August auto sales numbers reveal that Toyota Innova, arguably the most successful and longest reigning people mover in India, may have finally met its match in the just launched Honda Mobilio.
Powered by the scorching sales of Mobilio, Honda Cars India said its August sales nearly doubled to 16,758 cars in India. This was achieved with negligible production of the Honda City due to a shift in its production location during August.
Mobilio contributed nearly a third, or about 5,530 units, of Honda’s sales in August. The leader, however, was the smaller sedan Amaze, which sold 9,198 units during the month. Brio, the small car, sold 1,211 units.
In contrast, the mood at Toyota Kirloskar Motor was sobre. The company reported sales of 11,215 units in August in India compared to 12,007 units in 2013. 1,169 units of Etios series were sold during the month, the company said.
It wasn’t much better at Maruti Suzuki, which makes the Ertiga, another competitor to the Mobilio. Total sales of Ertiga, Gypsy and Grand Vitara, which make up the utility vehicles brought out by Maruti Suzuki, numbered to just 5,491 units, up 20% year on year. In comparison, Maruti’s mid-range cars, which comprise Swift, Ritz, Celerio and Dzire, saw sales go up 53% year on year in August.
Honda had seen a huge spike in its sale earlier this year when the new City hit its showrooms. With Mobilio, which is priced considerably below the Toyota Innova, Honda seems to have successfully wooed the Indian customer looking for Japanese quality at an affordable price tag.
Against a showroom price of Rs 7.00-12.3 lakhs for Mobilio, Innova is priced at Rs 9.8-15.2 lakhs.
Honda attributed its strong numbers in August to the success of the Mobilio launch and the ongoing momentum in the sales of Amaze.
“The tremendous growth for the month has been achieved owing to strong sales momentum for the family sedan Honda Amaze and tremendous response for the newly launched stylish 7 seater MPV Honda Mobilio,” the company said.
“The festive season has already set-in and will bring further cheer to the market. We are geared up for strong sales in coming months,” it added.
In contrast, the festive season was yet to start for Toyota. “We look forward to increased demand in the coming months due to the festive season,” the company said.