Predictions of good monsoons, the GST regime poised to set in and a host of pre-GST discounts offered by automakers in India has seen an increase in four wheeler sales during the month of May 2017. Maruti Suzuki India, Honda Cars and Mahindra and Mahindra posted double digit domestic sales. Ford India also experienced positive growth though domestic sales of Toyota Motor Corp dipped significantly.
Maruti Suzuki India Limited, a leader in passenger vehicles, saw sales surge by 15.5% in May 2017. The company sold a total of 1,36,962 units in the past month of which 1,30,676 units comprised domestic sales while 6,286 units were exported. This was against 1,23,034 units sold in May 2016.
It was noted that it was once again entry level models, compact hatchbacks and utility vehicles which were more in demand. Sales of Alto and WagonR increased 18.1% to 39,089 units as against 33,105 units sold in May 2016. Models such as the Swift, Estilo, DZire, Baleno and Ignis also noted an increased demand which was up 10.1% to 51,234 units sold in May 2017 as compared to 46,554 units sold in May 2016. A 66.3% increase was also noted in sales of utility vehicles such as S-Cross and Vitara Brezza with 22,608 units sold.
Hyundai Motors India Limited, the country’s second largest car maker, posted a marginal rise in sales during the past month to the extent of 1.6%. Sales stood at 42,007 units in May 2017 as against 41,351 units sold in the same month of the previous year. New version of the Elite i20 and Creta contributed to increased sales while the ICOTY winner – Grand i10 and Xcent too received a makeover.
Mahindra and Mahindra, leading SUV manufacturers, sold 41,895 units in May 2017 as against 40,656 units in May 2016, thus registering a 3% increase in sales. Passenger vehicles which included UVs, cars and vans registered sales to the extent of 20,290 units as compared to 19,635 units in May 2016. Domestic sales stood at 40,602 units while exports were at 1,293 units.
Tata Motors reported passenger vehicle sales of 10,855 units in domestic markets, a 27% increase as compared to sales in the same month of the previous year. Sales were exceptionally good where the company’s Tiago, Tigor and Hexa models were concerned.
However, taking both passenger and commercial vehicle sales into account which also included exports, the company sold 34,361 units, 4% lower than 40,123 units sold in May 2016. Domestic sales of commercial and passenger vehicles also dipped 3% in May 2017 to 34,461 units as compared to 35,695 units in May 2016.
Tata Motors also plans to reduce current 6 platforms to 2 platforms and deliver 7-8 product variants from two platforms for better coverage and economies of scale. The company is set to become the 3rd largest passenger vehicle maker in India after Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai Motors by 2019 and has invested INR 2,500 crores to launch new products in the country.
Ford India noted a 36% increase in total sales in May 2017 to the extent of 23,503 units which included domestic sales and exports. This was against 17,279 units sold in May 2016. Domestic sales were up 16.64% to 6,742 units in May 2017 as compared to 5,780 units sold in May 2016 while exports increased 45.76% to 16,761 units in the past month as against 11,499 units exported in May 2016.
Toyota Kirloskar Motors has noted decreased sales in May 2017. In the past month, the company sold 12,339 units as against 13,604 units sold in May 2016. Of this total of 12,339 units, domestic sales stood at 10,914 units while exports increased from 990 units in May 2016 to 1,425 units in May 2017. Though model wise sales were not revealed, the company did confirm that sales of Innova Crysta dipped marginally while Innova Touring Sport saw better sales along with the Fortuner which claimed a No.1 position in its segment.
The company also predicts a dip in sales in June as well with the GST policy coming into effect. Buyers in India are putting off sales till the 1st of July to see what benefits the rolling in of GST will bring. There could be a downward tax revision specially where larger vehicles and SUVs are concerned which will make Toyota models cheaper from July onwards.
Honda Cars India has reported a 13.32% increase in domestic sales which stood at 11,278 units in May 2017 as against 9,954 units in May 2016. 378 units of Brio were sold in the past month along with 1,818 units of Jazz and 1,323 units of Amaze sedan and 4,046 units of City. Honda Cars India also sold 2,814 units of the WR-V compact utility vehicle and 870 units of the BR-V SUV while sales of the CR-V stood at 29 units. The company also exported a total of 498 units and is optimistic about sales in the months ahead following good forecast of monsoon and the timely roll out of GST.
Will GST affect sales?
The effects of GST will be felt far and wide across the automobile sector from the 1st July 2017. The rate of cess and classification of vehicles under this structure is yet to be disclosed but those looking to buy luxury cars and SUVs in the coming months have reason to rejoice as the GST could bring down rates substantially. Vehicles in this category are now subjected to a tax rate of 55% which post GST implementation could come down to 43% resulting in a 12% reduction in taxes. Announcement from the Government is also awaited where concessions or rebates on hybrids or electric vehicles are concerned.