India’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki reported a 22 per cent decline in sales in May, its sharpest fall since August 2012. This is the third consecutive month that the company’s sales have dropped.
The top four automakers — Maruti, Mahindra & Mahindra, Tata Motors and Honda Cars India — together sold 229,294 units in the month, a fall of 20 per cent compared to the corresponding period last year when they had sold 286,484 units, confirming a slowdown in the sector.
For Maruti, the sales of new WagonR are reported under compact segment, the company said. As for the old discontinued model, sales are clubbed under the mini sub-segment effective February 2019.
Sales of mini segment fell 56.7 per cent to 16,394 units, while the compact declined 9.2 per cent to 70,135 units. Utility vehicles were down 25.3 per cent to 19,152 units and vans rose 29.7 per cent to 11,745 units. Ciaz sales fell 10 per cent to 3,592 units while Super Carry rose 4,551 per cent to 2,232 units.
Total domestic passenger vehicle sales fell 1.5 per cent to 145,000 units.
Maruti Suzuki India, which sells every second car in the domestic market, expects production and sales to grow between 4 and 8 per cent for the financial year started in April.
“There are unfavourable factors that might impact growth in the next financial year. There is a downturn in the overall industry, uncertainty over petrol prices (due to the embargo on Iran), and a shift to the BS VI model, due to which prices will go up. However, there are favourable indications too,” Maruti Suzuki Chairman R C Bhargava said.
Maruti’s exports in May were down 2.4 per cent at 9,089 units against 9,312 units in the corresponding month last year, the company said. Honda Cars India, the Indian subsidiary of Japanese carmaker Honda sold 11,442 units in May, recording a decline of 28 per cent compared to 15,864 units in the corresponding period last year.
“The market continues to be tough for the auto industry with two consecutive months of such a high de-growth. It is unprecedented in the last two decades. After elections, we were expecting an upswing which has not yet come. Factors like liquidity that is affecting capital to auto sector along with increase in fuel prices have remained a challenge to revive consumer sentiments," said Rajesh Goel, senior Vice President and Director (Sales and Marketing) at Honda Cars India.
Toyota Kirloskar Motor sold 12,138 units in May 2019, which was a de-growth of 7 per cent as compared to the same period last year.
Similarly, Mahindra & Mahindra reported a 17 per cent drop in tractor sales, signalling that a distress in rural economy continues. Domestic tractor sales fell 17 per cent to 23,539 units. “While consumer sentiment and demand continued to be subdued during the pre-election phase, our focus has been on correcting the channel inventory,” Rajan Wadhera, president of Automotive Sector said.