On the back of an over 11 per cent growth last year, largest commercial vehicles maker Tata Motors expects to ship at least 15 per cent more trucks and buses this financial year as it hopes to export at least half of the banned BS-III inventory. The company also expects domestic sale of commercial vehicles, led by LCVs and buses, to grow 10-15 per cent in fiscal 2018 aided by a favourbale GST rate and the likely normal monsoons. “We expect our exports to grow 15 per cent this year over last year when we grew over 11 per cent and for the first time crossed the 60,000-mark. This will be partly because we expect to ship at least 8,000 of the banned 15,000 BS-III trucks and buses in the Saarc markets, primarily Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh where we already have good presence, and also in the West Asian and African markets,” executive director for commercial vehicles unit Ravi Pisharody told PTI.
In fiscal 2017, Tata Motors for the first time-crossed the 60,000-mark in CV exports at over 61,200 units, which was a growth over 11 per cent in fiscal 2016, while its cumulative CV sales in the domestic market had slipped 1 per cent to 3,25,211 units. During the year, its bus exports improved marginally to 5,650 units from 5,142 units, while Leyland’s declined massively to to 4,877 units from 6,135 units.
Following the March 28 Supreme Court ban on sale, Tata Motors was left with around 15,000 trucks and buses while its dealers are sitting on around 3,000 units. Out of this, it expects to ship at least 8,000 units beginning this month to the Saarc markets, where it already sells over 500 units each every month, Pisharody had said, adding this was worth around Rs 4,000 crore.
Pishaordy had said the a portion of the unsold BS-III units would be converted at minimal cost and the remaining would be cannibalised for parts. Parts like gears, steering, seats and tyres, etc, could be used in BS-IV models, he added. The company began the new fiscal year on a high note in April by bagging an order for 500 buses from Ivory Cost.
It can be noted that for the first time in many years, Tata Motors overtook Ashol Leyland in bus market share with a wide margin in fiscal 2017, when its bus volumes (medium and heavy segment) grew 22 per cent to 18,198 units from 14,917 units. On the contrary, the Hinduja group company saw its bus sales decline by 10 per cent to 17,725 units. Tata Motors now command over 40 per cent of bus market share, which went by 7 percentage points from fiscal 2016. “We added almost 7 percentage points to our market share in the year,” Pisharody had said adding, “as our volumes clipped 26 per cent in the intermediate, medium & heavy commercial vehicle bus category.”
Also, Tata Motors led the LCV growth by more than double the industry growth rate in fiscal 2017 clipping at 22 per cent. And it is confident of this trend continuing in fiscal 2018 as well, overall driving the industry vloume by clocking 10-15 per cent growth in domestic sales, Pisharody had told PTI late last month. The industry lobby Siam has forecast a 4-6 per cent growth in fiscal 2018 for the commercial vehicles segment in fiscal 2018.
For fiscal 2017, Tata Motors’ cumulative sales stood at 5,42,561 units, up 6 per cent over 5,11,705 vehicles sold in 2015-16. During the year, its bus market (medium and heavy) grew 8 per cent to 47,262 units. Tata Motors’ share in the medium and heavy CV market came down to 49.2 per cent in fiscal 2017 from 52 per cent. In light CVs, it marginally declined to 38 per cent.