November sales dip for many on high interest rates, inflation

It was a mixed November for auto-makers, with some companies reporting improved sales and others clocking lower numbers over the same month in 2011.

In the two-wheelers segment, the largest manufacturer Hero MotoCorp, reported a dip in sales in November, followed by Chennai-based TVS Motor Company.

In the passenger cars segment, market leader Maruti Suzuki led the growth, selling 1,03,200 units, a growth of 12.5 per cent. It had sold 91,772 units in November last year.

However, the country’s second largest passenger car manufacturer Hyundai Motor India (HMIL) reported a decline in its sales by 2.3 per cent to 55,762 units (57,071 units).

“The adverse market conditions due to high interest rates and inflation continued to pose challenges for growth. Increased diesel fuel price temporarily affected the strong momentum of diesel car sales,” said Rakesh Srivastava, Vice-President - Marketing and Sales, Hyundai Motor.

Tata Motors’ total sales for passenger and commercial vehicles declined by around 14 per cent to 66,500 units compared with 76,823 units in November last year. Mahindra & Mahindra’s sales rose 18 per cent to 48,143 units (40,722 units).

Renault India, the fully owned subsidiary of Renault SA (France), sold 6,607 units. The company that started its operations in May last year sold 175 units of only two models that time – SUV Koleos and premium sedan Fluence. It has five models from its stable now including Duster, Fluence, Koleos, Pulse and Scala.

Honda Cars India saw an 87 per cent growth in its total sales at 3,711 units last month against 1,982 units in the same month last year. Ford India also had a marginal up in sales with a total of 10,155 units compared with 10,091 units. Commercial vehicles manufacturer Eicher Motors sold 3,565 units of trucks and buses, 10 per cent more than the 3,248 units it sold in November 2011.

Toyota Kirloskar Motor reported a 26 per cent decline in sales at 10,352 units compared to 13,956 units.

In the two-wheelers segment, Hero MotoCorp despatched over five lakh units in November, a more than six per cent decline in sales compared with 5,36,772 units in November last year. According to analysts, the industry is going through tough times, whether it is commercial vehicles, passenger vehicles or two-wheelers.

“It is more due to sentiments of people who are postponing purchases because of high interest rates. There’s not enough cash flow and banks are also not opening up. It is not that people do not want to buy,” Abdul Majeed, Partner and head of auto practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers India, told Business Line. TVS Motor Company’s sales also declined by around four per cent to over 1,66,783 units (1,72,829 units).

However, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India saw around 12 per cent growth, selling 2,23,116 units compared with 1,98,782 units in November last year.

India Yamaha Motor’s overall sales at 44,691 units (39,162 units) were up 14 per cent.

Suzuki Motorcycle India registered a 25 per cent increase in November sales at 39,134 units (31,332).

ronendrasingh.s@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on December 1, 2012)
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