Auto sales up in August, led by Maruti Suzuki
With the festive season coming up, automakers expect the growth momentum in car sales to continue
New Delhi: Automobile manufacturers led by Maruti Suzuki posted robust passenger vehicles (PV) sales growth in August riding on strong consumer sentiment ahead of the festive season. Hyundai Motor India, Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra and Honda saw their PV sales improve in August compared to the same month last year, although Ford and Toyota witnessed a decline.
Maruti Suzuki India’s (MSI) domestic sales stood at 1,52,000 units, up 26.7% from 1,19,931 units in August last year. This was mainly driven by sales of compact segment comprising Swift, Estilo, Dzire and Baleno which jumped by 62.4% to 74,012 units last month as against 45,579 units in the year-ago period. Sales of utility vehicles, including Gypsy, Ertiga, S- Cross and compact SUV Vitara Brezza increased by 27.6% to 21,442 units in August, from 16,806 units in the same month of 2016, it added.
However, mini segment cars, including Alto and WagonR, witnessed a marginal decline to 35,428 units during the month under review from 35,490 units in August 2016, MSI said. Rival Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) posted 9% increase in domestic sales at 47,103 units in August. It had sold 43,201 units in August 2016. HMIL Director, sales and marketing, Rakesh Srivastava said August sales were boosted by strong response to the newly launched Verna that received more than 7,000 bookings within 10 days of launch.
Homegrown utility vehicles major Mahindra & Mahindra reported 7.01% increase in domestic sales at 39,534 units last month as compared to 36,944 units in August 2016. M&M President Automotive Sector Rajan Wadhera said the upsurge in demand has been due to good monsoons and rural penetration. Compatriot Tata Motors’ passenger vehicles sales in the domestic market grew by 10.29% to 14,340 units last month as against 13,002 units in August last year.
The sales growth has been on the back of strong performance of the new generation cars like Tiago, Tigor and Hexa, Tata Motors President, Passenger Vehicles Business Unit, Mayank Pareek said. “With Ganesh Chaturthi, we have entered the festive season and we expect the growth momentum to continue,” he added. Honda Cars India Ltd (HCIL) posted 24.5 per cent jump in its domestic sales in August at 17,365 units as against 13,941 units in corresponding month last year riding on its popular models City and WR-V.
“The festive purchases have already begun in some parts of the country and we expect the festival season to further boost our sales numbers in the next two months,” HCIL President and CEO Yoichiro Ueno said. Ford India, however, saw its domestic sales decline by 9% to 7,777 units last month as against 8,548 in August last year. “Constraints in the supply chain severely impacted export as well as domestic production for Ford cars in August,” Ford India President and Managing Director Anurag Mehrotra said. Similarly, Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) on Friday reported 6.12% decline in domestic sales at 12,017 units in August as against 12,801 units in the same month last year.
“The company faced production limitations which held it back from catching up with high demand and holidays in August also led to lesser number of production days,” TKM Director and Senior Vice-President - Sales and Marketing N Raja said. “Our sales numbers this month are not truly reflective of the existing customer orders. Post the announcement on potential cess hike, there was a considerable rise in customer enquiries and orders,” he added.
In the two-wheeler segment, Royal Enfield reported 21.99% increase in total sales at 67,977 units in August. Bajaj Auto’s total motorcycle sales were at 2,83,861 units as against 2,79,911 units in August last year, up 1.4%. Suzuki Motorcycle India reported a 54.25% jump in sales at 56,745 units in August, its best ever monthly figure.
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