September sales a mixed bag for Indian auto companies (Roundup)

New Delhi/Chennai, Oct 1 (IANS) Low interest and fuel costs did little to accelerate the pick up in consumer demand for the automobile sector during last month, as leading manufacturers came out with a mixed bag of sales results on Thursday.

Company-wise, Maruti Suzuki’s September sales grew by 3.7 percent to 113,759 units from an off-take of 109,742 units in the corresponding month of 2014.

The company’s domestic sales rose by 6.8 percent at 106,083 units. However, exports plunged by 26.6 percent to 7,676 units.

Chennai-based Hyundai Motor India’s sales rose by 9.8 percent to 56,535 units — up from 51,471 units in the corresponding month of 2014.

“Highest-ever monthly domestic sales of 42,505 units in a single month in its last 17 years (came) on the strong performance of its modern premium brands — Creta, Elite i20, i20 Active and Grand,” said Rakesh Srivastava, senior vice-president (sales and marketing) of HMIL.

The domestic sales last month rose by 21.3 percent to 42,505 units. However, the largest passenger car exporter only managed to ship out 14,030 units in September, which is a decline of 14.6 percent.

Both home grown automobile giants Tata Motors and Mahindra closed last month with a decline in sales.

Tata Motors’ overall sales declined by 2 percent in September with an off-take of 45,215 units against 46,154 vehicles sold during the same month in 2014.

Tata Motors’ domestic sales, too, declined. They stood at 40,813 units from an off-take of 40,908 units during September 2014. Exports sank by 16 percent and stood at 4,402 units from 5,246 units being shipped out in the like month of 2014.

Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) closed last month with sales volumes coming down by 5 percent as compared to September 2014.

The company’s total sales in the month under review stood at 42,848 units as against 44,911 units during September 2014.

M&M’s domestic sales were down 6 percent at 39,693 units last month. Exports, on the other hand zoomed by 26 percent to 3,155 units being shipped out from 2,503 units sold abroad in September 2014.

According to Pravin Shah, president and chief executive (automotive), M&M, the recent interest rate cut by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) should help in lifting consumer demand in the upcoming festive season.

“While the auto industry has witnessed a slow and fragmented recovery, the recent interest rate reduction by the RBI is bound to infuse optimism,” Shah said.

“If the majority of the rate cut is passed on to customers by the lending institutions, it will bring back the momentum in auto sales especially during the upcoming festival season.”

Indo-Japanese joint venture (JV) Toyota Kirloskar Motors’ January-to-September sales was up 11 percent at 106,717 units from an off-take 96,307 units during the corresponding period of last year.

Other Japanese car manufacturer Honda Cars India registered a monthly domestic sales growth of 23 percent to 18,509 units as against 15,015 units sold in September 2014.

Other foreign car manufacturers also came out with healthy sales figures for last month.

Ford India’s domestic wholesales and exports in September grew by a whopping 63.20 percent to 22,428 units from 13,742 units off-take during the corresponding month last year.

In the two-wheeler segment, Hero MotoCorp’s sales last month had a marginal uptick of 0.44 percent and stood at 606,744 units from 604,052 units sold in the corresponding month of last year.

Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India reported a 2 percent decline in sales during the last month. The company sold a total of 430,732 units from an off-take of 438,479 units during September, 2014.

Yamaha India’s domestic sales grew by 13 percent at 67,267 units in September as against 59,325 units sold in the corresponding month of last year.

Two and three-wheeler maker TVS Motor closed last month with a decline of 1.67 percent in sales volumes at 232,775 units as against 236,751 units sold in September 2014.

Royal Enfield’s, the two-wheeler arm of Eicher Motors’ total sales grew by 59 percent in September at 44,491 units sold over the corresponding period last year when it had an off-take of 28,020 units.

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