People walk past a Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. showroom in Mumbai, India. (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)  

Rural Recovery, Rising Demand Support Auto Sales In April

Indian automakers started the new financial year with strong sales aided by rising demand and a pick-up in the rural economy.

Higher demand aided by the government’s infrastructure push and a lower base drove sales of commercial vehicles in April. Rising rural incomes pushed up demand for two-wheelers.

Passenger Vehicles

Sales of India’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki Ltd. jumped more than 14 percent over April last year, led by the demand for its compact cars like the Swift, the Baleno and the Ignis.

Sales of compacts rose nearly 32 percent to 83,834 units, the automaker said in an exchange notification. It sold 37,794 units of its mini cars, the Alto and the WagonR, a decline of 2.8 percent over the year-ago month. Sales of utility vehicles, including the Ertiga, the S-Cross and the Vitara Brezza, rose 0.8 percent.

Overall, the automaker sold 1,72,986 units in April. Domestic sales increased 14.2 percent to 1,64,978 units, while exports rose 19.1 percent to 8,008 units on a yearly basis.

Tata Motors Ltd.’s passenger vehicles sales rose 34 percent to 17,235 units as the Tiago hatchback continued its strong growth momentum and the demand for the Nexon led to a three-fold growth in the utility vehicles segment, the company said in an exchange filing.



A logo sits on the front of Tata Motors Ltd.’s new Nexon sports utility vehicle (SUV) during a launch event in Mumbai (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)
A logo sits on the front of Tata Motors Ltd.’s new Nexon sports utility vehicle (SUV) during a launch event in Mumbai (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Anand Mahindra-led Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.’s passenger vehicle sales grew 13 percent to 21,927 units, it said in a stock exchange notification.

Commercial Vehicles

India’s largest truckmaker Tata Motors’ domestic commercial vehicles sales more than doubled to 36,276 units in April. Sales of medium and heavy commercial vehicles continued to be buoyant as volumes rose 317 percent to 14,028 units year-on-year.

The growth in April 2018 was on the back of various macro-economic factors like investment in infrastructure development, improved industrial activities, and robust demand in private consumption-led sectors. 
Tata Motors

Sales of light trucks rose 94 percent to 3,229 units as demand from agriculture, fast-moving consumer goods, e-commerce and logistics sectors increased, the company said.



A truck driver cleans the windscreen of a truck as it sits in a parking bay area of a highway service station on National Highway 8 (NH 8) in Rajasthan, India. (Photographer: Udit Kulshrestha/Bloomberg)
A truck driver cleans the windscreen of a truck as it sits in a parking bay area of a highway service station on National Highway 8 (NH 8) in Rajasthan, India. (Photographer: Udit Kulshrestha/Bloomberg)

Chennai-based truck and bus maker Ashok Leyland Ltd.’s sales rose for the eleventh straight month in April, driven by the demand for medium-and-heavy commercial vehicles. The automaker’s overall sales rose 79 percent jump to 12,677 units compared with the same period last year.

Bajaj Auto’s commercial vehicle segment clocked its highest-ever monthly sales in April. They rose 83 percent year-on-year to 65,551 units.

Two Wheelers

Royal Enfield maker Eicher Motors Ltd.’s sales rose as the demand for its premium motorcycles remained strong. Sales of models with engine capacity exceeding 350cc grew 60 percent to 6,076 units. Total sales jumped 27 percent while exports fell 1 percent.



An Eicher Motors Ltd. Royal Enfield Desert Storm motorcycle stands on display  in Gurgaon, India. (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)
An Eicher Motors Ltd. Royal Enfield Desert Storm motorcycle stands on display in Gurgaon, India. (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)

Bajaj Auto’s motorcycle sales rose 19 percent to 3.49 lakh units in April. For the domestic market alone, sales grew 24 percent.

TVS Motor Company Ltd.'s three-wheeler sales doubled to 3.26 lakh units, two-wheeler sales rose 21.7 percent to 2.93 lakh units and scooter sales rose 9.6 percent to 89,245 units.

Tractors

Domestic tractor sales of M&M’s farm equipment segment rose 19 percent to 29,884 units. Total tractor sales for the company during the month grew 18 percent to 30,925 units as compared with the same month last year.

A farmer uses a Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. tractor to fill an area at the edge of his corn field. (Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg)
A farmer uses a Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. tractor to fill an area at the edge of his corn field. (Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg)

“With the prediction of a normal monsoon we expect positive sentiment to continue and boost tractor demand in the coming months,” Rajesh Jejurikar, president of the farm equipment segment at M&M, said in a press release. The company’s exports rose 10 percent.

Also read: April Auto Sales: Automakers Start FY19 On A High