Automobile sales gain pace on monsoon

Aided by good monsoon and positive consumer sentiment ahead of the festival season, car makers reported strong sales performance in August.

Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors and Honda Cars have reported a robust increase in sales of passenger vehicles during August compared to the same period last year.

The country’s largest car maker Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) reported a 23.8% increase in total sales at 1.64 lakh units in August 2017 against 1.32 lakh units in the year-ago period. MSI’s domestic sales stood at 1.52 lakh units, up 26.7% from 1.20 lakh units in August last year. Sales of the compact segment comprising Swift, Estilo, Dzire and Baleno rose by 62.4% to 74,012 units from 45,579 units in the year-ago period. However, sales of mini segment cars, including Alto and WagonR, witnessed a marginal decline to 35,428 units from 35,490 units.

Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) registered 9% growth in its domestic sales at 47,103 units. HMIL attributed the substantial growth to the successful roll out of the Next Gen Verna. Rakesh Srivastava, Director (Sales and Marketing), HMIL said: “ With the spread of monsoon and a strong product portfolio, we see strong buying in the coming festive season.”

Tata Motors posted 14% increase in its passenger and commercial vehicle sales (including exports) at 48,988 vehicles against 43,000 vehicles sold in August 2016. The company’s domestic sales of commercial and passenger vehicles for August 2017 were at 45,906 units, marking an increase of 26%. This was primarily due to growing demand across segments and increased positive customer sentiments, the company said. The continued ramp-up in production of BS-IV vehicles since April 2017 also helped the sales push, it added.

In the domestic market, Tata Motors sold 14,340 units of passenger vehicles, representing a growth of 10% over August 2016. The growth was bolstered by the strong demand for the Tata Tiago and the Tata Tigor. The car segment remained flat at 11,462 units and the utility vehicle segment grew by 84% at 2,878 units driven by the Tata HEXA. However, exports declined by 53% to 3,082 from 6,595 vehicles due to continued drop in industry volumes in Sri Lanka and Nepal, Tata Motors said in a statement.

Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) reported 4% increase in its total sales at 42,116 vehicles compared to 40,591 units recorded in the year-ago period. The passenger vehicles segment (which includes utility vehicles, cars and vans) accounted for 19,325 vehicles against 18,246 vehicles. Rajan Wadhera, president, Automotive Sector, M&M, said: “This upsurge in demand has been due to good monsoons and our rural penetration. Our passenger vehicles grew by 6% and the overall sales by 4%. Our brands continue to gain traction despite several external challenges. As we get into festive season, we are confident of a good growth over the next couple of months on the back of our diversified product portfolio.”

Ford India, however, reported 40.39% decline in total sales at 15,740 units in August this year against 26,408 units sold in the same month last year, Ford India said in a statement. Domestic sales were down 9% to 7,777 units from 8,548 in August last year. Exportsduring the month declined 55.41% to 7,963 units from 17,860. According to Ford India president and managing director Anurag Mehrotra, constraints in the supply chain severely impacted export as well as domestic production for Ford cars in August.

Honda Cars India registered 25% growth in its monthly domestic sales at 17,365 units (13,941 units).

Ashok Leyland sold 13,634 vehicles in August (10,897), registering 25% growth.

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