Vehicle Sales Rebound in November

After a lacklustre festive season, resulting in tepid sales in October, the auto industry reported decent growth in sales volumes during the month of November 2014, brightening the prospects of an early firm recovery in the Asia’s third largest auto market. The rebound in sales, as reported by the manufacturers, was broad-based cutting across all segments of the market. Total domestic sales comprising all segments, viz. passenger vehicles, CVs, 3-wheelers and 2-wheelers grew by 5.0% and exports by a whopping 32.0% during the month.

Passenger Vehicles

Steadily improving sentiment, falling fuel prices and manufacturers hinting price increase from January 2014 helped passenger vehicle sales in the domestic market clock a modest 5.4% rise to 212,438 units in November 2014 from 201,521 units a year ago. The passenger vehicle exports were on fast track, surging by 25.4% y-o-y to 56,384 units during the month. 

Country's largest car-maker, Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) reported a 19.5% increase in total sales in November at 110,147 units as against 92,140 units in the same month last year. The company’s domestic sales grew by 17.0% during the month to 100,024 units from 85,510 units in November 2013.

Domestic sales of Maruti Suzuki’s mini segment cars, including, Alto and WagonR, declined marginally to 37,746 units as compared to 38,040 units in the year-ago month, while that of the compact segment, comprising Swift, Celeio, Ritz and Dzire rose by 13.8% y-o-y to 37,339. The company's mid-sized sedan Ciaz, which was launched in October, clocked 5,232 units of domestic sales during the month. The company’s exports at 10,123 units in November 2014 soared by 52.7% y-o-y.

Second largest passenger vehicle player, Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) reported an 8.7% uptick in total sales at 54,011 units in November 2014, vis-a-vis 49,681 units in the same month last year. Domestic sales accounted for 35,511 units in November 2014, reflecting a 6.0% growth over 33,501 units in November 2013, while exports at 18,500 units were up 14.3% y-o-y during the month.

Rakesh Srivastava, Sr VP - Sales and Marketing, HMIL said, “Hyundai with a volume of 35,511 units indicate strong demand for Hyundai models, giving growth month after month bettering the industry slow growth. The strong investment of launching four new products in a years’ time has resulted in this growth. Today, Hyundai has one of the youngest product portfolio, lead by Elite i20, which has reached a landmark number of 10,500 units making it as the top seller amongst the strong Hyundai brands.”

Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) also posted a 10.9% increase in total sales at 14,136 units in November 2014, as against total sales volume of 12,748 units in the corresponding month of previous year. TKM’s sales in the Indian market at 12,175 units in November 2014 were up 19.3%, while the exports shrank by 22.8% y-o-y to 1,961 units during the month.

Passenger Vehicles Business Unit of Tata Motors recorded a growth of 16.9% in total sales that aggregated 12,303 units, compared to 10,524 units in November 2013. Domestic sales of Tata passenger vehicles at 11,969 units and growing by a healthy 17.9% year-on-year were propelled by strong Zest and Nano sales numbers. While the sales of the passenger cars in November 2014 at 10,286 units were higher by 30%, the UVs were down 30% year-on-year. 

Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) passenger vehicle sales in domestic market plummeted by 22.6% to 14,473 units in November 2014 from 18,694 units a year back. Overall domestic sales of M&M added up to 32,100 units (including cars, UVs, three-wheelers and Mahindra Trucks and Buses) in November 2014, as against 36,261 units during November 2013, down 11.5%.

Pravin Shah, Chief Executive, Automotive Division & International Operations (AFS), M&M said, “The auto industry continues to its sluggish demand due to factors such as low consumer sentiment and high interest rates. The reducing international crude prices and the subsequent lowering of fuel prices should help in revival of demand in the coming months. We also hope that the current excise duty rates will be extended beyond end of December to get much-needed recovery for the auto industry.”

General Motors India (GMI) continued to struggle in the local market. With total sales of GMI reading 4,157 units, the company reported a sharp 33.1% decline y-o-y in November 2014. During the month, the company exported 150 units to Chile, marking its maiden vehicle shipment to that country.

