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The commercial vehicle segment is only just witnessing signs of revival after a prolonged slowdown. Demand from the mining, haulage and infrastructure due to increased focus from the new government’s Make in India campaign is expected to breathe life back into the medium and heavy commercial vehicle sector. Fleet operators are once again optimistic and have begun replacement of vehicles. Patchy recovery notwithstanding, truck companies are going full steam ahead with new launches and innovative marketing strategies to get a lion’s share of the market that is expected to grow 20 per cent.Which companies are running the Indian truck market?
In the last decade, foreign auto makers — Volvo-Eicher, Scania and Daimler — have made inroads into the domestic market with interesting product portfolios tailored to suit the Indian buyers. The commercial vehicle segment in India has largely been in the hands of Ashok Leyland and Tata Motors. Despite the competition, the Indian majors continue to be rulers of the Indian roads. Sales figures for the last fiscal year show that Ashok Leyland has increased its share, whereas Tata Motors has protected its share. In terms of overall sales, Tata Motors held onto a 55 per cent share and Ashok Leyland’s share increased from 25 per cent to 28 per cent. The two-year lull in sales has forced Tata Motors to restructure its truck and bus unit by strengthening its focus on buyers’ needs and modifying its product segmentation strategy. In February, year-on-year sales rose by 34 per cent due to better truck fleet utilisation.
The second largest commercial vehicle maker of India, Ashok Leyland, reported a 24 per cent increase in year-on-year sales and a 17 per cent increase in volume. Compared with the last fiscal year, Ashok Leyland’s light commercial vehicle (LCV) sales declined by 6 per cent, whereas the medium and heavy commercial vehicles arm registered 29 percent growth. However, the Hinduja flagship company has pushed ahead of Tata Motors in the LCV market. In the pickup category, Mahindra & Mahindra continues to dominate with a market share equalling 73 per cent. Ashok Leyland and Tata Motors have much smaller slices of the pie — 14 and 12 percent. The need for ‘last-mile connectivity’ is expected to boost this segment till 2020.Tata and Ashok Leyland come out on top with established brand value
In February 2014, Ashok Leyland Chairman Dheeraj Hinduja said, “Today, we have a market share of about 25 per cent in India. Our focus is to continue to grow it further and the target is to take it to about 30 per cent in the next three to four years.” Ashok Leyland has been selling some of its non-core assets (Albonair and Avia), expanding its network, increasing exports and restructuring the organization to get back on track. Vinod Dasari, the MD of Ashok Leyland said that he was “pushing growth in five business units other than trucks — defence, engines and power solutions, LCVs, spares and construction equipment…The idea is to reach a stage when the truck business accounts for only half of the total sales revenue.” In the next five years, Hinduja wants the company to break into the top ten truck makers in the world.
Although Daimler, Scania and Volvo-Eicher have emerged as ‘formidable challengers,’ Tata and Ashok Leyland with their established brand value come out on top. ICRA’s Subrata Ray said, “Owing to strong brand loyalty of incumbents, ramp-up by new players could be gradual. The industry may not see a significant change in market share in the immediate term.”
The post Indian truck majors still dominate the local market appeared first on India Transport Portal.
The Indian population has witnessed a marked transition in the quality of life as a result of increasing economic growth. As one of the fastest developing economies in the world, Indians’ lifestyle and consumption patterns are changing thanks to technology and affluence. Today, Indians are more aware of the need for sustainable development; they realise that mitigating the environmental consequences of their fuel consumption is the need of the hour. People have adopted various fuel-saving measures in the face of price fluctuations driven by the economy—from driving with the windows open to constantly checking the tyre pressure.
How do the Indians try to save fuel? According to the Shell Fuel economy Fact or Fiction Report, nearly 83 per cent of the Indians want to work towards achieving some measure of fuel economy and a staggering 63 per cent of the people don’t know how to go about getting to that goal. Of the 1000 drivers who were part of the international oil company commissioned study, 54 per cent of the people fall victim to fuel saving myths. The study found that 95 per cent of the people believed that turning on the AC would help overcome wind resistance and thereby improve fuel economy instead of rolling down the windows. About 78 per cent ‘burp their car’ (this releases the air pockets in the fuel tank)—49 per cent do this in an effort to save fuel, and close to 92 per cent ‘warm up the engine’ before they start driving—68 per cent of these drivers think that letting the engine run for a bit will save fuel.
“The Shell Fuel economy Fact or Fiction Report shows just how important saving fuel is for Indian motorists, along with the incredible ways they employ to be more fuel efficient. Some of the beliefs revealed through the study were actually wasting fuel rather than helping to conserve it. It becomes pertinent that awareness about wasteful practices is highlighted,” said Shell Retail India GM, Ravi Sundararajan. While 86 per cent turn off the lights at home when they go out, only 59 per cent lightened the load in the boot of the car to save energy.
India is committed to address climate change and base its energy policy to mitigate the environmental issues arising out of disturbing energy consumption patterns. Indian drivers can help; they can save fuel—petrol or diesel—by checking the air filter, tyre pressure, and brake system; testing the battery, belts and hoses, lights, wipers, wheel alignment, and shock absorbers; and inspecting the levels of the transmission, power steering, brake, antifreeze and washer fluids every two or three months. They can save significant pennies by avoiding clutch driving, maintaining the optimum speed as recommended by the manufacturer, minimising idling, not using vehicles for short distances and carpooling, developing smooth driving styles, and refueling at times when petrol is densest. Leading auto makers have various fuel-efficient models that have been tailored to suit Indian conditions and Indians have definitely woken up to vehicles that run on alternative energy sources. The Centre will have to promote clean technology, enforce stringent motor laws and educate people about fuel-saving measures to achieve sustainable development.
The post Shell report: most Indians know nothing about fuel economy appeared first on India Transport Portal.