Festivals Add Sparkle to Vehicle Sales

After reeling under slowdown for the first six months of the current financial year, auto market roared back with festivals adding sparkle to the vehicle sales during October 2012. High interest rates & fuel prices, as also the low-beat sentiment,took a back seat for a while, even as the feverish festive spirit with no-holds-barred shopping and spending took over.


It was refreshing to see all segments of the market, barring M&HCV segment, reporting growth in sales during the month. Total domestic sales of vehicles across segments at 1,653,703 units grew by a healthy 14.8% y-o-y.

It was a welcome change for the passenger car segment that witnessed a robust 23.1% increase in domestic sales to 172,459 units and an equally impressive 29.2% growth in exports at 42,489 units during the month. Led by M&M,utility vehicles stayed on fast track with whopping 87.7% rise in domestic sales that numbered 53,285 units.

In keeping with the sale trends of passenger vehicles, two-wheelers notched up a 12.3% growth in domestic sales at 1,285,015 units in October 2012, while the exports were in negative terrain, declining by 3.9% y-o-y to 154,852 units during the month.

Three-wheeler sales were also buoyant, witnessing a 12.6% uptick in domestic sales at 55,241 units and 4.1% increase in exports at 30,835 units during the month of October 2012.

Although commercial vehicles, overall, ended up with a growth of 7.6% in domestic sales at 66,722 units, M&HCVs stayed in negative territory with their domestic sales plunging by 22.9% y-o-y to 20,836 units in October 2012. Continuing tepid sales performance of M&HCVs suggests that the economy remains subdued.

Thanks largely to the low base ofOctober last year, when the company s production had been crippled by the labour unrest and the continuing robust demand for its hot-selling models like Swift, Swift Dzire, Alto and Ertiga, the market leader - Maruti Suzuki India posted a spectacular growth of 86.6%, selling 96,002 vehicles in domestic market. Strong domestic sales performance was capped off by the exports that soared 71.8% y-o-y to 7,106 vehicles in October 2012.

Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL), the country s second largest carmanufacturer and the largest passenger car exporter, recorded a 21% growth in aggregate sales at 58,785 units (48,322 units) in October 2012. Growing by 8%, domestic sales of HMIL in October were 35,778 units (33,001 units). The company s exports witnessed a robust growth of 50%to 23,007 units from 15,321 units a year earlier. The segment-wise cumulative sales of HMIL for October 2012 were: A2 segment (Eon, Santro, i10, i20) - 50,146 units; A3 Segment (Accent and Verna) 7,895 units; A4 Segment (Elantra) - 668 units; A5 segment (Sonata - 20 units; and SUV (Santa Fe) - 56 units.

Commenting on the October sales, Rakesh Srivastava, Vice President- Marketing and Sales, HMIL said, The festivals brought in positive growth in domestic sales with resurgence in petrol variants. All models showed a growth especially with strong demand of Eon and Elantra. In the coming months, the challenge would be to convert customer interest into sales as the general inflationary trend, high fuel prices and interest rates are still keeping the customer sentiment low. Speaking about the growth in exports, Srivastava said, We are witnessing good volumes in SouthAfrica andMexico along withmany other countries. The i10 and i20 are being particularly well-received in these countries.

Maintaining the growth momentum, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd (M&M), India s leading UVmanufacturer, reported an alltime high monthly vehicle sales volume of 52,588 units (including exports), a 30.4% growth over October 2011. M&Ms domestic sales stood at 50,466 units during October 2012, as against 38,189 units in October 2011, representing a 32.1% increase. The company s passenger vehicles also registered all-time high sales at 26,932 units inOctober 2012, a healthy growth of 44% y-o-y.

Pravin Shah, Chief Executive,Automotive Division,M&MLtd said, We are thankful to our customers whose support and Festivals Add Sparkle to Vehicle Sales acceptance of all our newly launched products have been instrumental in achieving our all-time high monthly sales during October 2012.

