PUNE: Commercial vehicles, the barometer of the economy, continued to slide in August with major automakers such as Tata Motors, Ashok Leyland, VE Commercial Vehicles and Mahindra & Mahindra reporting higher, double-digit slump in sales in August even as the government rolled out slew of measures to bail out the bleeding auto industry.
Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland, which together command more than 80 per cent of the commercial vehicles market, dragged down sales last month. Sales of commercial vehicles at Tata Motors, India’s biggest automaker by revenues and maker of popular trucks like Tata Prima trucks and Tata Ultra trucks, fell a whopping 45 per cent at 21,824 units last month. It has sold 39,859 units in August 2018.
“Subdued demand sentiment due to poor freight availability, lower freight rates and general slowdown in economy continued to hamper the commercial vehicle demand,” Girish Wagh, President, Commercial Vehicles Business Unit at Tata Motors, said.
He said system stock reduction through retail focus and aligning production, will continue to be its approach. “Retail sales are estimated to be ahead of wholesale by over 25 per cent in August. We are looking forward to a positive impact of the recently announced stimulus package by the government,” Wagh said.
Tata’s rival Ashok Leyland, the second biggest commercial vehicles maker, also reported 50 per cent decline in sales at 8,296 units, down from 16,628 units it sold last year.
Sales at VE Commercial Vehicles, a Volvo Group and Eicher Motors joint venture, were down 41.7 per cent at 3,538 units in August. The company had sold 6,069 units in August last year.
Eicher branded trucks and buses recorded sales of 3,462 units in August compared to 5,948 units in the same month last year, a decline of 41.8 per cent.
Volvo Trucks recorded sales of 76 units against 121 units a year ago, down 37.2 per cent.
Sales at M&M fell 28 per cent at 14, 684 vehicles, down from 20,326 units.
“The auto industry continues to be subdued in the month of August due to several external factors. We are optimistic and hopeful of a good festive season going ahead,” Veejay Ram Nakra, Chief of Sales and Marketing, Automotive Division at M&M, said.
Rajan Wadhera, President at the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, said car, truck and two-wheeler sales are significantly negative, indicating that the market has still not responded to the various measures initiated by the government last month.
“The series of announcements on credit availability and reducing the cost of credit do not seem to have percolated down to the NBFCs,” he said....