Tractor industry - double digit growth is possible next year also? If you look at numbers—the way this quarter has panned out, we were all projecting this quarter to be very strong for the industry. It will be strong so as to give 40% plus growth. It has been a surprise and we expect the momentum to continue in Q1 too. But having said that, looking at the likelihood of a normal monsoon, you can see a positive surprise to go to double digit next year. Our conservative estimate today is still at about single digit but anything is possible.
One of the reasons we expect this quarter to do well is also because the festive season has been preponed to March. But overall I think the first quarter is going to be a very strong season for Rabi crop, so we expect it will still give handsome growth for the industry. Hence, we can look at double digit growth happening in first quarter.
What about margins? For the last quarter, we have introduced some product to the lower end of the horse power (HP) segmentation, which will be slightly negative for this quarter compared to the earlier quarter. The effort was still to maintain the level that we have been giving in the past. Our guidance for the next year will be to improve margin by 1%, compared to the FY18 numbers so that is something we will again try to hold.
You spoke about single digit growth for the full year but what about Escorts? Your FY18 full-year sales have gone up by 26%. What do you think you can do in FY19? Our efforts would be to do better than the industry. We should be looking at double digit growth. Having said that, we also should look at the last two years. FY17 we grew by 24% and in FY18 grew by 25%. Given two very strong years, there is obvious reason for us to be little cautious for the third year.
On exports: This year, our exports grew almost 80% but the base was very low. We have close to 2,000 units exported and expect to add another 1,000. So we expect to export around 3,000 units for next year.
Market Share: If you look at the full year, FY18 we are ending it at about 11.1% market share, which is about 30 bps up over last year. If you look at the quarter ended March, we have shown a very strong performance. For the March quarter, we are at about 13.5% market share, which is normally a seasonal month in northern markets.
Demand of above 50 HP segment: If you look at overall industry, which is 50HP segment and above, it is very small, about 7-8%. Even though growth will probably be faster, the base is very small as of now. We don’t think it will really be a game-changer for the industry in terms of volumes or margins but yes, there is a trend is for higher HP going forward.