Auto sales remain in slow lane in January

New Delhi/Mumbai: Low consumer sentiment continued to affect sales of major Indian automobile manufacturers in January.

On Saturday, automobile major Maruti Suzuki India reported that sales, which included exports and off-take by other OEMs, grew by just 1.6 per cent to 154,123 vehicle in January against 151,721 during the year-ago month. Similarly, the company’s domestic sales, including those made to other OEMs, increased by 1.7 per cent year-on-year to 144,499 units.

The automobile major’s exports inched up by 0.6 per cent to 9,624 vehicles against 9,571 shipped out during the year-ago month.

Hyundai Motor India’s overall sales, including exports declined by 3.37 per cent to 52,002 vehicles against 53,813 sold in January 2019. The domestic sales edged lower by 8.3 per cent to 42,002 vehicles against 45,803 sold in the year-ago month.

But the company’s exports went up by 24.8 per cent to 10,000 vehicles against 8,010 shipped in January 2019.

Tata Motors’ overall sales, including exports in January declined year-on-year to 47,862 vehicles against 58,185 units sold in the same month of 2019. Its domestic sales fell by 18 per cent to 45,242 vehicles compared with 54,915 units in January 2019.

Commercial vehicles’ sales in January fell by 16 per cent to 33,860 units from 40,175. Similarly, passenger vehicles’ sales declined by 22 per cent to 13,894 units from 17,826 shipped during January 2019.

“Commercial vehicle domestic sales in January was 15 per cent lower than last year. Retail was ahead of wholesale for 7th straight month, helping further stock reduction, as we move closer to BS-VI transition,” said Girish Wagh, President, Commercial Vehicles Business Unit, Tata Motors.

“With increasing buying interest, particularly among fleet owners, the M&HCV sale in January was second highest in last seven months. In small commercial vehicles, the buying interest continued to be better than other segments resulting in 2 per cent YoY growth,” Wagh said.

Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) reported a 6 per cent fall in January sales to 52,546 vehicles against 55,722 sold in year-ago month. The domestic sales slipped 3 per cent to 50,785 units against 52,500 sold in January 2019. But exports plunged by 45 per cent to 1,761 vehicles against 3,222 shipped out in January 2019.

“Our performance in January has been relatively muted as part of our strategy to start ramping down BS-IV vehicles and move to BS-VI norms,” said Veejay Ram Nakra, Chief of Sales and Marketing, M&M Automotive Division.

“We have also started rolling out first batch of BS-VI vehicles with the XUV300, which has been well received,” Nakra said.

According to Sridhar V., Grant Thornton India Partner, performance continues to be muted across all OEMs of passenger vehicles and the largest player has shown slight growth overall backed up by new introductions in the small and compact segment, which has been its strength. “Phasing out of BS-IV and introduction of BS-VI is in full swing,” he said.