Two-Wheelers have clearly stolen the show this festival season, with market leader Hero MotoCorp selling 18 per cent more bikes and scooters at a record 6.25 lakh units in October on the back of strong rural demand after a good monsoon.
While rival Bajaj is yet to report its sales data, Hero’s erstwhile partner Honda also saw volumes jump 50 per cent at 3.75 lakh units, while TVS Motor reported a 2 per cent rise at 1.73 lakh units.
HeroMotoCorp senior VP (marketing & sales) Anil Dua said, “While we exceeded our best-ever despatch sales for any month by a huge margin, at the same time, our retail sales — which is a real barometer of customer response — has also set a new record. We have retailed over 6.5 lakh two-wheelers in the domestic market in October. Our factories have been working to capacity to meet the added demand in this festival season. With Dhanteras and Diwali here, we are prepared to maintain this retail momentum going forward.”
Meanwhile, carmakers in October had far less to cheer about as urban demand remained sluggish on the back of slowing economic growth, high inflation and rising fuel prices. Maruti Suzuki, which accounts for 40 per cent of the passenger vehicle market, and rival Hyundai both recorded flat growth in the month at 96,062 units and 36,002 units, respectively.
Maruti Suzuki’s sales in the mini-car segment declined by 6.8 per cent to 39,379 units last month and compact segment declined by 1.2 per cent to 22,188 units in October.
Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra saw a 33 per cent (at 14,133 units) and 15 per cent (22,924 units) drop, respectively, as the popularity of diesel vehicles and utility vehicles waned.
Mahindra & Mahindra chief executive (automotive) Pravin Shah said, “During such tough and challenging times, we are heartened with our performance in October which has grown by 17 per cent over the last month. In spite of new launches, the auto sector has witnessed a de-growth of nearly 5 per cent during the first half of 2013-14 fiscal and the recent repo rate hike