Auto industry still struggles with fuel and interest costs
Posted on Aug 02 2014 | IANS
New Delhi, Aug 2 : Despite relief from the central government by way of reduced excise duty, high fuel prices and interest costs dampened customer sentiments for the Indian automobile players, who closed last month with dismal sales figure.
However, beating the trend was India's largest passenger car manufacturer Maruti Suzuki which reported a healthy sales growth of 21.7 percent in total sales, including exports, for July at 101,380 units.
The company sold 83,299 units in July 2013.
The company's domestic sales zoomed 19.9 percent to 90,093 units during the month under review as compared to 75,145 units sold in the corresponding month of last year.
Maruti Suzuki exported 11,287 units last month, which was an increase of 38.4 percent from 8,154 units sold overseas during the corresponding month of 2013.
Chennai-based Hyundai Motors' sales fell 1.4 percent in July at 48,010 units from 48,704 units in the corresponding month of last year.
The company's domestic sales during the month under review grew by 12.7 percent and stood at 29,260 units - up from 25,965 units sold in the corresponding month of 2013.
Its exports last month fell by 17.5 percent at 18,750 units - down from 22,739 units shipped out during the corresponding month of last year.
The company, however, says that it can see green shoots of growth coming with the stabilization of macro-economic factors and near-to-average monsoon rains.
Bus and truck major Tata Motors too reported sluggish sales in the previous month. It sales fell by 23 percent at 39,623 units as compared to 51,549 units sold in July 2013.
The company said in a statement that its domestic sales declined by 25 percent at 35,256 units from 47,272 units sold in July last year.
The company's sales from exports grew by two percent at 4,367 units in the month under review from 4,277 units shipped out in July last year.
Sports utility major Mahindra and Mahindra managed to arrest fall in sales to four percent in monthly sales for last month at 35,567 units from 37,096 units during July 2013.
"The overall sales during the last month was subdued and the market remained challenging. With the monsoon now setting in across the country as well as the ensuing festival season, we expect positive sentiments in the coming months resulting in enhanced demand for our products," said Pravin Shah, chief executive, automotive division and international operations (AFS), Mahindra and Mahindra.
Domestic sales of the company in the month under review fell by four percent at 33,047 units from 34,490 units sold in the corresponding month of last year.
Exports in the month under review declined by three percent at 2,520 units from 2,606 units sold in the corresponding month of last year.
Indo-Japanese automobile company Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) reported a 4.30 percent decline in sales for last month which stood at 13,847 units from 14,470 units sold in July 2013.
General Motors India had a 27.32 percent decline in sales for the last month which stood at 4,726 units from 6,503 units sold in the corresponding period last year.
"The buoyancy in the market is still missing because of high interest rates and high fuel prices. An insufficient monsoon is also affecting sales of small cars in rural areas and tier II cities," said P. Balendran, vice president of the American automobile manufacturer.
"Overall, going by the market scenario, we expect the challenging times to continue till the festival season as the general economic conditions have not improved." Balendran added.
However, two-wheeler segment saw sales growth with two of the major players like Hero MotoCorp and TVS reporting healthy growth numbers
Two-wheeler major Hero closed July with a nine percent sales growth at 529,862 units from 487,545 units from the like period last year.
According to the company, it notched up a sales growth of 10 percent, its highest-ever quarterly sales figure of 1,715,129 units from 1,559,282 units sold in the corresponding quarter of last year.
Two-and-three wheeler maker TVS Motor Company closed last month with a 32 percent sales growth.
The company in a statement said it sold 203,092 units last month, up from 153,676 units sold in July 2013.
Out of the total sales last month, the company exported 36,968 units from 26,145 units sold in July 2013.