After festive boost, PV sales back in slow lane

Sales are measured as wholesales or factory dispatches to dealerships. (Bloomberg)

NEW DELHI : Car sales in India are expected to have fallen 8% year-on-year (y-o-y) in November, contracting from an uptick seen during the festival month of October.

Sales data issued by Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, Hyundai Motor India Ltd, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd (M&M), Tata Motors Ltd, Honda Cars India Ltd and Volkswagen India showed combined sales of 218,166 cars last month, falling from 236,276 units sold by the same companies a year earlier.

Sales are measured as wholesales or factory dispatches to dealerships. The sales performance was, however, better than analysts’ expectations of a 10-12% decline.

Graphic by Naveen Kumar Saini/Mint
Graphic by Naveen Kumar Saini/Mint

Sales at market leader Maruti fell 3% y-o-y to 139,133 units last month from 143,890 units a year earlier.

Maruti, which sold 144,277 vehicles in the local market in October, fared better-than-expected in November, said analysts. Sales of Maruti’s mini and compact small cars grew 2% y-o-y to 104,319 units last month. The growth has been largely driven by demand for models such as Swift, New WagonR and the Baleno premium hatchback.

“November wholesales are better than expected. There is a slight revival for the BS IV diesel cars as the demand continues to be driven by discounts and promotional offers, which were given during the festive season,” said Gaurav Vangaal, country lead, light vehicle production forecasting, IHS Markit. “This has worked well to reduce inventory for Maruti Suzuki. Meanwhile, incremental growth is coming on the back of new launches such as the XL6, S-Presso, New WagonR”.

New models helped Hyundai, the second-largest carmaker, post a 2% y-o-y growth in domestic sales last month at 44,600 vehicles. “Hyundai’s performance is primarily driven by the demand for its new products such as the Venue compact sport-utility vehicle and i10 Nios hatchback,” said Vangaal.

M&M reported total domestic passenger vehicle sales of 14,637 units, a 10% decline y-o-y. Veejay Ram Nakra, chief of sales and marketing, automotive division, M&M, expects December to pan out better. “The month post festive season is historically a lean month for the automotive industry. Consumer demand, especially for passenger vehicles, typically picks up in the year-end that is in December,” he said.

Vangaal, however, cautioned that annual plant shutdowns for maintenance at all major car manufacturers would impact December sales.