Automobile manufacturers across segments continued to make large dispatches to their dealers ahead of the festive season leading to a substantial increase in their wholesale volumes in August. Most of the growth in volumes was led by the utility vehicle (UV) and scooter segments while the medium and heavy vehicle (M&HCV) segment continued to recover post-GST. Dispatches in the passenger car segment increased by 11.8% y-o-y to 198,811 units while UV volumes grew by a whopping 19.62% y-o-y to 78,664 units. The growth in the PV segment was driven mostly by Maruti Suzuki on the back of increased production capacity because of the commissioing of the Gujarat plant.
The company reported the highest ever 26.7% y-o-y rise in wholesale volumes to 1.52 lakh vehicles on the back of a double-digit growth in UV and compact segment which comprises the popular offering like the Vitara Brezza (compact UV), Baleno (premium hatchback), Ignis (urban compact car) and Dzire (compact sedan).
Korean car maker Hyundai also reported a 9% y-o-y rise in volumes on a high base while Mahindra and Mahindra witnessed a 7% y-o-y increase in volumes despite new vehicles not generating enough volumes. Tata Motors’ PV unit also saw wholesale volumes rise by 10% y-o-y to 14,340 units. “This upsurge in demand has been due to good monsoons and our rural penetration. Our passenger vehicles grew by 6% and our overall sales grew by 4%. Our brands continue to gain traction despite several external challenges,” said Rajan Wadhera, president, automotive sector, M&M.
In the M&HCV segment, the volumes continued to recover as manufacturers improved the stock of BS-IV vehicles at the dealerships, expecting the fleet owners to buy new vehicles as the economic activity improves post demonetisation and GST implementation. Tata Motors reported a 34% rise in volumes to 31,566 units while Ashok Leyland’s volumes also increased by 29%y-o-y on a very low base of last year. Total volumes in M&HCV improved by 28.43% y-o-y to 26,376 units. Volumes in light CVs also grew by 19.9% y-o-y to 38,934 units. Improving demand in the rural market led to a 13.9 y-o-y increase in motorcycle volumes to 11,35,699 units on the back of growing demand for economy segment motorcycles of Hero MotoCorp.
Hero MotoCorp witnessed the highest ever rise in wholesale volumes as dispatches increased by 10% y-o-y, while TVS Motors also reported a 13.2% rise in volumes. Scooter sales on the other hand increased by 18.6% y-o-y to 673,444 units. Scooter volumes of the Honda two-wheelers rose by a whopping 26% y-o-y to 5.86 lakh vehicles.
“Most of our dealers now have an inventory of 42 days because of the upcoming festive season compared to the usual 30 days. We expect to grow volumes by 20% when compared to the last festive season. This year the sales in the rural market is expected to be good after a two consecutive years of good monsoon,” said YS Guleria, senior vice-president, sales and marketing, HMSI.