Auto sales vroom 30% on festive spirit


Sales of cars and utility vehicles showed an upward trend again in October as the festive frenzy continued to drive consumers to showrooms, pushing retail sales and clearing the inventory stock pile of vehicles swiftly.

Market leader Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai Motors, which led the growth charts during October, stated that sales during the traditionally auspicious days around Diwali were the best ever in their history.

Softened lending rates and attractive benefits offered by companies pushed the aggregate sales of the industry to 154,476 units during the month, an increase of nearly 30 per cent over 120,050 units reported in the same month a year ago, according to company sales figures for last month.

Initial sales figures (from volume-generating companies like Maruti, Hyundai, Tata Motors and others) are even higher when compared with the preceding September month, when the industry had generated the best monthly sales in the year.

Domestic sales of Maruti Suzuki grew 21 per cent to 71,551 units in October, compared with 59,127 units posted in the same month a year ago. Ritz, Swift, DZire, A-Star and Zen Estilo models accounted for a bulk of the sales. Demand for the M800, however, continued to slide, down five per cent at 3,124 units in the reporting month.

Korean car brand Hyundai Motors India Ltd (HMIL), meanwhile, posted a robust domestic growth of 41 per cent during the month, selling 28,301 units against 20,009 units in October 2008. Demand for models like Santro, i10 and i20 pushed overall sales of the company.

HMIL Senior Vice-President (Marketing and Sales) Arvind Saxena said: “The festive period in the last two months generated strong sales and has given the Indian automobile industry some respite from the sluggish performance of the last few months. It now looks like this period of strong sales would help the industry achieve a double-digit growth trend for the remainder of the year.”
2008 Oct
2009 Gwth
 (in%) Sept
2009 Gwth
(in%) Maruti Suzuki 59,127 71,551 21 71,594 -0.06 Hyundai 20,009 28,301 41.44 27,803 1.79 Tata Motors 17,014 20,011 17.61 18,176 10.09 General Motors 6,465 7,413 14.66 7,654 -3.14 Mahindra 13,935 18,410 30.17 15,296 20.35 Honda Siel 1,546 6,909 346.89 5,794 19.24 SkodaAuto 887 1,753 97.63 1,854 -5.44 Mahindra Renault 1,067 401 -62.41 510 -21.37 Ford India 1,744 3,458 98.27 3,405 1.55 Total 121,794 158,207 29.89 152,086 4.02

Mumbai-based utility vehicle maker Mahindra & Mahindra, too, saw solid growth in demand for the Xylo, Scorpio and Bolero, with its overall sales climbing 32 per cent in October this year to 18,410 units against 13,935 units in the same month last year.   Sales of the Logan sedan, jointly made by Mahindra and French car maker Renault, slipped yet again by 62 per cent, to 401 units from 1,067 units in October 2008.

Tata Motors’ sales grew 18 per cent to 20,011 units last month against 17,014 units in the same period last year. Additional numbers of Nano and the Indica Vista helped the company post better sales.

Premium Japanese car maker Honda Siel Cars India (HSCI) also posted a healthy growth in October, selling 6,909 units, a growth of 347 per cent over 1,546 units sold in the same month a year ago. The latest model of Honda City — an earlier model of which was in the process of being phased out in the same month last year — witnessed the highest demand last month.

HSCI Vice-President (Marketing) Jnaneswar Sen said: “Growing consumer optimism, coupled with an array of new launches by us during the festival season, catapulted our sales for the month.”

Ford India’s sales rose 98 per cent in October 2009 to 3,458 units against 1,744 units during October 2008. This made October one of the best-selling months, with Ford India recording its highest sales in the past 25 months.

Ford India Executive Director (Marketing, Sales & Service) Nigel Wark said: “We are seeing an overwhelming response to our product line-up, with the Fiesta recording its highest sales in the last 16 months.”

Analysts are of the view that, though September sales did not provide a clear picture of the actual demand of vehicles due to a low base, the momentum carrying on in the full month of October proved demand was very buoyant.

“Retail sales (by the dealer to the final consumer) was continuous even after Diwali, forcing companies to keep up with increased dispatches to dealers,” a Mumbai-based analyst said.