Industry

Auto sector trundles past in December

The year 2019 ended on a mixed note for the auto sector.

The year 2019 ended on a mixed note for the auto sector.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Maruti, M&M sales rise, Tata Motors, Hyundai clock decline; carmakers adjust deliveries ahead of BS VI

The year 2019 ended on a mixed note for the auto sector with carmakers such as Maruti Suzuki and M&M posting a growth in domestic passenger vehicle wholesales in December and players like Tata Motors, Hyundai, Honda and Toyota witnessing a decline as many manufacturers adjusted deliveries to dealers ahead of the transition to BS-VI vehicles.

Market leader Maruti Suzuki posted a 2.5% rise in its domestic passenger vehicle wholesales at more than 1.22 lakh units in December 2019 against 1.19 lakh units in the year-earlier month.

While the sales of its mini-segment cars, which that includes Alto and S-Presso, declined 13.6% to 23,883 units, those of compact segment – New WagonR, Swift, Celerio, Ignis, Baleno and Dzire, rose nearly almost 28% to 65,673 units. Utility vehicles, too, saw a jump of 17.7% in sales during the month to 23,808 units. However, sales of mid-size sedan Ciaz fell by more thanover 62% to 1,786 units, and those of vans (Omni and Echo) by almostwere down nearly 52%.

Mahindra & Mahindra too saw growth of 4% in domestic passenger vehicle sales to 15,691 units compared with 15,091 units. Its commercial vehicles (CV) segment, saw a decline of 5%. to 16,018 vehicles in December 2019 against 16,906 vehicles. Veejay Ram Nakra, chief of sales and marketing, automotive division, M&M Ltd., said, “Our performance in the month of December is as per year-end sales outlook and currently, we are also comfortable with our overall stock levels. As we get into the new year, we are fully equipped to roll out our BS-VI products and have taken all requisite measures for a smooth transition over the next three months.”

Tata Motors reported a 12% decline in total vehicle sales in the domestic market to 44,254 units in December. Total passenger vehicle sales last month stood at 12,785 units against 14,260 units, down 10%, Tata Motors said.

Tata Motors president (PV business unit) Mayank Pareek said, “Our focus in December has been to drive retail and minimise the network stock to facilitate a smooth transition to BS-VI.”

CV sales down

The firm’s commercial vehicle sales in December 2019 stood at 34,082 units as against 40,015 units, down 15%.

Hyundai Motor India said it had sold 37,953 units last month compared with 42,093 units, down almost 10%. For the full calendar year (2019), the company said it had sold more than 5.1 lakh units, down 7.2% from the more than 5.5 lakh units in 2018.

The company’s director, sales, marketing and service, Tarung Garg said, “The year 2019 has been a challenging one for the Indian automotive industry. Even in such adverse conditions, Hyundai has launched four new benchmark products in different segments.”

Honda Cars India said it sold 8,412 units in the country in December 2019 against 13,139 units sold in December 2018. Rajesh Goel, senior vice-president and director, sales and marketing, Honda Cars India Ltd., said, “Our volumes in December 2019 have been on expected lines. In order to avoid any leftover BS IV stocks, we have channelised our resources more towards liquidating them. In line with the plan, our BS IV dispatches are finished now so that our dealers can smoothly transition to BS VI regime in the coming months.”

Toyota Kirloskar Motor’s domestic sales in December 2019 stood at 6,544 units compared with 11,836 units, down 45%. Naveen Soni, senior vice- president, sales and service, Toyota Kirloskar Motor, said, “We are consciously lowering the volumes sold to dealers to ensure a smooth transition to BS VI by April 2020 and ensure that there is no pending BS IV inventory at dealerships by March 30, 2020, which will be unsaleable post the transition.” He added the positive retail sales momentum has continued despite the overall slowdown in the industry. “We currently don’t cater to the entire market with our products, although the segments we represent have shown de-growth of around 22%, yet our de-growth, as compared to the segment, has been much lesser,” he added. The relatively new entrant MG Motor India posted retail sales of 3,021 units in December 2019.

“...the robust sales momentum of our first offering, the Hector HECTOR, has been very encouraging. We are working closely with our global and local suppliers to increase the production of the HectorHECTOR in 2020 to support the booking backlog,” MG Motor India director sales Rakesh Sidana said.(With PTI inputs)

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Printable version | Feb 29, 2020 9:40:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/auto-sector-trundles-past-in-december/article30453488.ece

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