Car sales during the month of November continued to be patchy and soft, driven by new launches and discounts. The biggest disappointment was the domestic sales of the market leader, Maruti Suzuki, which increased year-on-year by 10.6%, much lower than street’s expectations. The below expected numbers by Maruti were largely due to decline of around 5% in sales of its mini cars like Alto and WagonR.
Since there has been no new launches in this segment and the discount has been the least here, it perhaps explains that the market is largely driven by these two factors rather than any major demand pull by customers. The mini car segment comprises 35% of Maruti’s overall sales. Even its mid-size segment comprising Ciaz and SX4 saw sales in low single digits.
Tata Motors, Honda Cars and Toyota Kirloskar are the major manufacturers which, in fact saw decline in their sales during the month. Perhaps the best performance was of Hyundai and Mahindra and Mahindra, which saw a growth of 23% and 36% respectively, on the back of new launches. The total passenger vehicle sales for leading companies grew around 12-13% during the month. Passenger vehicles had seen a 22% growth in sales in October with high festive sales in Navratras as well as inventory stocking for Diwali.
The two wheeler market continued to reel under stress with market leader Hero MotoCorp showing flat growth of sales and Honda Motorcycle and Scooter showing a steep decline of 11.66%. Interestingly, scooter sales of Honda, which has continued to grow in double digits for many months in a row, saw a decline in sales for the first time in over a year.
Sports utility vehicle market leader Mahindra and Mahindra continued its strong performance for a second consecutive month mainly on the success of its new compact SUV the TUV300. October was the first month for Mahindra to have clocked a positive growth since December last year. French car maker Renault marked a significant entry in the entry-level segment with its hatchback Kwid and has recorded a 144% growth in total passenger vehicle sales.
On the commercial vehicles front, Ashok Leyland saw slowing growth in total commercial vehicles sales for the second consecutive month with a growth of 16% compared to a 17% growth in the previous month and 60.8% in September. Tata Motors on the other hand continued with a decline in total commercial vehicles domestic sales. The decline for Tata Motors has mainly been due to contracting volumes of light commercial vehicles. Tata Motors saw a growth of 21% in the Medium and Heavy commercial vehicles segment.
Ashok Leyland too witnessed slow growth in the light commercial vehicles segment, while Mahindra and Mahindra saw a growth of 16%.