Base effect hits March vehicle sales, YoY off-take up
Even as the base effect and consumer caution ahead of the general elections dampened March sales of some vehicles, the year-on-year (YoY) off-take remained positive.
On Monday, automobile major Maruti Suzuki India reported a marginal 1.6 per cent slip in sales, including exports, for March to 158,076 units from 160,598 units in the year-ago period.
"The company ended 2018-19 with its highest ever total sales of 1,862,449 units -- a growth of 4.7 per cent. It comprises the highest domestic sales of 1,753,700 units. The export sales were 108,749 units," the company said in a statement.
Hyundai Motor India (HMIL) reported a 1.1 per cent rise in sales, including exports, for March to 61,150 units from 60,507 in the corresponding period last year.
But it sold 7,07,348 units in FY19, which is a 2.5 per cent increase from the 6,90,184 units sold in FY18.
Vikas Jain, National Sales Head, Hyundai Motor India, said: "We closed FY19 on a positive note with a 1.7 per cent growth and the highest domestic volume of 545,153 units, exceeding our customer aspirations."
Similarly, Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) reported a marginal pick up in off-take of 62,952 units in March against 62,076 units sold during the same month last year.
Automobile major Tata Motors' sales dropped by 1 per cent in March to 68,709 units against 69,409 units sold in the same month of 2018.
"Tata Motors' commercial and passenger vehicles business sales in the domestic market for FY19 grew 16 per cent with 678,486 units against 586,507 units over the same period last year," the company said in a statement.
Two- and three-wheeler major TVS Motor Company' sales too inched lower to 325,345 units last month against 326,667 units sold in March 2018.
"During FY19, two-wheeler sales of the company grew by 12 per cent to 37.57 lakh units, increasing from 33.67 lakh units registered in FY18," the company said in a statement. Three-wheeler sales of the company grew by 59 per cent to 1.56 lakh units in FY19 from 0.99 lakh units in FY18.
Two-wheeler major Hero MotoCorp said it despatched 581,279 units in March. "Our March sales have been lower due to a conscious effort to bring down the inventory in the system," Hero MotoCorp said. However, YoY the company's sales stood at 7,820,745 units.
According to Ashish Modani, Vice-President & Co-Head -- Corporate Ratings, ICRA, in line with our expectations, passenger vehicle demand remained muted in March. High base of Q1FY19 and cautious customer sentiments ahead of the general elections will continue to weigh during Q1FY20."
Sridhar V, Partner, Grant Thornton India, said: "March sales of passenger cars have shown a marginal growth on a YoY basis. However, February had seen a high single-digit growth, driven primarily by new launches, discounts and an incremental demand anticipating a price hike from April 1." 
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