December stayed slow for the auto manufacturers as most of the companies reported decline in sales despite heavy discounts on offer. Sales are traditionally lean in December as customers prefer to postpone purchases to the new year.
After a subdued 2012, the industry is hoping for some corrective measures by the government for boosting sales in 2013.
Hyundai Motor India, the second-largest car manufacturer, reported a 9.6% year-on-year decline in sales in the domestic market as it sold 26,697 units in December.
Sales of Toyota Kirloskar Motor dropped 24% in December. The company sold 12,071 units in December 2012 as compared to 15,948 units a year ago. Sales of General Motors (GM) dropped 21% to 7,067 vehicles in December as against 9,039 units sold last year.
P Balendran, vice-president, GM India, said, “Despite offering various schemes on purchase of every car, the market continues to remain depressed. If the current macroeconomic uncertainties continue, the market is not expected to turn around in the short term. The only hope now is on a good Union Budget for announcement of some positive measures to bolster the economic recovery”.
Some of the companies that managed to see some positive growth are Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M), Renault and Honda Cars India.
M&M sold 22,761 units in the passenger vehicle division (utility vehicles and Verito) in the domestic market compared to 19,341 units in December 2011, a growth of 18%. The company’s sales continue to grow on account of strong diesel portfolio and high demand for utility vehicles.
Sales of Honda Cars rose 296% in December on account of low base of last year, while Renault sales stood at 5,924 units in December.
Pravin Shah, chief executive, automotive division, M&M, said, “High interest rates, rising fuel prices and an overall slowdown in economic growth has kept consumer sentiment low during 2012. This is also evident in the auto industry performance for December. We hope that corrective measures are announced and implemented soon, bringing in the much needed buoyancy and growth for the industry.”
Two-wheeler sales, too, remained subdued in December.
Sales of Hero MotoCorp grew marginally at 541,615 units in December 2012 compared to 540,276 in December 2011. TVS Motor sold 156,221 units in December as against 170,428 units registered in December last year, an 8% drop.