The pick-up truck segment has slipped into negative growth lane in November as the industrial activity slowdown has percolated to the last mile segment that has been bucking the slowdown trend.

Sales of above one-tonne payload vehicles (Mahindra Genio, Tata Xenon, Ashok Leyland Dost etc), mainly used for last mile transportation needs, fell by 10 per cent at 14,471 units in November 2013 when compared with 16,032 units in November 2012.

However, total sales of pick-ups for the first eight months of the current fiscal were higher by 11 per cent at 1,27,225 units when compared with 1,14,154 units in a year-ago period as growth sustained till October. Sales of sub 1-tonne (payload) mini trucks (Tata Ace segment) has been falling over many months ago; in fact, pick-up truck volumes surpassed that of mini trucks in the first quarter of this fiscal.

Pick-ups and mini trucks are described as small commercial vehicles (SCVs), which fall under 3.5 tonne GVW (gross vehicle weight) category. These vehicles, with better cost economics, passenger comfort and easier manoeuvrability features, are preferred particularly in semi-urban and rural areas. The advent of hub-and-spoke model for distribution of goods spurred growth in SCV segment.

“With overall slowdown, this segment has also started feeling the impact. Owing to significant capacity addition over the past 4-5 years, the SCV segment overall has reached a point of saturation at least in metros and Tier I cities, which is partly contributing to subdued demand,” Subrata Ray, Senior Vice President – Corporate Ratings, Icra said. 

Presently, Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) dominates the pick-up segment with a market share of 60 per cent, followed by Tata Motors (about 25 per cent) Ashok Leyland (14 per cent). “M&M's strong market position in this segment is supported by its well-established and diversified portfolio of Pick-up trucks, which command strong brand loyalty among many customer applications.

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