Majority of automakers either posted a marginal increase in sales or registered a decline. However, only a few exceptions like Honda Cars India, Ashok Leyland, and Suzuki Motorcycles continue to post double-digit growth which is primarily because of stock adjustments at the dealership level.
Moreover, experts believe that the automotive industry will continue to face the slump due to uncertainty in the market because of elections and low consumer market sentiment.
However, few believe that recent change in taxation will help market to revive in the upcoming months especially in two wheeler and small car segment.
“With the closure of special offers, year-end schemes the buying sentiment has witnessed a dip this month. The tightening of vehicle financing availability has also added to the challenges in the market,” said N. Raja, Deputy Managing Director, TKM.
Country’s largest carmaker, Maruti Suzuki India saw a marginal growth of marginal 1.1 per cent in domestic sales at 142,150 units in the month of January 2019 as against 140,600 units dispatched to the dealers across the country in January 2018.
On another hand, Mahindra & Mahindra posted 1 per cent growth in the domestic sale at 23,872 in January, compared to 23686 units in the same month last year. Despite new launches like Marazzo and Alturas, the company failed to get incremental sales in the utility vehicles space. The company saw almost flat growth, as it sold 22,263 units of utility vehicles last month, compared to 22,235 units in January 2018.
Rajan Wadhera, President, Automotive Sector, M&M said, “The first month of the new calendar year continues to be on an overall growth path. There is buoyancy in rural growth, commodity costs are levelling, fuel prices are coming down and we see improvement in forex movement, which in turn will drive positive customer sentiment.”
Tata Motors domestic sales of passenger vehicles witnessed a drop of 11 per cent, at 17,826 units in January 2019, as compared with 20,055 units sold the same month last year.
Mayank Pareek, President, Passenger Vehicles Business Unit, Tata Motors Ltd. said, “January 2019 has been a rather sluggish period for the entire auto industry and has resulted in muted consumer sentiment. Having said that, we are positive to bounce back in the months to come on the back of our new generation products.
Similarly, Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) reported a decline of 9.1 per cent in its domestic sales at 11221 units in the month of January 2019. it sold 12,351 units in the domestic market in January 2018.
The only exception in the lot is Honda cars India which posted strong double-digit growth of 23 per cent on the back of Amaze and WR-V. The company sold a total of 18,261 units in January 2019, compared to 14,838 units in the corresponding month in 2018.
Rajesh Goel, Senior Vice President and Director, Sales and Marketing, Honda Cars India Ltd said, “With additional benefits in Direct Taxes announced in today’s Interim Budget, we expect the consumer sentiment to improve in the coming months,”
Chennai-based two wheeler manufacturer TVS Motor company registered a growth of 2% with sales increasing from 262,995 units in January 2018 to 269,277 units in January 2019.
Eicher-owned, Royal Enfield reported a 7 per cent decline in its domestic sales at 70,872 units in the month of January 2019. Royal Enfield January domestic sales drop 7% at 70,872 units The company sold 76,205 units in the domestic market in January 2018.
On the contrary, Suzuki Motorcycle India Private Ltd said it closed last month with 40 per cent sales growth in the domestic market. In a statement, the company said it sold 63,209 units last month as against a corresponding figure of 45,287 units sold in January 2018.
India’s largest commercial vehicle manufacturer Tata Motors’ domestic sales declined by 6% in January 2019 to 37,089 units, compared to 39,386 units sold last year.
Subdued market sentiments, high-interest rates, lag effect of implementation of revised axle load norms, slowing industrial output and declining IIP growth index were the primary factors behind the lull. The base effect is also playing a role in the muted growth of CV industry w.r.t. H2 FY 18.
The M&HCV truck segment declined by 9%, at 11,694 units, compared to 12,804 units sold in January 2018, due to weak sentiments among transporters as a result of the revised axle load norms announced in July ’18.
Post the axle load norms implementation, the freight carrying capacity of MHCV parc has increased by 20%, however, the freight growth has not been able to absorb this capacity resulting in lower demand of new trucks.
The I&LCV truck segment recorded a growth of 10% with 4,999 units in January 2019 as compared to 4,541 units sold last year.
This segment has not been much affected by the increased axle load norms. The demand in I&LCV segment has been led by the e-commerce sector, increased rural consumption, supported by new product introductions.
The SCV Cargo and Pickup segment witnessed a drop of 7% at 16,619 units sold in January 2019 over last year, due to the high base effect.
However, with the hub-spoke model continuously evolving, the small commercial vehicles is expected to be in demand for last mile connectivity needs across rural and urban markets.
The commercial passenger carrier segment recorded sales of 3,777 units, lower by 8% as compared to 4,093 units sold in January 2018. This segment has been impacted due to the slowdown in the procurement of buses by STUs and the permits for private hiring.
Despite medium and commercial vehicle sales of Mahindra & Mahindra going down sharply by 19 per cent, the overall commercial vehicle segment sales grew by 8 per cent at 22,625 units during the month under review.
Homegrown commercial vehicle major Ashok Leyland reported 12 per cent growth in its domestic sales at 18,533 units for the month of January 2019. The company sold 16,484 units in the domestic market in January 2018