Domestic Car Sales in September Climb to Highest this Fiscal
Car sales in India rose to 1,56,018 units in September, the highest level this fiscal, raising hopes of a rebound in the market, which has been reeling under a prolonged slump. “The good news is that for cars, passenger vehicles, utility vehicles and two-wheelers, September was the best month in terms of absolute numbers this fiscal. I hope we can continue with this momentum,” SIAM President Vikram Kirloskar said. However, the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), struck a cautious note, saying it was unlikely that passenger car sales would post positive growth this fiscal under current economic circumstances. It said the decline of 4.67 per cent in car sales in the first half of this fiscal was the worst since 2002-03, when sales dropped by 6.96 per cent in the same period. Asked if the September sales reflected a rebound in the market, Kirloskar said: “It is difficult to say, but we have had a good monsoon and some positives around.” Kirloskar said it was unlikely for car sales to post positive growth this fiscal “unless something really nice happens in the festive season.” “I will be really happy if there is flat or even a slight positive growth this fiscal,” he added. Domestic passenger car sales grew 0.73 per cent in September from 1,54,884 units a year earlier. Kirloskar said macroeconomic challenges such as high interest rates, inflation and fuel prices continued to affect consumer sentiment. Kirloskar said employment of contract workers and trainees across the chain in the industry from component suppliers to manufacturers to dealers had been affected “significantly.” On the stimulus package that the industry has sought from the government, he said: “We are trying very hard to explain to the government.” In August, domestic car sales rose 15.37 per cent to 1,33,486 units, ending a record nine-month slump in sales. Kirloskar said owing to the slump, there was currently an excess capacity of about 25-30 per cent in the passenger vehicle segment. Asked if this would affect investment, he said: “The ones that have started will continue, but whether fresh investments will come or not is the question.” According to SIAM, motorcycle sales last month grew 17.44 per cent to 8,85,117 units from 7,53,693 units a year earlier. Total two-wheeler sales in September grew 18.39 per cent to 12,65,704 units from 10,69,069 units in the same period last year, SIAM said. Kirloskar said the commercial vehicles segment continued to struggle and their September numbers were the secondworst in more than three years. Sales of commercial vehicles were down 26.95 per cent to 51,680 units from 70,746 units a year earlier, SIAM said. “The stoppage of infrastructure projects and also in mining has affected the commercial vehicles segment badly,” Kirloskar said. Sales of vehicles across categories registered growth of 11.64 per cent to 15,80,254 units in September from 14,15,526 units in the same month of 2012, it added. Earlier, carmakers Maruti Suzuki, Honda and Ford had posted an increase in domestic sales in September, while others including Mahindra, Tata Motors and Hyundai, reported decline
in a market which has started picking up, albeit slowly, with the onset of the festive season. Two-wheeler makers Hero MotoCorp and Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India reported healthy growth in September riding on good monsoon. The Country’s largest car maker Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) posted a 1.8 per cent increase in sales during the month to 90,399 units as against 88,801 units in September last year. MSI said sales of its popular compact sedan Dzire rose by 42.9 per cent during the month under review at 16,708 units as against 11,694 units in September, 2012. Honda Cars continued its sales growth on the back of its entry level sedan Amaze, posting an overall 88 per cent jump in its domestic sales at 10,354 units for September 2013. The company had sold 5,508 units in the September 2012. “We are happy to see the huge demand for the Honda Amaze and Brio. The sales figures have set a positive tone for the upcoming festive season,” HCIL Senior Vice President (Marketing & Sales) Jnaneswar Sen said. Ford India posted 36.51 per cent increase in its domestic sales to 10,640 units in September this year as against 7,794 units in the same month last year on the back of newly launched compact sports utility vehicle EcoSport. “Despite prevailing difficult economic conditions, we are excited to see our products finding greater acceptance among customers that is mirrored in our sales,” Ford India Executive Director (Marketing, Sales and Service) Vinay Piparsania said. Toyota Kirloskar Motor said its sales in India were at 12,015 units in September 2013, marginally down from 12,115 units in the corresponding month last year. “The market continues to be sluggish. We hope that the market will improve with the upcoming festive season,” TKM Deputy Managing Director and COO (Marketing and Commercial) Sandeep Singh said. Hyundai’s domestic sales stood at 30,601 units during the month, marginally down from 30,851 units in September 2012. “In the current market scenario, vo lume growth is a big challenge. . . We expect the market challenges to continue and have a cautious optimism for the upcoming festive season,” HMIL Senior VicePresident, Sales and Marketing, Rakesh Srivastava, said. Meanwhile, homegrown auto major Tata Motors’ passenger vehicle sales in the domestic market stood at 12,879 units in September, down 40.51 per cent from 21,652 units a year-ago. Mahindra & Mahindra’s ( M&M) domestic sales stood at 40,574 units as against 45,263 units in the same month last year, down 10.35 per cent. “While there has been a growth over August 2013, it is not to the extent that makes us comfortable, especially as we approach the festive season,” M&M Chief Executive (Automotive Division) Pravin Shah said. General Motors India posted a 4.79 per cent decline in sales at 7,048 units in September 2013. “The market continues to remain depressed due to weak economic conditions, negative market sentiments and various other factors,” GM India Vice-President P Balendran said. However, the company expected the market to show some improvement closer to the festive season, he added. In the twowheeler segment, market leader Hero MotoCorp reported a 15.78 per cent rise in total sales at 4,68,670 units in September this year. Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India reported 35 per cent growth in sales at 3,28,965 units for September 2013. Similarly, Yamaha Motor India Sales also reported 42 per cent growth in total sales at 60,031 during August 2013 as compared to the corresponding period last year. Chennai-based TVS Motor Co reported 16 per cent increase in total sales in September at 1,97,409 units as against 1,70,097 units in the same month last year.
HCIL Senior, Vice President (Marketing & Sales) Jnaneswar Sen
SIAM President, Vikram Kirloskar
TKM Deputy, Managing Director and COO (Marketing and Commercial) Sandeep Singh
Ford India, Executive Director (Marketing, Sales and Service)