Auto Sales Stays on Course

Automobile sales in the month of March 2018 across various vehicle categories registered a growth surge of 18.41%. The passenger vehicle sales grew by 5.41%, 2-Wheeler by 18.57%, CVs by 23.99% and 3-Wheeler sales by whopping 86.13%. The sales volume built upon the improvement in rural economy and partly due to the low base in the second half of FY17 caused by demonetization.

With buoyancy sweeping all segments, automobile companies across the board, barring few, clocked robust growth. Total automobile sales in 2017-18, including passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles, 3-wheelers and two-wheelers zoomed by 14% at 29,012,960 units, as compared to 25,342,450 units in 2016-17. In the Indian market, sales grew by 14% y-o-y to 24,972,788 units. In the international market as well sales closed in positive trajectory at 16% at the close of financial year 2017-18. 

Passenger Vehicle sale grew moderately

Passenger vehicle sales in the domestic market recorded a growth of 6.38% y-o-y to 300,722 units. Total passenger vehicle sales (domestic + exports) increased by 5.41% y-o-y to 373,428 units.  

Car market leader Maruti Suzuki India Limited sold a total of 158,955 units in March 2018, a growth of 14.1% per cent. This includes 147,170 units in the domestic market and 11,757 units in exports, registering a growth of 15.3% and 1.7% y-o-y respectively. The Company had sold a total of 139,285 units in March 2018. With this the Company finished the 2017-18 with its highest ever total sales of 1,779,574 units, a growth of 13.4%. 

In March, Maruti’s entry level duo of the Alto and Wagon R sales grew by whopping 21.1% selling 37,511 units, compared to 30,973 units in the same month in the year gone by. Demand for the compact cars comprising of- the Swift, IGNIS, Celerio, Baleno, Dzire and Tour S remained high at 68,885 units, up 13.5% from 60,699 units during March last year. The premium Ciaz sedan had de-growth of 12.1% selling 4,321 units in the local market against 4,918 units y-o-y. In the UV category (Ertiga, Gypsy, S-Cross and Vitara Brezza) sold 22,764 units against 18,311 units sold in March 2017, to post 24.3% growth. The Omni and Eeco continue to sell well during the month, they sold a combined 13,689 units, up 17.7% (March 2017: 11,628). 

Hyundai Motor India (HMIL) registered the domestic sales of 48.009 units (44,737 units) an uptick of 7.3%. The company exported 12,498 units in March 2018 against 10,857 units in March 2017, a growth of 15.1%. The cumulative sales of the company stood at 60,507 units for the month of March 2018. Commenting on the financial year closing, Y K Koo, MD & CEO, HMIL, said, “With strong commitment to add Brilliant Moments to the lives of our customers through our Modern Premium product offerings and Next Level Customer Service Experience, have closed the financial year 2017-18 on a positive note with a growth of 5.2%.”

Honda Cars India (HCIL) registered a monthly sale of 13,574 units in March 2018, down 28.4% (March 2017: 18,950). The sales comprised 4,680 City, 4,411 WR-V, 2,473 Jazz, 992 BR-V, 716 Amaze sedan, 261 Brio and 41 CR-V. The new FY 2018-19 offers tremendous growth opportunity for HCIL as the company has lined-up three big launches enhancing the product line-up with all new Amaze, all new CR-V and Civic. The company’s export was in tune of 487 units during the month. 

Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) sold 12,539 units in March 2018 as compared to 13,796 units in March last year in the domestic market a shortfall of 9.1%. The company exported 1,017 units which included 998 units of the Etios series during the month, thus, clocking a total of 13,556 units. In the month of March 2017, TKM sold a total of 13,796 units in the domestic market and exported 636 units of the Etios series in March 2017.

N Raja, Deputy MD, TKM, said, ”We are happy to have registered a positive growth of 3% in the first quarter as compared to January-March 2017. The Yaris bookings for customer will open from April and we expect customers will highly appreciate the product.”

Mahindra & Mahindra’s passenger vehicles segment, which manufactures and markets utility vehicles, cars and vans, sold locally a total of 26,531 units in March 2018, up 4.7% from 25,352 units a year back. 

Tata Motors’ passenger vehicle sales in the domestic market was largely led by the Tiago and Tigor along with Nexon and Hexa, grew 34.4% at 22,970 units compared to 17,093 units in March 2017. While the passenger car segment declined by 4.0%, the UV sales continued to grow by whopping 222.9% at 7,753 units during the month. The company sold a total of 23,332 passenger vehicles, which included exports of 362 units, marking a y-o-y growth of 34% against sale of 17,411 units during the same month last year. 

American car maker, Ford India also saw its domestic sale plummet to 3,180 cars in March 2018, down 12.8% (March 2017: 3,648). However, the company’s UV sales in the domestic market were up by 15.5% accruing to a total sale of 9,016 units of passenger vehicles during the month, an increase of 3.6% y-o-y. On the export front, the sales grew by pace of 15.1% over the same period last month.

