Lower fuel cost, interest rates drive up automotive sales in October (Roundup)

New Delhi/Chennai, Nov 2 (IANS) Most of Indian automobile manufacturers saw higher sales in October with industry experts citing lowering of interest rates, stable fuel costs and festive season offers as responsible for accelerating the demand.

Referring to the positive sales numbers announced by the automotive manufacturers for October, they said the positive base effect and a pick-up in exports swelled off-take.

“Lower interest rates, low fuel prices, pent up demand and new launches at very attractive prices are helping growth,” said Abdul Majeed, partner with Price Waterhouse.

“The advent of the festive season has provided the much needed fillip for the auto industry especially on the back of the new launches of most manufacturers which has received an encouraging response.

“With the drop in interest rates and the fuel prices remaining benign, we expect the industry to maintain a good growth momentum going forward,” Pravin Shah, president & chief executive (automotive) Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd was quoted as saying in a statement.

However the demand will not be sustainable after Diwali if distress continues in the rural economy, warned industry experts.

Passenger cars, two wheelers and commercial vehicle makers logged positive growth for last month.

Leading the pack was car maker Maruti Suzuki that reported 29.1 percent sales growth for last month.

The company sold 134,209 units during the month under review from an off-take of 103,973 units in the corresponding month of 2014.

Domestic sales during the month under review increased by 24.7 percent at 121,063 units from 97,069 units sold in October 2014.

Last month Maruti Suzuki shipped out 13,146 units up from 6,904 units sold abroad during the corresponding month of 2014.

On its part, Tata Motors Ltd logged a marginal one percent growth in sales over comparable period last year.

It sold a total of 43,486 units last month as compared to 42,862 units sold in October 2014.

Last month, the company’s total sales in the domestic market remained flat over October 2014 figures at 38,917 units while exports logged a growth of 13 percent at 4,569 units.

Utility vehicles major M&M said it sold 51,383 units (passenger vehicles 24,060 units, commercial vehicles 18,756 units, three wheelers 5,999 units and exports 2,568) during October 2015 as against 42,780 units (passenger vehicles 20,255 units, commercial vehicles 14,345 units, three wheelers 5,678 and exports 2,502 units) sold during October 2014.

The second largest car maker in India Hyundai Motor India sold 61,792 units from 56,019 units sold in October 2014.

“Hyundai sales of 47,015 units are all-time highest with an all-time high sales of Grand i10 with 14,079 units,” said senior vice-president, sales and marketing, Rakesh Srivastava.

“We expect the growth momentum to continue in the coming months with improving customer sentiments and hence have planned to reduce wait time for customers,” he added.

The sales growth bug also bit Ford India which sold 20,420 units (domestic 10,008 units, exports 10,412 units) in October up from 11,630 units (domestic 6,723 units, exports 4,907 units) sold in October 2014.

In the two wheeler segment Eicher Motors Ltd logged 73 percent sales growth selling 44,522 units (domestic 44,138 units, exports 384 units) as against 26,039 units (domestic 25,510 units, exports 529 units) sold during October 2014.

Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India sold 449,028 units last month registering 19 percent growth in volumes, TVS Motor Company registered 14 percent sales growth at 274,622 units.

However, the month was not lucky for Bajaj Auto as the company logged nine percent drop in sales volume at 352,822 units over the corresponding month of 2014.

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