CAR­MAK­ERS DRIVE HOME 9% GROWTH IN MAY

Business Standard - - FRONT PAGE - AJAY MODI

Sales of pas­sen­ger ve­hi­cles (cars, vans and util­ity ve­hi­cles) in the do­mes­tic mar­ket re­mained in the dou­ble digit growth lane in May, helped by dou­ble-digit growth at Maruti Suzuki, Honda and Tata Mo­tors.

Af­ter 14.7 per cent growth in April, first month of fi­nan­cial year 2017-18, sales in May are es­ti­mated to have grown close to ten per cent, in spite of the pos­si­bil­ity of a price cut in some seg­ment of cars from July 1, when the na­tional goods and ser­vices tax (GST) takes ef­fect.

Maruti Suzuki, the big­gest in car sales, re­ported a 15.1 per cent jump in do­mes­tic sales of pas­sen­ger ve­hi­cles (cars, util­ity ve­hi­cles and vans) in May. It sold 130,248 units in the do­mes­tic mar­ket against 113,162 units in the same month last year. Most prod­uct seg­ments at Maruti re­ported strong growth. The util­ity ve­hi­cle seg­ment jumped 66 per cent to 22,608 units; the mini seg­ment (Alto and WagonR) grew 18 per cent to 39,089 ve­hi­cles. The com­pact seg­ment (Baleno, Ig­nis, Dzire, etc) saw an in­crease of 10 per cent to 51,234 units.

The com­pany’s stock hit a new high of ~7,249 at the BSE early on Thurs­day but closed at ~7,143, down al­most one per cent from Wednes­day.

Korea's Hyundai’s sales grew 1.6 per cent to 42,007 units in May. It said the new Xcent posted growth of 30 per cent YoY. Rakesh Sri­vas­tava, di­rec­tor (sales & mar­ket­ing) said the com­pany over­came chal­lenges posted by the im­ple­men­ta­tion of GST.

Util­ity ve­hi­cle ma­jor Mahin­dra & Mahin­dra saw a three per cent in­crease in sales last month to 20,290 units. Ra­jan Wad­hera, its pres­i­dent (au­to­mo­tive), said they had a ro­bust out­look, given the favourable mon­soon pro­jec­tion and the gov­ern­ment's fo­cused in­vest­ment in the ru­ral sec­tor.

Honda Cars said its May sales grew a lit­tle more than 13 per cent to 11,278 units, ow­ing to the de­mand for the new City and WR-V.

Tata Mo­tors did not an­nounce num­bers but it was learnt to have grown 26 per cent to 10,855 units in May, rid­ing on Tigor vol­umes.

Ja­pan’s Toy­ota re­ported a de­cline of 13 per cent vis-à-vis May last year. N Raja, di­rec­tor and se­nior vice-pres­i­dent (sales & mar­ket­ing) pointed to two fac­tors.

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