Do­mes­tic Car Sales in Septem­ber Climb to High­est this Fis­cal

Business Sphere - - Contents - By Our Cor­re­spon­dent

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)

Vi­nay Pi­parsa­nia

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