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September auto sales indicate some stability in passenger car and two-wheeler segments but suggest further deterioration in commercial vehicle segment, especially in MCHV
Auto sales during September turned out to be better for passenger vehicles and two-wheelers, while the commercial vehicle (CV) segment deteriorated further.
"As per our calculations, car industry volumes were likely flattish in September (up 1%) as compared to our expectations of 5% decline. A part of this could be led by inventory build up ahead of the festive season, in our view," said Nomura Financial Advisory and Securities (India) Pvt Ltd, in a research note.
During the month, Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) Ltd, the country's largest carmaker, reported 11.7% increase in total sales at 1.05 lakh units as against 93,988 units same month last year. For other unlisted companies, Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Co unit Hyundai Motor India Ltd’s volumes were flat which is somewhat disappointing while Honda Cars India Ltd volumes increased by 90%, led by Amaze at 6,700 units. During the month Honda Cars sold 10,354 units compared with 5,508 units, same month last year.
Tata Motors, India's largest vehicle maker, reported over 33% fall in its September sales to 50,427 units. While its passenger vehicle sales fell 41% to 12,879 units, CV sales come down 32% to 33,119 units from a year ago period.
Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M), the country's largest utility vehicles (UVs) maker reported a 10.45% decline in its total sales at 43,289 units in September 2013. The company had sold 48,342 units in the same month last year. However, M&M's tractors sales jumped 33% to 26,637 units in September.
In two-wheeler segment, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt Ltd (HMCL) reported 35% higher sales due to 44% jump in bike and 28% growth in scooter segment. Hero MotoCorp (HMCL) reported 15.8% rise in total sales at 4.69 lakh units during the month compared with 4.05 lakh units in September 2012. Bajaj Auto reported 2.71% rise in motorcycle sales at 3.24 lakh units in September 2013 compared with 3.15 lakh units in the corresponding month last year.
"Our calculations suggest that domestic 2-wheeler industry volumes were up 17% in September, largely in line with expectations. Note that industry growth has come off a low base (industry volumes down 13% in Sep-12) due to inventory corrections at HMCL last year," Nomura said.
During the month overall volumes for medium and heavy commercial vehicle (M&HCV) weakened further and declined by 39%. Ashok Leyland reported a 32% decline in CV sales to 7232 units compared with 10,620 units a year ago period.
Nomura added, "We see downside risks to our estimates for CVs which is negative for Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland. However, we reiterate our BUY rating on Tata Motors as growth momentum in JLR continues to remain strong. If the current trend continues, there could be downside risks to our volume estimates for HMCL as well while there could be some upside to M&M’s tractor numbers."