Auto companies continued to post robust sales growth in the domestic market during August as companies despatched large numbers to dealers for stocking ahead of the festival season, which kicks in later on in September with Durga Puja, followed by Diwali next month. In fact, Maruti Suzuki, Hero MotoCorp and Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India posted their best ever sales during the month. This is the second consecutive month when companies have posted impressive wholesale numbers after posting disastrous sales in June, which was the the lowest since March 2013 due to de-stocking ahead of GST. Since auto companies achieve around 30% of their targeted annual sales during the two-month festival season, they stock their dealers to their full capacity.
The country’s largest car manufacturer, Maruti Suzuki posted its best-ever volume growth at 152,000 units in the domestic market in August, an increase of 27% compared with the same period last year. In the case of Maruti, bumper sales were also witnessed because with the start of its Gujarat plant it has been able to deliver higher number of its popular premium hatchback Baleno. The waiting period for the car, which was a high 25 weeks, has now come down to around 16 weeks. Its recently refurbished Dzire also has seen good demand. This is the reason that its mini segment comprising Alto and WagonR has seen sales decline by 0.2% but was countered by the compact segment which comprises Baleno and Dzire among a few others seeing a growth of 62.4%.
Its closest competitor and the second largest car manufacturer, Hyundai Motor saw its domestic sales growing to 47,103 units, up 9%. Comparatively slower volume growth of Hyundai is largely because of a high base effect and also because its hot-selling vehicles like the compact SUV Creta and premium hatchback i20 are now more than two years old in the market. However, Hyundai has recently launched a new version of its sedan Verna. Together, Maruti and Hyundai command around 67% market share of the passenger vehicle market. Other players like Honda Cars and Tata Motors also posted double-digit growth at 25% and 10%, respectively. Mahindra & Mahindra reported a 7% increase in sales to 18,255 units. The month also once again saw commercial vehicle witnessing growth in sales.
Tata Motors, which has around a 49% share in the MHCV segment, saw its overall MHCV sales increase by 52%. The other major CV manufacturer, Ashok Leyland also registered a 29% growth in MHCV sales. Volumes in the two-wheeler segment, especially in motorcycles, continued to recover on the back of a recovery in demand in rural and semi-urban markets. Hero MotoCorp reported a 10% jump in volumes to 678,797 units, while Chennai-based TVS Motors also saw domestic volumes jump by 13.2% year-on-year to 270,544 units. HMSI reported a 26% year-on-year increase in domestic volumes to 586,173 units on the back of continued increase in scooter demand. Bajaj Auto, however, saw its sales in the domestic market decline by 2% to 171,664 units.