‘Diesel commercial vehicles have been our focus this year’

Reflecting the overall weak sentiment in the automobile industry, Bajaj Auto Ltd. (BAL), on Tuesday, reported a 10 per cent drop in total sales for March 2013 at 301,231 units. Out of this, exports were 101,374 units, a fall of 6 per cent.

Motorcycle

Motorcycle sales fell by 11 per cent to 267,037 units while commercial vehicle sales slid 1 per cent to 34,194 units.

For the 12-month period April 2012-March 2013, the company’s total sales were down 3 per cent at 42,37,162 units of which exports were 15,47,157 units, a drop of 2 per cent. Motorcycle sales were down 2 per cent at 37,57,105 units.

K. Srinivas, President, Motorcycles, Bajaj Auto, told The Hindu that “no doubt it has been a very tough year. We have been seeing some resistance at the retail end and have tightened inventory control. We would like it to be 30 days instead of the current 35 days.’’ He said that Discover had done well but Pulsar had lost out because the sports category had shrunk, “although we increased our market share by two points to 48 per cent.’’

As 25-30 per cent of bike sales are financed and 55-60 per cent of sales were in rural areas, a good monsoon was crucial for a revival, he said.

Bajaj’s commercial vehicle (CV) sales fell 7 per cent to 480,057 units in the 12-months ended March 2013.

Passenger CV

R. C. Maheshwari, President, Commercial Vehicles, BAL, said the company had done reasonably well with passenger CV sales rising 15 per cent and market share up 3 percentage points to 51 per cent. BAL is present only in the three-wheeler CV segment.

“Diesel CVs have been our focus this year and our share rose to 31 per cent (27 per cent) on the back of 15 per cent growth.”

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