Major car makers on reverse gear last month (Roundup)

Chennai, Feb 1 (IANS) The year 2016 did not open on a positive note for the major passenger car makers in India as their montly sales figures went on a reverse drive as compared to the numbers clocked during January 2015.

However the silver lining for the biggies like Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai Motor India is that their domestic sales were marginally up last month as compared to corresponding period of the previous year.

“With enhanced promotion and offers during December 2015 by most of the auto companies there is a possibility of stagnant or sliding sales in the initial months of 2016,” said Savan Godiawala, senior director, Deloitte in India in a statement.

He said majority of car sales are coming from sub-four metre category – a trend may continue for the time being.

“Customer choice has gone up significantly with faster introduction of new models. Auto Expo,witnessing participation from majority players, has become a major event with expectations of new launches with modern design and technology,” he said.

The largest car maker Maruti Suzuki saw its total sales decline by 2.6 percent while for Hyundai Motor, it was 1.2 percent.

Last month Maruti Suzuki sold 113,606 units down from an off-take of 116,606 units in the corresponding month of 2015. In contrast, domestic sales marginally rose by 0.8 percent to 106,383 units from 105,559 units sold during January 2015.

Exports plunged down to 7,223 units from 11,047 units sold abroad in the corresponding month of last year.

Sales in passenger car segment fell 1.4 percent to 87,757 units as against 89,014 units in the like period of 2015.

The company’s passenger car segment comprises of brands like Alto, WagonR, Swift, Ritz, Celerio, Baleno, Dzire, Dzire Tour, and Ciaz.

On the other hand, sales of utility vehicles which comprises of brands like Gypsy, Ertiga, Grand Vitara and S-Cross augmented by 26.2 percent at 8,114 units from sales of 6,432 units during January of last year.

Off-take of the van segment, which includes Omni and Eeco, inched-up by 3.9 percent at 10,512 units from 10,113 units in the corresponding month of 2015.

The company’s scrip at the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) receded by 3.68 percent during the day’s trade at Rs.3,946.80 from its previous close of Rs.4,097.45.

The story is similar to the India’s second largest car maker Hyundai Motor – domestic sales up while exports down.

It sold 44,230 units (domestic 38,016 units, exports 6,214 units) last month — down from 44,783 units (domestic 34,780 units, exports 10,003 units) in January 2015.

“Hyundai started the year with a positive note registering the domestic volume of 38,016 units with a growth of 9.3 percent over last year,” said senior vice president, sales and marketing, Rakesh Srivastava in a statement.

Honda Cars India sold 17,135 units in the domestic market down last month down from 18,331 units sold in January 2015, while Ford India logged a total sales of 12,834 units (domestic 7,045 units, exports 5,789 units) last month as against 9,061 units (domestic 6,647 units, exports 2,414 units) sold during the corresponding month last year.

Similarly Tata Motors sales of passenger vehicles were at 10,728 units last month, showing a decline of 18 percent over same period last year.

However the increase in sales of commercial vehicles took Tata Motors’ total sales including exports to 47,034 units over 42,595 units sold in January 2015.

Meanwhile European car maker Volkswagen saw higher offtake at 4,018 units last month up from 3,734 units in January 2015.

“Starting this year on a positive note, we are very happy to announce an increase in monthly sales for Volkswagen passenger cars for January 2016,” said Volkswagen Group Sales India’s passenger cars director Michael Mayer in a statement.

In the two-wheeler segment, Eicher Motors Ltd., which will unveil a new bike on Tuesday, zoomed up 65 percent year-on-year.

It said it sold 47,710 units last month (domestic 47,140 units, exports 570 units) as against 28,927 units (domestic 28,157 units, exports 770 units) in January 2015.

Eicher Motors’ Royal Enfield division rolls out heavy two-wheelers.

The company will unveil in New Delhi on Tuesday a new motorcycle, Himalayan, powered by an all new LS410 engine.

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