However, following the liquidity crunch in the financial markets, the financing scenario is expected to get tightened which will adversely hit CV sales in the near-term.
Despite near-term challenges, arising from liquidity crunch and declining profitability from fleet operators, Icra has maintained a stable outlook for the commercial vehicle (CV) segment as it expects underlying demand to remain strong from pick-up in infrastructure sector as a result of stable demand from core freight generating sectors such as steel, cement and Exim trade.
However, following the liquidity crunch in the financial markets, the financing scenario is expected to get tightened which will adversely hit CV sales in the near-term. Icra’s channel check suggests lending to small fleet operators with relatively weak credit profile would be impacted the most in the near-term. As liquidity scenario improves, the sector is likely to see momentum coming back as the industry will also witness pre-buying in FY20 ahead of the roll-out of new emission norms.
So far, the demand for M&HCV (truck) has remained indifferent to revision in axle load carrying norms, thereby reflecting a healthy underlying demand. The M&HCV segment is about to grow 18-20% in volume terms during FY19 and witness a healthy growth in FY20 as well on the back of implementation of BS-VI emission norms (from April 2020 onwards).
For November, market leaders such as Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland have reported a sales decline of 5% and 9%, respectively due to lack of consumer sentiment as well as liquidity crisis. While Tata Motors’ domestic sales dipped to 33,488 units in November 2018 as compared to 35,307 units in same month last year, Ashok Leyland sales declined to 13,121 units in November 2018 as compared to 14,457 units in the corresponding period. Another major player Volvo Eicher domestic sales dipped by 7.4% to 3,935 units in November 2018 from 4,251 units in similar month last year.
According to Motilal Oswal, the CV sector has witnessed second month of weak sales. CV wholesales were hit in November 2018 by liquidity and financing constraints.