After 10 months, auto mart enters fast lane

Tags: News
India’s auto mart has finally got out of first gear after a good 10 months.

After prolonged slump, domestic car sales grew in double digits at 14.76 per cent in June, driven by positive sentiment created by a stable government at the Centre and speculative purchases prompted by fears that existing excise duty relief could be withdrawn. The government later extended the tax sops by six months beyond the June 30 expiry.

Monthly car sales data released by Siam (Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers) on Wednesday showed car manufacturers sold 1,60,232 units in June against 1,39,624 units in the prior-year period.

“Speculative buys triggered a surge in volumes,” Siam deputy director general Sugato Sen told Financial Chronicle. “We hope this trend will continue.”

Buyers went ahead and bought cars in June, as there was no certainty that the government would extend the duty cut beyond June 30, he said. The passenger vehicles segment, which includes utility vehicles and vans, clocked double-digit volume growth for the first time after 21 months.

The medium and heavy commercial vehicles segment, which has been in reverse gear for 26 straight months now, showed some improvement, but the growth remained in the negative territory. “There has been a gradual improvement in the numbers over the past three months,” Sen said.

Maruti Suzuki, the country’s largest carmaker by sales, posted 32.3 per cent expansion in domestic volume to 86,223 units in June from 65,172 units in the year-ago period. Hyundai Motor India, the second largest, grew 8.76 per cent to 33,258 units from 30,577. Honda Cars India’s sales swelled 76.53 per cent to 16,236 units from 9,197.

Tata Motors, India’s largest auto firm by revenues, registered 38.37 per cent drop in June volumes to 5,933 units from 9,628. M&M, India’s largest utility vehicle maker, witnessed 3.6 per cent rise in June sales to 16,492 units from 15,916.

Siam data showed sales of passenger vehicles grew 11.23 per cent to 218,828 units in June, but the commercial vehicles segment shrank by 9.03 per cent to 51,119 units.

Two-wheeler sales grew 12.99 per cent to 1,261,589 units from 1,116,538 in the prior-year period. Motorcycle sales rose 9.63 per cent to 876,196 units from 7,99,254.

Hero MotoCorp, India’s largest motorcycle maker by sales, posted 7.2 per cent sales growth in June to 471,548 units from 439,845 in the year-ago period. Its rival Bajaj Auto reported a 7.51 per cent decline in volumes to 147,690 units. Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India saw bike sales soar by 25.58 per cent to 142,793 units from 113,699 in the same month last year.

Scooter sales jumped 25.15 per cent year-on-year to 3,23,178 units. HMSI, the market leader in this segment, saw sales grow 31.01 per cent to 166,594 units in June from 127,154 units a year ago. Hero MotoCorp posted 12.8 per cent growth at 59,012 units, while the Chennai-based TVS Motor reported 48.82 per cent jump in sales to 55,020 units from 36,969.

Total vehicle sales across categories grew 12.15 per cent to 1,578,884 units in June from 1,407,875 units in the year-ago period.

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