New Delhi/Chennai, Dec 2 IANS | 2 years ago

Automobile sales in November revealed a downturn in passenger car offtake due to a sluggish economy plagued by high fuel and interest costs, while the two-wheeler segment witnessed healthy buying support from consumers in the festive season.

Sales of the country's largest passenger car manufacturer Maruti Suzuki declined by 10.7 percent at 92,140 units in last month from an off-take of 103,200 units in November 2012 due to sluggish domestic and export demand.

The company's domestic sales were down 5.9 percent at 85,510 units during the period under review from 90,882 units sold in November, last year.

There was a sharp fall in the company's exports. Maruti Suzuki exported just 6,630 units in the month under review, which was a decline of 46.2 percent from the 12,318 units sold overseas during the same month last year.

Chennai-based Hyundai Motor, on the other hand, reported a decline of 10.9 percent in total sales last month on the back of sluggish exports, which stood at 49,681 units as compared to an off-take of 55,762 units in the corresponding month of 2012.

According to the company, its domestic sales decreased by 3.6 percent in the month under review and stood at 33,501 units from 34,751 units sold in the corresponding month of last year.

The country's largest passenger car exporters' sales overseas declined by 23 percent last month at 16,180 units, down from 21,011 units shipped out in November 2012.

"After the festival season, market has been sluggish due to unfavorable macro-economic factors and the low market sentiments resulting lower customer enquiries," said Rakesh Srivastava, senior vice president, sales and marketing, Hyundai Motor India.

Other major players in the Indian auto market Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) also reported a drop in sales.

Tata Motors' total sales, including exports, last month fell by nearly 39 percent, and stood at 40,863 units from 66,500 units sold in the corresponding month of 2012.

Tata Motors' domestic sales were down 40 percent in the month under review and stood at 37,192 units from 62,354 units off-take in November 2012.

The company's exports were down 11.45 percent at 3,671 units last month from 4,146 units being shipped out in the corresponding period of last year.

Mahindra's off-take last month was down 18 percent at 39,255 units from 48,143 units sold in the corresponding month of last year. Domestic sales stood at 36,261 units during last month, as against 46,755 units during November 2012, a decline of 22 percent.

"Post the festive season month of October, the auto industry has turned to further de-growth and continues to remain subdued. Unless some concrete measures are provided for its revival, we do not foresee any immediate turnaround," Pravin Shah, chief executive, automotive division, Mahindra & Mahindra, said in a statement.

"Factors such as increase in input costs and the depreciating rupee have not helped in any way. At Mahindra, we continue to focus on operational excellence to augment our overall performance and remain cautiously optimistic of the situation."

However, the company's exports during the month under review grew by 116 percent at 2,994 units from 1,388 units being shipped off in the corresponding period of last year.

On the other hand, two-wheeler major Hero MotoCorp reported a growth of 5.62 percent from 530,530 units last month from a despatch of 502,305 units during the corresponding month of last year.

"Despite a sluggish market environment, we have been able to achieve such robust volumes due to a slew of strategic initiatives that we rolled out," said Anil Dua, senior vice-president, marketing and sales, Hero MotoCorp, in a statement.

Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India too logged healthy sales of about 43 percent last month which stood at 319,080 units from an off-take of 223,154 units sold in November 2013.

However, two- and three-wheeler manufacturer TVS Motor reported a sales dip of 5.77 percent last month and stood at 161,908 units from an off-take of 171,837 units during November, 2012.

(Posted on 02-12-2013)