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Maruti Suzuki Registers Slight Growth in October, Other Automakers Still in Sales Slump

Image for Representation (Reuters)

Image for Representation (Reuters)

While Maruti Suzuki recorded growth in sales, Hyundai, Mahindra and Mahindra, Toyota, Tata Motors and Honda also managed to stop their sales decline.

Car market leader Maruti Suzuki India made the most out of the festive season, posting its first growth in domestic passenger vehicles sales after seven months in October, while other firms including Hyundai, Mahindra & Mahindra and Toyota managed to arrest a continued decline in vehicle offtake. Tata Motors and Honda Cars India also managed to improve sales in October from preceding months despite posting high double-digit declines during the month. Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) posted a growth of 4.5 per cent in its domestic wholesales at 1,44,277 units in October as against 1,38,100 units in the same period last year. The company's sales in the domestic market last month were largely driven by an increase in offtake of compact segment cars and utility vehicles. Sales of compact segment, including models such as Swift, Celerio, Ignis, Baleno and Dzire, grew 15.9 per cent to 75,094 units last month as against 64,789 units in October last year. Similarly, utility vehicle sales grew by 11.3 per cent to 23,108 units in October as against 20,764 units in the same period of last year.

MSI Executive Director (Marketing & Sales) Shashank Srivastava said the company has taken various measures including steps to reduce the cost of vehicle acquisition and improving finance options to customers by initiating discussions with banks, over the past few months. Besides, huge discounts and positive customer sentiments during the festive season also helped the company post increase in sales, he added. Rival Hyundai Motor India reported best-ever cumulative sales so far this year. The company's domestic sales, however, dropped 2.2 per cent to 63,610 units in October as compared with 65,020 units in the same month last year. Despite being in the negative territory, Mahindra and Mahindra managed to arrest a decline in sales, posting 11 per cent dip at 49,193 units last month as compared to 55,350 units in October 2018. In September, the company had reported a decline of 21 per cent in domestic sales at 40,692 units.

"The festive month of October was excellent for Mahindra, with retail volume exceeding wholesale by approximately 40 per cent. This robust retail performance was contributed by both passenger and commercial vehicles," M&M Chief of Sales and Marketing, Automotive Division, Veejay Ram Nakra said. Similarly, Toyota Kirloskar Motor reported a 6 per cent decline in domestic sales at 11,866 units as compared to 12,606 units in the corresponding month last year. Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) had reported total sales of 10,203 units in September this year. TKM Deputy Managing Director N Raja said customer demand witnessed a spike in the festive season, especially during Dhanteras and Diwali.

"The boost in customer sentiments has enabled an upward trend in our sales performance as compared to the last few months of slowdown. It was quite encouraging to see the marked improvement in customer orders on account of the festive season," he said. Tata Motors said its passenger vehicle sales in the domestic market during the month stood at 13,169 units as against 18,290 units in October last year, 28 per cent down. Similarly, Honda Cars India Ltd (HCIL) reported 29.44 per cent decline in domestic sales at 10,010 units in October as against 14,187 units 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," HCIL Senior Vice President and Director, Sales and Marketing, Rajesh Goel said. The company also witnessed an increased sales momentum as compared to the last few months and is hopeful that this trend will continue in the following months, he added.