Major auto makers report fall in March sales
New Delhi: Major car makers such as Hyundai Motor, Tata Motors, General Motors, Honda Cars and Ford, today reported decline in sales for March, reflecting the continuing demand slump that the auto industry faced in 2012-13 fiscal.
However, Mahindra & Mahindra and Toyota Kirloskar said their sales went up last month.
On the two-wheeler front, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter and India Yamaha registered increases in their sales last month, while market leader Hero MotoCorp and Chennai-based TVS Motor saw their despatches going down.
Market leader Maruti Suzuki will release its sales figures tomorrow.
The country's second-largest car maker Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) reported a decline of 13.46 percent in domestic sales at 33,858 units, compared to 39,122 units in the year-ago period
"The slowdown of economy is impacting vehicle sales. Against large base of last year, there was a sharp drop in conversion of enquiries in the absence of any positive stimulus and sentiments," HMIL Vice President (Sales and Marketing) Rakesh Srivastava said.
The company foresees the pressure on volumes to continue till there is significant improvement in macro-economic factors, he added.
In March 2013, Tata Motors' total passenger vehicle sales in the domestic market stood at 12,347 units, down 66.62 percent from 36,984 units in the same month last year.
However, rival Mahindra & Mahindra's total sales of passenger vehicles including Scorpio, XUV500, Xylo, Bolero and Verito, stood at 25,847 units as against 22,961 units in March 2012, translating into 12.57 percent increase.
Toyota Kirloskar Motor reported 6.76 percent increase in its domestic car sales at 19,452 units in March 2013. It had sold 18,220 units in the corresponding month of last year.
TKM Deputy Managing Director and COO (Marketing and Commercial) Sandeep Singh said: "Despite the slow demand in market, we have registered a growth. This growth can be mainly attributed to high customer acceptance of the new models of Etios and Etios Liva, launched recently."
Increase in excise duty of SUVs and implementation of increased road tax in some of the states have helped clear the stock of pre-budget vehicles, he added.
"The market continues to be slow and is expected to remain sluggish in the coming months," Singh said.
Another car maker General Motors India reported 14.94 percent decline in its sales at 9,006 units in March 2013 compared to 10,588 units in the same month of 2012.
"Despite offering various schemes, the show-room traffic has come down drastically and enquiry conversions are also not taking place. The market sentiment continues to remain subdued due to poor economic conditions and various other factors," GM India Vice President P Balendran said.
High interest rates, high fuel prices and political uncertainties have impacted the sales of automobile manufacturers, he added.
"We are not expecting any improvement in the short term, but there can be some movement during the festival season, which is also possible only if the interest rate comes down and economic situation improves in the coming months," Balendran said.
Honda Cars India reported 8.82 percent decline in its domestic sales for March 2013 at 10,044 units. It had sold 11,016 units in the same month last year.
Rival Ford India's domestic sales went down by 41.61 percent to 5,271 units in March this year from 9,028 units in the same month last year.
Ford India Executive Director (Marketing, Sales and Service) Vinay Piparsania said: "We see the current downturn as cyclical and we expect stronger sales growth in the future."
Car maker Renault India reported over 8-fold jump in sales in March this year at 8,232 units as against 1,005 vehicles during March 2012.
The country's largest two-wheeler maker Hero MotoCorp reported a fall of 11.36 percent in its total sales at 4,68,283 units in March 2013. It had sold 5,28,290 units in March 2012.
Hero MotoCorp Senior Vice President (Marketing and Sales) Anil Dua said: "Indian auto industry faced acute slowdown in FY'13. It continues to reel under the adversities of persistent inflation, firm interest rates, rising fuel prices and negative consumer sentiment."
All these factors have adversely impacted the growth of the industry and the company's sales volumes, he added.
However, rival Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) reported 14.64 percent growth in its total sales for March 2013 at 2,52,773 units compared to 2,20,487 units in the corresponding month last year.
TVS Motor Company's sales of two-wheelers in the domestic market decreased by 10.89 percent to 1,43,239 units in March 2013 from 1,60,736 units in March 2012.
Two-wheeler maker India Yamaha Motor registered a rise of 20 percent in its domestic sales at 35,782 units compared to 29,819 units in the year-ago period.