Car sales are slowing down. Despite new models and the festive season, India’s three biggest auto firms have seen their sales battered in October-- with Maruti Suzuki going into reverse gear. The company’s sales plunged 53.2% to 51,458 vehicles. Hundai India’s sales went down 5% to 33,001 units. And Tata Motors managed to nudge up 3% to 25,124 cars.
Together the three companies account for some 70% of Indian car sales. The auto industry has been hit by rising by both stubborn inflation and rising interest rates. But Maruti’s drastic decline was largely because of worker unrest at it factories, which drastically cut into production. Still, investors are now counting on Maruti’s production and sales to recover.
Its shares declined in early trade only to recover and end 0.44% higher on the BSE to close at 1130.60 on a day the Sensex lost 1.27%. Meanwhile Tata Motors dropped 2.49% to 193.50.
Car sales may be in the doldrums, but manufacturing is finally showing signs of a revival after six months of sluggish growth. The HSBC Markit Purchasing Managers Index stood at 52 in October. In September it remained stagnant at 50.4. Only figures above 50 on the index indicate a gain. While October rise is modest, September’s numbers were the worst since March 2009.
Moving to corporate, Fortis Healthcare India has announced it’s buying its sister concern Fortis Healthcare International. On Tuesday it announced it would acquire the Singapore firm for $665 million. That’s lower than the independently recommended valuation of $695.7 million.
Fortis Healthcare International is fully owned by the brothers Malvinder and Shivinder Singh. They said they agreed to sell the company at a lower price because they did not want to profit from the deal. Fortis International was set up last year to acquire hospitals in the Asia-Pacific region. Meanwhile, shares of Fortis Healthcare India rose 3.57% on the BSE to 128.95.