Automakers in India on a racy drive

Automakers in India on a racy drive

For several Indian automakers which grappled with sluggish sales in October 2014 despite two big festivals – Dasara and Diwali, November turned out to...

For several Indian automakers which grappled with sluggish sales in October 2014 despite two big festivals – Dasara and Diwali, November turned out to be a blessing in disguise with sales touching new highs.

The country’s largest carmaker, Maruti Suzuki, ended the month under review on a cheerful note with sales going up significantly by 19.5 per cent to 1.10 lakh units, thanks to an estimated 53 per cent jump in exports and robust growth in domestic market. It clocked 92,140 units in the corresponding period last year. The noteworthy point here is that its monthly domestic sales crossed one lakh mark, registering a growth of 17 per cent. Barring in mini car and utility vehicle (UV) segments, the automaker reported decent sales growth across all other categories including the compact car segment comprising Swift Hatchback and Swift Dzire sedan.

It was a great month for Hyundai Motor India too as the country’s second largest carmaker recorded 8.7 per cent sales upswing. Its total sales increased to 54,011 units as against 49,681 units in November 2013. The Korean automaker clocked 35,511 units in the domestic market, an increase of six per cent from 33,501 units a year ago. Its exports increased by 14.7 per cent to 18,500 units. Hyundai India attributed the sales growth to the new launches.

For the first time in recent months, Tata Motors recorded sales growth in November. The homegrown automaker’s sales went up by a marginal two per cent to 41,720 units from 40,863 units a year ago. Its passenger car sales rose by a healthy 30 per cent to 10,286 units, driven by newly-launched Zest compact sedan, whereas the UV segment recorded 30 per cent fall. Toyota Kirloskar Motor also posted sales growth of 11 per cent.

However, UV major Mahindra & Mahindra posted a 13 per cent slump, reflecting the negative trend in the utility vehicle space.

Small players like General Motors continued to face sales decline. The American carmaker whose sales fell by 33 per cent blamed high interest rates and unfavourable macro-economic conditions for its poor show.

But will this positive sales trend shown by major automakers continue in the coming months? December may bring much cheer to the manufacturers as the ever superstitious consumers/buyers would rather buy a vehicle in the first of the year than in December. Further, the auto sales in the upcoming months will also depend on whether the Union Government extends tax incentives announced in February this year beyond December 31 and Reserve Bank of India goes for interest rate cuts in coming months.

“Going by the current economic conditions, automakers will face challenging times unless the government comes up with positive announcements in new Union Budget, to spur the market sentiment,” feels a senior official with an automaker.

Looking it either way, a bumpy ride lies ahead for carmakers in India!

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