Nissan Motor India was stuck in the reverse gear, the company’s domestic sales falling by 7.3% y-o-y to 4,922 units during the month.

Improved rural sentiments boosts Two- Wheeler Sales

During March 2018, two-wheelers registered domestic sales of 1,741,649 units (March 2017: 1,471,636) up by 18.35%. Scooters, Motorcycles and Mopeds witnessed uptick of 6.46% (518,015 units), 25.13% (1,145,221 units) and 12.38% (78,413 units) respectively in domestic sales during the month. On the export front too, two-wheelers registered a growth of 20.15% (248,672 units).

The largest two-wheeler seller, Hero MotoCorp sold 704,874 units (March 2017: 586,587), an uptick of 20.2%. With an eye on future market demand, Hero MotoCorp invested in ramping up its production capacity during the fiscal. In March 2018, it commenced construction at its eighth manufacturing facility in Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh. The Company launched three new bikes - Passion PRO, Passion XPRO and Super Splendor, in the third quarter of the fiscal. It has also lined up a slew of new launches for the fiscal 2018-19, where the Company plans to launch four new products in the premium motorcycle and scooter categories – Xtreme 200R and XPulse motorcycles and Duet 125 and Maestro Edge 125 scooters.

Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) has shown decent domestic growth of 23.2% during March 2018, but this has come on the back of its strong motorcycle sales y-o-y. The company, which had sold 338,856 units in March last year in the local market, sold an overall 417,380 units in Mar’18.

HMSI’s motorcycle sales locally, in March 2018 were 152,355 bikes up 80.0% (March 2017: 84,638 motorcycles). Its scooter portfolio too notched 4.3% growth selling 265,025 units in March 2018 (March 2017: 254,218). However, on the international front, HMSI sold 23,110 units in March’18 down by 15.1% against sale of 27,234 units in March’17.

Bajaj Auto registered a decent growth of 5.0% to 158,987 units during the month against 151,449 units a year ago in the Indian market. The company’s export of two-wheelers also registered a growth of 19.6% y-o-y to 110,952 units during the month.

TVS Motor Company sold 265,166 units in March 2018, up 22.2% (March 2017: 216,995). The company recorded better growth in motorcycle sales than its scooter portfolio during the month. In the domestic market, while its scooter sales grew 19.3% to 98,334 units in March 2018, from 82,453 units in March 2017; its motorcycle sales grew by 36.5%, increasing to 88,419 units in March 2018 from 64,769 units in March 2017. The company’s export performance too remained on course, rising by a healthy 54.8% y-o-y to 50,599 units.

India Yamaha Motor registered total domestic sales of 65,920 units in March 2018, down by 13.4% (March 2017: 76,144). 

Suzuki Motorcycle India sold a total of 52,167 units, 24% up (March 2017: 42,085). The company sold 46,848 two-wheelers in the domestic market a growth of 30%. Sajeev Rajasekharan, EVP, Suzuki Motorcycle India said, “We have taken the first step successfully towards our objective of achieving 10,00,000 unit sales in FY 2019-20. The onus in now on us to sustain the momentum generated by this growth and continue to scale higher peaks.”

Mahindra Two-Wheelers continued to report negative sales growth in March 2018, clocking domestic sales of 690 units against exports of 2,924 units.

Royal Enfield registered a growth of 26.7% y-o-y in domestic sales and 20.1% y-o-y in exports. 

India M&HCV sales maintain steady growth

The sales of M&HCV posted a growth of 16.28% y-o-y in domestic sales while LCVs grew by 31.35%. 

Tata Motors’ domestic sales of 46,470 units in March’18 was up 35.8% (March 2017: 34,216) with its M&HCVs posting a double-digit growth of 20.4% with sales of 21,256 units (March 2017: 17,648). Its LCVs too performed well, notching up sales of 25,214 units which resulted in growth of 52.2% year on year (March 2017: 16,568). 

Ashok Leyland’s total sales locally were up 23% at 21,533 units sold (March 2017: 17,508). Its M&HCV sales of 16,315 units marked a 14.9% increase over year-earlier sales (March 2017: 14,200). Its LCVs saw positive sales momentum with 57.7% growth with sales of 5,218 units (March 2017: 3,308 units). 

VE Commercial Vehicles, also registered a double-digit growth of 24.5% in March’18 in domestic sales. In India VECVs-Eicher sold 8,146 units (March 2017: 6,649).

Mahindra & Mahindra reported M&HCVs sale of 1,599 units in the domestic market during the month, down 6.3% (March 2017: 1,707). Domestic LCV sales in March recorded positive growth of 12.7% y-o-y to 23,896 units.

The Indian automotive industry is expected to carry the momentum forward in FY19 especially with the upcoming State Assembly elections, which is expected to provide a boost to vehicle sales. Large investments being made in R&D and product development towards implementation of upcoming regulatory changes, especially to meet BS VI emission norms, and a push towards electric vehicles (EV) and improvement in safety standards all are expected to further help to propel the growth of auto sales.

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