Maruti Registers 4.5% Growth Despite Auto Slowdown

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Riding on the back of festive season demand and wide product portfolio, Maruti Suzuki managed to reverse the negative trend in car sales in October but many of its rivals and bike makers continued to witness a decline in sales.

Maruti sold a total of 1,44,277 units (inclusive of OEM sales) during October 2019 in the domestic market recording a 4.5 per cent growth over the same month a year ago. While it witnessed decline in sales of mini cars such as Alto and S-Presso, the compact segment including New WagonR, Celerio, Ignis, Swift, Baleno and Dzire posted a healthy growth of 16 per cent year-on-year.

Close rival and Korean carmaker Hyundai India sold 50,010 units in domestic market during October this year, down 3.6 per cent compared to 52,001 in the same month a year ago.

Honda Cars India continued to post negative growth selling 10,010 units in October, 2019 compared to 14,187 in the same month last year.

“The festive season was rewarding for the auto sector after a prolonged slowdown. The high discounts and other festive offers provided by automakers across the industry resulted in positive consumer sentiment. At Honda, we also saw an increased sales momentum as compared to last few months and are hopeful that this trend will continue in the following months,” said Rajesh Goel, Senior Vice President and Director – Sales and Marketing, Honda Cars India.

Another leading automaker Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) reported a 23 per cent decline in passenger vehicle (PV) segment which comprises Bolero and XUV in the month of October. It sold 18,460 vehicles in October 2019, compared to 24,066 vehicles in October, 2018.

Commercial vehicle (CV) major Ashok Leyland Ltd also continued to post lower sales number in the wake of prolonged economic slowdown. In a statement on Friday, the company said that it had logged a total sales of 9,857 units in October this year, down 35 per cent as compared to 15,149 units sold in October 2018.

All the leading bikemakers saw their sales falling despite festive season discounts. Two-wheeler (2W) market leader Hero MotoCorp on Friday reported 18.43 per cent decline in total sales at 5,99,248 units in October. The company had sold 7,34,668 units in the same month last year.

Rival Bajaj Auto has reported a 14 per cent decline in its sales of motorcycles in the month of October this year. The Pune-based company could sell 2,42,516 units of motorcycles during October in the domestic market as against 2,81,582 in the same month last year.

“Sales trends have been better in October in comparison to previous months. Our channel checks indicate retail volumes were higher in the festive season for PV, 2W and Tractor segments, while CV volumes remain weak due to high base and surplus capacity with transporters. Wholesales have been below retails, as OEMs are focusing on reducing dealer inventories to ensure smooth BS6 transition,” said an analyst from brokerage firm Emkay.

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