By Rama Venkat
BENGALURU (Reuters) – Top Indian automakers on Friday posted an increase in passenger and commercial vehicle sales for August, as optimistic dealers loaded up vehicles ahead of the festive season.
In the passenger vehicles (PV) category, sales for Maruti Suzuki and Mahindra and Mahindra grew 16.4% and 25%, respectively, for the month compared to a year earlier. Tata Motors, however, posted a 3.5% decline in PV sales.
Shares of Maruti Suzuki scaled to a record high during the day. The automaker reported total sales of 189,082 units in August, its highest ever monthly sales volume, led by continued strong demand and launch of new models in the fast-growing sport-utility vehicles (SUV) segment.
Two-wheeler maker TVS Motor Company reported a 5% increase in sales, while Bajaj Auto registered a decline of 31%. Eicher Motors’ total motorcycles sales grew 11%.
Two-wheeler sales provide a glimpse of the financial health of India’s rural economy and demand in the country’s largest consumption segment, which mostly comprises of lower middle-income households.
“Medium and heavy commercial vehicle segments are holding very strong, while passenger vehicles have started showing good traction after a pause,” said Amit Hiranandani, automobile sector lead analyst at brokerage SMIFS.
In general, August and September are inventory-filling months, with wholesale numbers looking reasonably good as most dealers are optimistic across segments due to upcoming festivals, he added.
In the commercial vehicles (CV) segment, sales volumes for Eicher Motors’ trucks and buses climbed 30.4% year-on-year in August.
CV sales for Ashok Leyland and Tata Motors rose 9% and 4.9%, respectively.
However, Escorts Kubota said tractor sales – indicative of demand in the rural economy and the state of farm incomes – declined 2.1% in August, partly due to deficient monsoons.
The Nifty auto index settled 1.65% higher after the data was released.
Below is a list of overall sales figures for August from some of India’s leading auto companies:
Manufacturer Vehicle Sales Y/Y Growth
Maruti Suzuki India 189,082 14.5
Mahindra and Mahindra 70,350 19
Tata Motors 78,010 -1.06
Bajaj Auto 341,648 -15
Eicher Motors Motorcycles 77,583 11
Eicher Motors Trucks and 6,239 27.5
Ashok Leyland 15,576 10
TVS Motors 345,848 3.6
Mahindra and Mahindra Farm 21,676 1
(Reporting by Rama Venkat in Bengaluru; Editing by Sonia Cheema)