Car, two-wheeler sales move ahead in April

Written by Corporate Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: May 3 2009, 05:04am hrs
Slowly but steadily the auto industry is coming back on track. All leading passenger carmakers have seen their sales growing in April. Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, the largest player with a 51% marketshare, recorded 9% growth in domestic sales at 64,857 units in April over the year-ago number of 59,539 units.

Sales of Hyundai Motor India, the second largest manufacturer, went up by 3.5% to 22,247 units last month from 21,501 units in April last year. Honda Siel Cars India reported a sales growth of 7.5% at 3,656 units in the first month of the current financial year compared to 3,400 units a year ago. Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) also clocked a growth of 16.6% last month at 22,617 units versus 19,392 units.

Though Tata Motors did not announce its sales figures on Friday, according to analysts, it is also expected to move into the positive territory in April with its new Indica Vista model. The company had reported a 4% dip in sales in March to 23,680 units.

In March, barring Maruti, the other two manufacturers, Hyundai and Tata Motors had shown sales falling on year on year.

April is traditionally a good season for the auto industry and a large part of sales is related to the wedding season. At times, major Budget announcements also help. Since the Budget was not there this time, its largely the seasonal factor that is seen in the April numbers, says Rakesh Batra, national leader (automotive practices), Ernst & Young.

However, on a month-on-month basis, sales of leading firms have come down in April. Maruti Suzukis sales dipped 12.1% in April to 64,857 units from 73,855 units in March. Hyundai Motors sales also fell by 10.1% to 22,247 units last month.

Though the spurt in sales in the first three months of the year was a result of the two stimulus packages, these are no longer driving sales. Moreover, since the companies are cutting on discounts, the volume has come down in April compared with March, says a Mumbai-based analyst.

Two-wheeler sales, too, went up in April, led by market leader Hero Honda Motors that reported a 29.5% jump in sales at 3,70,575 units comparted with 2,86,252 in April last year. Sales of Chennai-based TVS Motors went up 3% to 1,13,119 units, while India Yamaha Motor reported a 48% rise in sales at 15,120 units against 10,199 units a year ago.

Bajaj Auto, the countrys second largest two-wheeler maker, which has seen declining sales in the last few months, did not announce its sales figures on Friday.

However, officials said that though expected sales in April wouldnt be higher than what they were last year, but would definitely be the highest by the company in the last few months.