November Brings Cheer to Auto Market 

The Indian auto market maintained the same pace in November that it had gained during the course of festive season in October. The monthly auto sales report for November 2017 saw Indian auto players post double-digit growth numbers. 

Commercial Vehicles, for instance, have witnessed a robust growth led by medium and heavy commercial vehicles. The Centre recently announced a number of infrastructure as well as road and highway projects to boost the economic growth, and the effect is clearly becoming visible.

Even in the passenger vehicle segment, several car makers reported double-digit growth. 

GDP in the Q2 period, July to September 2017, also grown at 6.3%, a positive indicator of the economy coming back to normalcy, especially after it plunged to 5.7% in Q1. This augurs well for the industry.

The two-wheeler market, the bellwether of the rural economy as well as urban demand, is also picking up.

While domestic sales saw healthy growth for all carmakers active in India, exports seem to have taken a hit over the course of last month. Even Maruti Suzuki's export figures remained grounded with meagre 0.8% growth rate. Toyota was the worst hit with exports falling by over 45.0% during November. Contrastingly, Ford India was able to post over 36.0% growth in exports, which is also the best by the company in India.

Passenger Vehicles Sales Speeding Up

The buzz is gradually getting back into the passenger vehicle (PV) market and the improved sales numbers in November 2017 are proof of that.

Total passenger vehicle sales in domestic market at 275,417 units in November 2017 grew by 14.29% from 240,983 units during the same month last year.

Maruti Suzuki India (MSI), which is aiming at a target of 2.0 million unit sales annually by 2020, set the tone for passenger vehicle sales momentum during the month. The company clocked a 14.0% uptick in its domestic passenger vehicle sales that stood at 144,297 units in November 2017, compared to 126,220 units a year earlier.

The sought after small car portfolio of the company hit a rough patch too. Sales of mini segment cars, including Alto and WagonR, witnessed a 1.8% decline to 38,204 units during the month under review from 38,886 units in November 2016. Even the sales of company's flagship mid-sized sedan Ciaz fell by 26.2% to 4,009 units during the month.

Meanwhile, the compact segment of Maruti Suzuki featuring offerings like Swift, Estilo, Dzire and Baleno went on post growth of 32.4% in November. Sales of company's utility vehicles, including Gypsy, Grand Vitara, Ertiga, S-Cross and compact SUV Vitara Brezza increased by 34.0% to 23,072 units in November, from 17,215 units in the same month of 2016.

Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) sold 44,008 units in domestic market during November 2017, up 10.0% (November 2016: 40,016 units). The company’s exports at 14,002 units during the month, however, slow down by 18.0% y-o-y. Rakesh Srivastava, Director - Sales & Mktg, HMIL, said “Hyundai volume of 44,008 units is a growth of 10% with strong performance of the newly launched bestseller Next Gen Verna along with GRAND i10, ELITE i20 and CRETA.”

UV major, Mahindra & Mahindra was back in positive territory in November and registered domestic sales of 38,570 vehicles, growing by 18.0% vis-a-vis 32,564 vehicles a year ago. The company’s passenger vehicles segment (which includes UVs, Cars and Vans) sold 15,990 vehicles in November 2017, as against 13,143 vehicles during November 2016, a growth of 21.6%. In the M&HCV segment, M&M sold 792 vehicles for the month, a growth of 122%. Exports for November 2017 stood at 2,531 vehicles, a de-growth of 6%.

Rajan Wadhera, President, Automotive Sector, M&M, said, "We are happy to be in a positive growth phase for November 2017, which is usually a lean period post the festive season. Our passenger and small CV growth for the month of November have been very encouraging at 21% and 29% respectively, while the M&HCV segment continued to grow very well."

Riding on strong growth momentum of new generation cars, another home-grown player, Tata Motors sold 18,832 passenger vehicle, including cars, utility vehicles and vans in domestic market during November 2017, which marked a growth of 38.14%, vis-a-vis 13,633 units in November last year. 

Honda Cars India Ltd (HCIL) clocked sale of 11,819 units in India, witnessing a strong growth of 47.2% in November 2017 (November 2016: 8,029 units). The model-wise domestic sales break-up of HCIUL in November was as follows: WR-V - 3,521 units, City - 3,315 units, Jazz - 2,039 units, Amaze - 1,976 units, BR-V - 793 units.

Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) sold a total of 12,734 units in the domestic market in November 2017, growing by 12.6% (November 2016: 11,309 units). N Raja, Director & Sr VP, Sales & Mktg, TKM said, “Toyota has sustained a positive growth since last three months. With maximum utilization of Plant 1 and maintaining lean inventory, we are trying to reduce the waiting period of Innova and Fortuner for our customers.”

Ford India reported a growth of 13.1% in domestic sales y-o-y to 7,777 units in November 2017 compared to 6,876 units a year ago. Anurag Mehrotra, President & MD, Ford India, said, “November was all about the new Ford EcoSport, which is winning the hearts and minds of customers, not only with its introductory price but the whole host of features.”

Renault India, clocked domestic sales of 7,800 units in November 2017, witnessed a steep 18.78% decline from 9,604 units a year ago.

Likewise, Volkswagen India also registered a negative percentage rate of 14.65% y-o-y to 3,426 units in November.

Festivities continue into November for 2W

The year 2017 is nearing its end. Two-wheeler OEMs had stellar sales during the festive season and most of them carried the positive momentum in the November sales as well. The total two-wheeler sales in domestic market rose by 23.5% to 1,535,277 units from 1,243,246 units vis-a-viz November 2016.

Hero MotoCorp Ltd (HMCL) registered six lakh-plus sales for the seventh consecutive month this fiscal (FY’18). Hero MotoCorp sales tally 605,270 units in the month of November 2017, registering a growth of 26% over the corresponding month last year (November 2016: 479,856units). Driven by HMCL’s iconic brands – Splendor, Passion, HF Deluxe, Glamour motorcycles and its range of scooters – Maestro Edge, Duet and Pleasure, the company sold 525,224 units of motorcycles and 80,046 units of scooters in November 2017.

Growing faster than industry, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India’s domestic sales up 44.3% to 432,124 units in November 2017 compared to 299,414 units in November 2016 while the exports surged 6.14% to 27,667 units compared to 26,066 units in the same period last year. HMSI motorcycle sales grew 56% from 96,338 units in November 2016 to 150,606 units in this year same month. The sales of HMSI scooter segment, led by Activa and Grazia, clocked a healthy 39% increase to 281,744 units in November 2017. 

Y S Guleria, Sr VP - Sales & Mktg, HMSI, said, “Definitely demonetisation last November created a low base effect but the demand in November was visible. While the Activa legacy goes, the new scooter Grazia ensured that excitement continue even after festival. Motorcycle sales momentum was led by rural demand.”

TVS Motor registered growth of 11.1% with sales (including exports) increasing from 219,088 units in November 2016 to 243,323 units in November 2017. 

The Pune-based bike maker, Bajaj Auto notched up 11.0% increase, selling 263,970 units in November. 

Popular motorcycle manufacturer, Royal Enfield clocked 21.3% uptick in its domestic sales that added up to 67,776 units in November this year (November 2016: 55,843 units).

Domestic sales of India Yamaha Motor at 52,455 units in Nov’17 were slugging vis-a-vis 51,106 units, a year ago.

Suzuki Motorcycle India Pvt Ltd (SMIPL) reported 37.2% rise in its total sales at 49,535 units in November as against 36,094 units in the same month last year. 

M&HCVs assist CV sales on the road to recovery

Commercial vehicles are back on the growth trajectory, with a step up of 50.43% in domestic sales at 68,846 units in November 2017 as compared to 45,767 units in November 2016. M&HCVs contributed maximum to CV growth with the sale of 28,459 units this month as compared to 17,499 units in Nov’16. The segment grew by 62.63%. However, passenger carriers in this segment have de-grown 23.17%.

Tata Motors’ commercial vehicles sales in domestic market in November 2017 were at 33,632 units, a growth of 71% compared to 19,641 units in November 2016.

Ashok Leyland posted a huge surge of 51% in November 2017 with total sales of 14,457 units, compared to sales of 9,574 vehicles in the same month last year.

Commercial vehicle sales of Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) in the Indian market aggregated 15,554 units in November 2017 – up 22.3% y-o-y.

V E Commercial Vehicles sold 4,916 units in November 2017 as compared to 3,176 units in November 2016, recording a growth of 54.8%. This includes 4,062 units of Eicher brand and 189 units of Volvo brand.

With 80% of goods falling under the 12% and the 18% brackets leading to a fall in prices, GST will enhance consumer buying power without real increase in incomes, spurring demand across sectors. It will yield ‘better value for money’ for car buyers, increasing automobile industry demand. The Government and auto industry are combining their efforts to dispel any issues customers might face.

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