Auto sales grew 14% in November

Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai and Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) had double-digit growth in automobile sales for November, helping the industry report growth of a little over 14 per cent.

A key driver to this happened to be the low base of last November, when sales had grown by less than 2 per cent, owing to demonetisation. Hyundai, M&M and Honda had reported a sales decline (to dealers) last November. 

Maruti Suzuki, which sells every second car in the country, had 14 per cent growth in sales of passenger vehicles (cars, utility vehicles and vans), to 144,297 units last month. 

The company had also grown 14 per cent last November. Sales growth was led by its compact car segment and utility vehicles (UVs). The new Dzire and Baleno helped to expand this segment by 32 per cent over last year. UV sales grew 34 per cent. 

Korean carmaker Hyundai, the second-biggest, had its sales slip 8 per cent last November. It has reported 10 per cent growth, to 44,008 vehicles, "owing to strong performance of the newly launched Verna, along with the Grandi10, Elite i20 and Creta. The rural market is buoyant and we hope to build on this momentum”, said Rakesh Srivastava, director (sales and marketing). 

M&M sales grew 21 per cent to 16,030 units. These had crashed 33 per cent in November 2016. “We expect our growth momentum to continue,” said Rajan Wadhera, president (automotive).

Tata Motors said its passenger vehicle sales zoomed 35 per cent to 17,157 units in November. This was led by strong momentum of new-generation cars, the company said. Japanese carmaker Honda expanded sales by 47 per cent. Yoichiro Ueno, president and chief executive at Honda Cars India, said last November's sales were severely affected by demonetisation. “Although this November’s volume has shown improvement over last year, the market is still to recover fully from GST (goods and services tax)-related changes, affecting consumers at large.”

Toyota is estimated to have grown sales by 12 per cent last month. Ford, which launched its new EcoSport last month, showed 13 per cent growth. “We are confident of maintaining this sales momentum getting into 2018, despite macro economic indicators suggesting volatility in inflation and crude oil prices impacting the industry growth over the near to medium term,” said Anurag Mehrotra, president and managing director, Ford India.

Nissan is estimated to have seen a flat November. The only leading player to post a decline is Renault. The French car maker did not announce sales numbers but the company is learnt to have seen a decline of 18 per cent in sales. 

The industry's sales momentum is also seen as certain to continue in December, again helped by the low base effect of last year, when currency circulation was hit after demonetisation. Passenger vehicle sales had shrunk by a little over 1 per cent  last December.

Sources: Companies and industry estimates

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