Maruti & Hyundai Dec car sales up

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Jan 2 2014, 10:24am hrs
Leading car makers Maruti Suzuki India and Hyundai Motor India posted single-digit growth in their domestic sales in December but other companies failed to beat the year-end blues.

Reflecting the prolonged slump in the Indian automobile sector, Mahindra & Mahindra, Ford India, Toyota Kirloskar and General Motors India reported decline in domestic sales.

Maruti said its domestic sales during December 2013 stood at 86,613 units, up 5.5% from 82,073 units in December of the previous year.

The growth was mainly on account of sales of mini passenger cars, including M800, Alto, A-Star and WagonR, which were up 16.7% at 38,286 units, against 32,797 units in the year-ago period. Sales of compact sedan Dzire grew by 18% to 15,427 units, against 13,076 units in December 2013, the company added.

However, sales of compact cars comprising Swift, Estilo and Ritz were down 14.7% at 19,171 units, against 22,482 units a year ago.

Hyundai Motor India reported 6.24% increase in domestic sales at 28,345 units during the month from 26,697 units in December 2012. The companys total sales in December 2013 were at 49,069 units, against 47,833 units in the same month of previous year. Exports during the month were down 1.94% to 20,724 units from 21,136 units in the same month previous year.

HMIL senior vice-president (sales and marketing) Rakesh Srivastava said, 2013 was a very challenging year and rewarding too... Manufacturing operated at 99% capacity utilisation and our company had the fastest 5 million roll-out in India. In 2014, Hyundai will launch many new products and new initiatives to build further on this positive momentum, he added.

Other companies were unable to beat the year-end blues as customers stayed away from purchasing new cars in December because the year of the model changes within in a month, impacting the re-sale value.

Mahindra & Mahindras domestic sales stood at 36,881 units, against 42,307 in the same month previous year, down 12.82%.

During the first nine months of the current fiscal, the auto industry has seen a negative growth due to sustained deceleration in economic activity and consequent weakness in consumer and business sentiments, Mahindra & Mahindra chief executive (automotive division) Pravin Shah said. While the immediate turnaround in the auto industry is not expected without certain policy corrections and support, the worst seems to be over, he added.

Likewise, Ford Indias domestic sales were down 9.9% to 5,871 units in December, against 6,517 units in the same month previous year. Ford India executive director (marketing, sales and service) Vinay Piparsania said: Despite difficult economic and business environment, 2013 has been a remarkable and rewarding year for Ford in India...we are excited to conclude the year with our products finding greater acceptance from customers and media.

Toyota Kirloskar Motor also reported 11.78% decline in domestic sales at 10,648 units in December, down from 12,071 units in the year-ago period.

The market sentiments do not seem to be improving. In the last few months, we have made our best efforts to control inventory both at TKM and at our dealers end, TKM deputy managing director and chief operating officer (marketing and commercial), Sandeep Singh said.

General Motors India also said its sales in December declined 19.27% at 5,705 units, against 7,067 units sold in December 2012.

GM India vice-president P Balendran said: The past year has been extremely challenging for the automobile sector as the general economic and consumer sentiments had failed to pick up. Despite providing highest level of discounts during December, footfall in showrooms failed to pick-up.