July numbers: Car sales slide on base effect, leaders Maruti, Hyundai edge lower

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New Delhi | Updated: August 2, 2018 3:01:19 AM

Sales of passenger vehicles in July by the country’s top two manufacturers Maruti Suzuki India and Hyundai Motor skidded with the former seeing a decline of 0.6%.

July numbers: Car sales slide on base effect, leaders Maruti, Hyundai edge lower

Sales of passenger vehicles in July by the country’s top two manufacturers Maruti Suzuki India and Hyundai Motor skidded with the former seeing a decline of 0.6% compared with the same month last year and the latter seeing an incremental growth of 1.1%. However, the automakers said this was due to the recalibration done last year in the run-up to the implementation of the goods and services tax (GST) and had nothing to do with the underlying sentiments in the market and would normalise from August.

Last year in June manufacturers had done huge destocking as from July GST was to come into force. As a result this year in June the sales figures were abnormally high with Maruti’s figures touching a growth of 44%. Further, in July last year when GST came into effect, despatches were made in huge numbers to make up for June, which led to higher sales. Therefore, on a high base, this time July sales have either dipped or remained stagnant. Just for perspective, last year in June Maruti’s sales growth was only 1% but in July it was 21%.

Maruti officials said that due to changes last year, this year June and July figures should be seen as one where Maruti sales growth is around 17%, which is good. “While the growth rate may look flat, one must look at the absolute volumes in July, which are very robust even by our own high standards,” Maruti’s senior executive director (marketing and sales) RS Kalsi said, adding that the flat growth seen in July was primarily due to a high base in the same month last year. “In June this year we sold around 1.34 lakh vehicles (less than July) but the growth rate was 44.5%,” he said, adding that if the June-July period was taken together the company’s growth would be 17% over the year-ago period.

For Mahindra and Mahindra too, domestic sales were down 6% at 19,781 units. The same was the case with Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) and Ford India, which saw their July sales dip by 23% and 7% year-on-year, respectively.

“June-July 2017 was a unique case owing to last year’s GST scenario, wherein the company supplied as per the market demand which was impacted due to impending GST implementation,” TKM deputy managing director N Raja said.

However, Tata Motors registered a 14% jump in domestic sales at 17,079 units in July 2018. This may be because the calibration done by the company last year during June-July must have been lesser than other players.

However, two-wheelers and commercial vehicle (CV) manufacturers continued to show robust growth. Hero MotoCorp witnessed a 9% growth at 623,269 units, while Bajaj Auto expanded by 22% year-on-year to 201,433 units. TVS Motor’s domestic sales also grew by 12% at 247,382 units.

In the CV segment, Tata Motors witnessed a 25% growth at 34,817 units. Ashok Leyland registered 27% year-on-year rise in domestic sales to 15,199 units.

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