Interestingly, major auto manufacturers reported growth in export numbers.
Tata Motors’ Commercial and Passenger Vehicles Business sales in the domestic market in April 2019 at 42,577 units witnessed a drop of 20%, as against 53,511 units sold in April 2018 on the back of weak consumer sentiments. Moreover, the company's sales from exports (CV and PV) in April 2019 was at 1.402 units, lower by 53% over April 2018.
Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. (M&M Ltd.), a part of the $20.7bn Mahindra Group, reported sales of 43,721 vehicles in April 2019, which has declined by 9% yoy. The company had sold 48,097 vehicles during April 2018. Domestic sales dropped by 8% yoy at 41,603 vehicles during April 2019, as against 45,217 vehicles in April 2018. Commenting on the month’s performance, Rajan Wadhera, President, Automotive Sector, M&M Ltd. said, “The ongoing elections have subdued the purchase sentiment during April. This, according to us, is a temporary phenomenon. We believe, following the elections, the auto industry will see a revival in consumer demand. Supported by a normal monsoon, we are confident of seeing higher sales in FY20”.
Hero MotoCorp, the world’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer, registered a decline of 17.2% yoy at 5.74 lakh units in the month of April vs. 6.94 lakh units in the same month last year. Surprisingly, despite the challenging market conditions, Hero MotoCorp registered over 7.8 million unit sales in FY19.
Maruti Suzuki’s total domestic sales (PV + LCV) declined by 19% yoy at 133,704 units in April 2019. The auto company’s sales of passenger vehicles in the domestic market slipped 19.6% at 131,385 units as against 163,434 units in the same month previous year. However, its exports grew 14.6% yoy at 9,177 units in April 2019, the company added.
Moreover, Eicher, a parent company of Royal Enfield, reported sales of 3,961 units in April, nearly flat on a yoy basis. Eicher branded trucks and buses recorded total sales of 3,882 units in April as compared with 3,940 units in April 2018, down 1.47% yoy.
Escorts Ltd too reported a decline of 14.9% at 5,264 tractors in April 2019. The company’s domestic tractor sales also dropped by 18.2% yoy at 4,986 in April 2019. However, the company’s exports have witnessed a robust growth of 202.2% yoy at 278 units in April 2019 as compared to 92 units the same month previous year.
On the flip side, Bajaj and TVS registered a rise in total sales numbers for April due to unexpected growth in export sales.
Bajaj Auto registered a growth of 2% yoy in its total sales for April 2019 at 423,315 units compared to 415,168 units in same period a year ago on the back of the highest ever exports of motorcycle (MC) and commercial vehicles (CV). However, sales of commercial vehicles were marginally down with total sales declining 13% yoy at 57,047 units. This includes sales of 26,229 units in domestic market and exports of 30,818 units.
TVS Motor also registered a growth of 5% with sales increasing to 318,937 units in April 2019 from 304,795 units in April 2018.
Overall, the growth of auto manufacturers is tepid due to weak domestic demand. However, projection of the Indian Metrological Department for ‘near normal monsoon’ may bring some relief to operators in the sectors of agriculture machinery in coming days.