; Automobile industry body SIAM today lowered its vehicle sales growth forecast for FY'12 to 11-13% from 12-15% announced three months earlier, mainly due to higher interest rates and rising fuel prices.

The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) also predicted a lower growth of 10-12% during 2011-12, as against 16-18% announced earlier.

It, however, said India became the top growing passenger car market in the world during the January-June period this year, overtaking the US, which grew at 14.40%.

"Increase in interest rates has been higher than what we had thought three months earlier... Fuel price rise is more than what we had anticipated," SIAM President Pawan Goenka told reporters here.

He, however, said commodity prices, which are another big concern for the auto industry, have started softening in recent months and hence, it is unlikely that any company will raise the prices of their products.

"We are sitting at a threshold where if interest rates go up further, it will have a devastating impact on the industry. The three biggest concerns at present for the industry are lower general sentiment due to lower GDP forecast and various scams, higher finance rates and increasing fuel prices," Goenka said.

In the first quarter, two leading car-makers, Maruti Suzuki and Tata Motors , did not experience good growth, he said, adding, "The rest of the quarters of this fiscal depend on how Maruti Suzuki and Tata Motors perform."

Labour unrest, which had completely stopped production at Maruti Suzuki's Manesar plant for 13 days, is another major concern for the auto industry of the country, he added.

Stressing that the industry will grow at a double-digit rate, Goenka said: "Our revised forecast is now 11-13% for the entire auto sector. Both the passenger car and passenger vehicles segments have been projected to grow at a lower rate 10-12% in FY'12."

With expectations of a good monsoon season and arrival of the festive season, sales in the passenger vehicle segment are likely to pick up again at the end of this quarter, he added.

There were 13 new launches in the both the passenger vehicles and two-wheeler segments last quarter. Besides, the passenger vehicle and two-wheeler industries both saw three vehicles being refreshed to suit consumer tastes, Goenka said.

Dwelling on the forecast, SIAM said the growth projection for the two-wheeler segment has been unchanged, while that of the three-wheeler segment has been lowered to 8-10% from 9-11%.

Utility vehicle sales will surge by 10-12% compared to 12-14% announced earlier, he said.

Goenka said the commercial vehicle segment is likely to witness slower growth of 12-14% than the earlier projection of 14-16%.

While sales in the light commercial vehicles segment are now estimated to rise by 17-19%, instead of the earlier forecast of 18-21%, medium and heavy commercial vehicle sales are expected to be up by only 8-10%, as against 10-12%, he added.

Talking about India's performance compared to other global markets, Goenka said: "In passenger vehicles, India was the fastest growing market at 18.20%in the first six months of 2011. However, it was at the fifth position with
12.70% in the commercial vehicles category."

In the passenger vehicles category, the US was the second fastest growing market in the world, with a 14.40% jump in sales.

Germany, China and Brazil followed the list with a 14.30%, 11% and 8.30%increase in sales, respectively.

In the commercial vehicles segment, Germany was the fastest growing country, with sales rising by 28.20% year-on-year, followed by the UK, Brazil and the US, which experienced sales growth of 26.30%, 18.70% and 13.70%, respectively, Goenka said.

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