Utility vehicles shine in May auto sales

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New Delhi, June 9 (IANS) Domestic sales of utility vehicles grew over 35 per cent in May 2016 as compared to the same month of the previous year even as passenger vehicle sales fell marginally, an auto-makers’ organisation said on Thursday.

Utility vehicles also shone in terms of exports in May 2016 with 84 per cent growth over the same month of 2015, said a statement from the Society for Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).

Auto companies sold 58,793 units of utility vehicles in the domestic market and 11,333 units in overseas markets in May 2016, the statement said.

The sales of passenger vehicles in both domestic and export markets fell to 158,996 units and 39,976 units, respectively. The decline, accordingly, was 0.86 per cent and 11.24 per cent, respectively.

The total two-wheeler domestic sales growth was 9.75 per cent in May 2016, with just 3.34 per cent rise for motor-cycles which have the maximum sales within the segment. The growth for the segment is a considerable decline from 16.24 per cent recorded in April 2016.

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“Since the rural markets are not performing well, the demand for small cars has declined. Similarly, the demand for motorcycles has also gone down,” said Sugato Sen, Deputy Director General, SIAM.

Three-wheelers grew 27.34 percent in May with sales of 46,479 units. Medium and heavy commercial vehicles grew 21.03 per cent with 24,951 units sold, but sales of passengers carriers fell 2.07 per cent.

Sales of light commercial vehicles rose 13.86 per cent in the domestic market with an almost equal growth contributed by passenger and goods segments whose absolute sales numbers were 5,345 and 26,793 units, respectively.

In terms of exports, however, there was a mixed picture.

Total exports of medium and heavy commercial vehicles rose 31.89 per cent to 3,482 units, while for light commercial vehicles it fell 6.51 per cent to 5,668 units. Overall, there was a small growth of 5.14 per cent.

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Looking at the overall auto industry, the domestic sales were 1,850,764 units in May 2016 as compared to 1,684,263 units recorded in the same month of the previous year, a growth of 9.89 per cent.

In terms of exports, there was a small drop of 3.82 per cent with 299,413 units in the month under review, against 311,304 units in the same month of the previous year.

“Decline in exports have longer-term reasons. One of them is oil prices. Also, exports to countries like Africa, Nigeria and Algeria have declined because they do not have enough dollars for trade,” Sen said.

In production of passenger vehicles, Maruti Suzuki was a clear market leader in May with 128,877 units, a growth of 1.24 per cent. Hyundai was next with 41,400 units, but with manufacturing down 7.06 per cent.

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Honda had to take a 28.67 per cent hit with 10,510 units.

While Maruti led in the passenger segment category in terms of production numbers with 106,355 units, Mahindra and Mahindra led the utility vehicles category with 19,223 units.

In commercial vehicles, Tata Motors manufactured the most in May, followed by Mahindra and Mahindra and Force Motors, whose Tempo Travelers have been a hit in the tourist circuit.

In two-wheelers, Hero MotoCorp was the top producer in May with 611,283 units, followed by Honda Motorcycles with 459,369 units and Bajaj Auto with 301.276 units. Their growth was 5.74 per cent, 30.03 per cent and (-)0.48 per cent, respectively.



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