PUNE: The reprieve from the festive season for long struggling domestic automobile industry is proving to be very short-lived.
Except for Hyundai, India’s second largest car maker, which reported 2 per cent rise in sales at 44,600 units in November, all auto majors registered decline in sales.
The decline in Maruti’s sales just when it looked like the worst was over in October, adds to the narrative of a deepening slowdown in the overall Indian economy now inching towards a recession.
On Friday, the government data showed GDP growth for the second quarter has slowed down to a 26 quarter low of 4.5 per cent. As the November figures show, the fear is that the third quarter maybe even worse.
Sales at Maruti Suzuki, which had posted a 2.3 per cent increase in sales in October, breaking a series of seven straight months of decline, fell again in November posting a 3.3 per cent drop in its passenger vehicle sales over the last year.
While sales at Mahindra and Mahindra also dropped 10 per cent at 14,637 units, it was a steep fall at 39 per cent at Tata Motors, India’s biggest automaker by revenues, at 10,400 units last month.
“After an encouraging festival period, in November, industry declined sharply,” Mayank Pareek, President, Passenger Vehicles at Tata Motors, said. In addition, industry is also preparing for the BS-VI transition, which would also pose sales challenges with rising prices from April, he said.
Similarly, Honda Cars also reported a whopping 50.33 per cent decline at 6,459 units in November as against 13,006 units in the same month last year.
“Our sales numbers are better than our plan for the month,” Rajesh Goel, Senior Vice President and Director, Sales and Marketing at Honda Cars India, said.
Vikas Jain, National Sales Head at Hyundai Motor India said despite on-going market challenges, Grandi10, Nios, Venue, Creta and Elite i20 showed good sales performance.
Carmakers in India count dispatches from the factory gates to their dealerships as sales.
Maruti’s entry level hatchback segment comprising of the Alto, new S-Presso and the old Wagon R saw dispatches of 26,306 units, down 12.2 per cent as against 29,954 units last year. The recently launched S-Presso has initially seen demand and the company will be hoping it continues to bring some much-needed fizz to sales in this segment and overall numbers.
The six-member compact car lot comprising new Wagon R, Celerio, Ignis, Swift, Baleno and Dzire together sold a total of 78,013 units, down 7.6 per cent from 72,533 last year.
The premium Ciaz sedan’s sales were down a whopping 62.3 per cent at 1,448 units in November as against 3,838 units sold in the previous year.
However, sales at Volkswagen India rose 17 per cent year-on-year in November at 2,937 units. “Amidst strong headwinds within the industry, this has been a consecutive month of growth,” Steffen Knapp, Director at Volkswagen Passenger Cars, said.
New entrant MG Motor, which started selling is maiden model MG Hector SUV a few months ago, sold 3,239 units last month....