Signaling a recovery in India’s passenger car market and a pick-up in infrastructure and manufacturing activity aiding commercial vehicle sales, most automobile firms in India posted a year-on-year growth in sales for February.
Among exceptions, sales of light commercial vehicles (LCVs) continued to decline, albeit at a lower rate, and two-wheeler makers suffered a slump in sales as well.
Ashok Leyland was the best performer in the heavy vehicle segment, posting a 48% y-o-y growth in sales to 8,320 units.
Tata Motors, which has been struggling due to declining car and CV sales over the last couple of years, also saw a healthy volume growth in both segments, for the second consecutive month. The company’s medium and heavy commercial vehicle (M&HCV) sales grew by 34% to 12,190 units on the back of strong demand as fleet owners are replacing their old vehicles.
Tata Motors recorded a 4% decline in LCV sales in February to 14,347 units. While ALL’s LCV sales grew 8%, albeit on a lower base. Overall, CVs for both Tata Motors and ALL grew by 11 % and 36%, respectively.
PV sales continued its growth trajectory in February.
Market leader Maruti Suzuki registered a rise of 8.2% to 1,07,892 units on the back of strong demand for the Ciaz and Celerio, and continued patronage for older variants like the Dzire and Alto. Honda and Hyundai also reported a 16% and 9.7% growth in car sales, compared to February 2014. Tata motors’ PV sales grew 31% on the back of strong demand for the Zest and Bolt.
February has not been a good month for two wheelers as market leader Hero MotoCorp and Bajaj Auto registered declines in sales. Hero MotoCorp’s posted a 3.85% decline as sales in rural areas dipped and competition from Honda — in both the motorcycle and scooter segments — intensified.
Bajaj saw a 22% decline as it failed to grow sales of the Discover that used to drive 40% of its sales. Lack of products in the 120-125cc commuter bike segment is also hurting the company.
The lack of new offerings in the UV segment continued to hurt M&M as it registered a 11.23% decline in sales.