Ford India sold 12,762 vehicles in combined domestic wholesales and exports during the month November 2014,, as compared to 12,050 vehicles in November 2013. Ford India’s exports during the month stood at 7,101 vehicles (4,143 vehicles a year ago), while domestic wholesales were 5,661 vehicles compared to the corresponding sales tally of 7,909 vehicles last year.

“The perceived improvement in consumer sentiment is yet to translate into better sales for the automotive industry. A lackluster festive season was certainly not what the industry expected. While we are confident of the long-term growth potential of the Indian market, we continue to be cautiously optimistic in the near-term,” said Anurag Mehrotra, ED, Marketing, Sales and Service, Ford India.

Honda Cars India Ltd (HCIL) was yet again the pick of passenger vehicle players in the Indian market. The company registered domestic sales of 15,263 units in November 2014 witnessing a handsome 64% growth y-o-y. HCIL also exported a total volume of 890 units during November 2014

Model wise domestic sales break-up of HCIL in November 2014 read as follows: Brio - 1,050 units; Amaze - 3,310 units; Mobilio - 3,589 units; City - 7,252 units; and CR-V – 62 units.

Speaking on the company’s sales performance, Jnaneswar Sen, Sr VP – Mktg & Sales, HCIL, said, “We continue to witness strong demand for all our products across markets. We are aggressively expanding our dealer network to reach out to more customers & recently we reached the milestone of 200 dealer network. During November, we began the second shift of production in Tapukara plant, which has helped us in improving the availability of Honda City.”

Commercial Vehicles

Shaking off the prolonged slump lasting over 30 months, commercial vehicles are slowly driving back to the growth path. While domestic sales of M&HCVs recorded a quantum 40.1% jump y-o-y,  LCVs were stuck in the rut, witnessing a negative growth of 2.1% in November 2014. 

Tata Motors’ sales of commercial vehicles in November 2014 in the domestic market added up to 25,458 units, a 5.8% decline compared to 27,039 units sold in November last year. LCV sales at 16,006 units were down 20.8% y-o-y. However, domestic sales of Tata M&HCVs at 9,452 units were in fast lane, growing robustly by 38.5% y-o-y.

With domestic sales numbering 6,457 units in November, 2014, Ashok Leyland was on roll clocking a healthy 33.6% growth y-o-y. The company’s M&HCV sales in domestic market at 4,057 units notched up a spectacular 84.2% increase.

Volvo Eicher Commercial Vehicles (VECVs) clocked a 15.8% uptick in domestic sales at 2,233 units in Novemer 2014 over 1,928 units a year ago.

Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) also saw domestic sales of its CVs rise by 7.8% y-o-y to 12,622 units during the month.

Two-Wheelers

After a blip in October, two-wheelers staged a recovery with a modest year-on-year growth of 4.9% in domestic sales, which aggregated 1,301,431 units in November 2014.

Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) stayed in fast lane, notching up a decent growth of 15.4% in domestic sales to 353,743 units in November 2014 from 306,746 units a year back.

Hero MotoCorp’s sales of two-wheelers in the Indian market at 521,001 units in November were flat. However, the company’s exports zoomed 161.7% y-o-y to 26,412 units.

Domestic two-wheeler sales of TVS Motor Company stood at 179,452 units in November 2014, up 32.7% from 135,218 units a year ago.  The company’s exports were also on overdrive leapfrogging by 54.6% y-o-y to 31,526 units.

Bajaj Auto remained in the negative terrain with domestic sales of Bajaj Two-Wheelers slipping by 21.5% y-o-y to 127,649 units in November 2014. However, the company’s two-wheeler exports were on course, witnessing 15.7% rise y-o-y to 134,299 during the month.

India Yamaha Motors recorded a 12.3% increase in domestic sales at 44,678 units in November 2014 as compared to the corresponding sales tally of 39,777 units last year. 

The past three months have seen a momentum of enhanced sales in medium and heavy commercial vehicles (M&HCVs), thanks to the falling fuel prices and push to the mining and infrastructure development activities. As for other segments, while the despatches from manufacturers show uptick, the situation at the retail level remains hazy.

 

 

 

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