Indian auto industry drives to growth in May

Bombay-Stock-ExchangeChennai/Kolkata/New Delhi , (IANS) With sectoral analysts predicting stable growth for the Indian automobile industry, major players have, for the second successive month this fiscal, posted a positive sales volume growth.

India’s largest passenger car maker Maruti Suzuki India Ltd closed last month with selling 123,034 units (domestic 113,162 units, exports 9,872 units) as against 114,825 units (domestic 102,359 units, exports 12,466 units) sold in May 2015.

The company logged lower sales last month in the mini (Alto, WagonR) and super compact (DZire Tour) segments in the domestic market last month as compared to sales logged during May 2015, but on the other hand, saw sales growth in segments like compact (Swift, Ritz, Celerio, Baleno, DZire), mid-size (Ciaz), utility vehicles (Gypsy, Ertiga, S-Cross, Vitara Brezza) and vans (Omni, Eeco) last month as compared to models sold in May 2015.

Hyundai Motor India Ltd sold 41,351 units last month up from 37,450 units sold during May 2015.

According to Rakesh Srivastava, Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing at Hyundai, the positive growth momentum was supported by heightened expectations of increase in demand on the predictions of good monsoon.

“Fitch Ratings’ FY17 outlook for the Indian automobile segment is stable, underpinned by the lower costs of owning a vehicle, which in turn is driven by new model launches and still low fuel costs,” Nandini Vijayaraghavan, Director, Corporate, Fitch Ratings told IANS.

According to her, Fitch Ratings’ expectation that India will sustain a high gross domestic product (GDP) growth of around 7.5 per cent, and normal monsoons and replacement demand will support commercial vehicle demand.

“The salary hike of around 23.5 per cent announced for government employees effective calendar year 2016 will provide a one-time fillip to automobile demand. The competitive environment in the passenger vehicle and two wheeler segments will intensify on account of new product launches,” Vijayaraghavan added.

Leading utility vehicle maker Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd (M&M) sold 40,656 units during May, up 11 per cent from 36,706 units sold in the corresponding month last year.

In May, sales of passenger vehicles which include SUVs, cars and vans grew 8 per cent at 19,635 as against 18,135 units sold in May 2015, while domestic sales stood at 36,316 units in the last month, up 10 per cent from 33,369 units sold in the year-ago month.

The company sold 501 units of medium and heavy commercial vehicles in the month under review.

Exports for May stood at 4,043 units — a growth of 21 per cent.

“The favourable monsoon projections will definitely lead to improved buyer sentiment that will likely bring buoyancy in overall demand across all segments of the automotive industry. Going forward, we expect our wider product portfolio will drive our growth,” said the company’s President and Chief Executive (Automotive) Pravin Shah.

Ford India’s combined domestic wholesales and exports in May grew to 17,279 vehicles from 11,714 in the corresponding month last year, the company said in a statement.

Commercial vehicle maker Ashok Leyland Ltd also posted positive sales last month at 9,875 vehicles, up from 9,280 units sold in May 2015.

In the two wheeler segment, Hero MotoCorp Ltd (HMCL) – the world’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer – closed last month selling 583,117 units as against 569,876 units sold in May 2015.

“Market demand was expectedly subdued in May, due to the heavy retail off-take that happened in April on account of the marriage season and regional festivals in different parts of the country during that month,” the company said in a statement.

Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Ltd said it sold 436,358 units last month up from 367,167 units sold in May 2015.

Two and three wheeler maker TVS Motor Company Ltd logged 11 per cent sales last month at 243,783 units as against 220,079 units sold in May 2015.

On its part, Eicher Motors Ltd sold 48,604 units last month, an increase of 37 per cent over sales logged in May 2015.

In a regulatory filing with Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), the company said it sold 35,354 units sold in May 2015.

Medaram Jathara

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