Bouncing back with a bang, Honda Cars India Ltd (HCIL) clocked a handsome 46.3% rise in domestic sales at 8,085 units in October 2012 as against 5,526 units sold during the same month last year. The company also exported a total volume of 420 units during October 2012. HCIL has started the export of Honda Brio to SouthAfrica & SADC (SouthAfrican DevelopmentCommunity) countries fromOctober 2012 and is expanding the Honda's export business to make India as another hub for export of certain models. Modelwise sales break-up of HCIL duringOctober 2012 was: Brio 3,700 units, Jazz 306 units, City 3,976 units, Civic 60 units, and Accord 43 units.

Enthused with the sales growth in October, Jnaneswar Sen, Sr Vice President, Sales & Marketing, HCIL, stated "Our sales performance in the month of October has been very impressive despite the tough market conditions and we are extremely delighted with the response to new launches last month. The expansion of export business is also a significant milestone in our journey and we are confident that this will contribute to the growth of HCIL." Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) sold 12,281 units in the Indian market during October 2012 as compared to 10,762 units in the same month last year, recording a 14% growth. The growth was driven by Innova and Fortuner, which sold 5,889 units and 1,378 units, respectively. Domestic sales of Etios series slipped by 21.6% to 4,596 units from 5,859 units a year ago. TKM s exports were in fast lane, adding up to 1,759 units in October 2012.

Commenting on the sales performance, Sandeep Singh,DeputyManaging Director Marketing, said, We have registered a growth with high sales of Innova and Fortuner. The market is still sluggish, especially the passenger car segment. The SUV and MPV segments are comparatively better and we hope to see the market picking up, as the festive season continues. We have introduced an exclusive range of limited editions to offer newness and product excitement for the festive period. It was a festival without fervour for TataMotors and theAmerican duo Ford India and GeneralMotor India.

Passenger vehicle sales of Tata Motors in domestic market during October 2012 added up to 20,864 units, down 15.7% from 24,758 units sold in October last year. Sales of the Tata Nano were 4,004 units, up 4%, y-o-y. The Indica range sales at 6,692 units fell sharply by 38%, while the sales of Indigo range at 5,748 units were lower by 8%. However, the Sumo/Safari/Aria/Venture ranges were in positive territory rising by 12% y-o-y to 4,675 units during the month.

Tata Motors' sales of commercial vehicles in October 2012 in the domestic market stood at 47,026 units, a 21% uptick compared to 38,713 vehicles sold a year ago. As in the earlier months, the growth of CVs was shored up by LCVs that posted a handsome 59% growth at 34,905 units. On the other hand, the company s M&HCV sales aggregating 12,121 units plummeted by 28% compared to 16,823 units in October 2011.

Ford India's sales at 10,948 vehicles in combined domestic and export markets in October 2012 were flat compared to the sales tally of 10,906 vehicles a year ago. The sales in local market logging 7,577 vehicles in October 2012 dipped by 6.4%y-o-y. Ford India s performance on export front was, however, impressive. The company shipped out 3,371 cars in October this year, which was its highest monthly export ever and represented a 20% increase over 2,815 cars exported in October 2011.

Market leader in two-wheeler segment, Hero MotoCorp picked up steam after slowing down in the last two months with a growth of 4.3% in domestic sales at 515,242 units in October 2012 vis-à-vis 494,201 units in October last year. The exports declined by 22.5% y-o-y to 13,973 units, though.

Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) continued its dream run, witnessing a spectacular growth of 37.4% in domestic sales at 236,062 units in October 2012. The company s exports of two wheelers also vroomed by a massive 119.6% y-o-y to 14,381 units during the month. Bajaj Auto clocked 261,771 units of domestic sales in October 2012, registering a growth of 7.1%, while the exports of two-wheelers reading 99,415 units slid 6.7% y-o-y.

For a change for the good, TVS Motor saw its domestic sales of two-wheelers grow by 6.4% y-o-y to 170,139 units in October 2012. The exports were, however, down 20% y-o-y to 16,103 units during the month.

While auto market, in general, has witnessed the sales gaining traction on the back of festive season, medium & heavy commercial vehicles a barometer of economic activity - continue to remain on stickywicket indicating the lack of buoyancy in economy

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