Most of the passenger vehicle manufacturers have witnessed a decline or a flat in domestic sales in January 2019. Rising vehicle prices, weaker buyer sentiment, lack of vehicle financing availability are some of the reasons that have impacted the sales of passenger vehicles last month.
India’s largest car manufacturer Maruti Suzuki accounts for over a 50 percent of the passenger vehicles in market. It saw a marginal growth of 1.1 percent in domestic sales. It sold 1,42,150 units in January 2019 against 1,40, 600 units dispatched to the dealers across country in January 2018. Maruti has no big launches lined up this year.
Similarly, Mahindra and Mahindra posted 1 percent growth in the domestic sales. Mahindra dispatched 23,872 units in January compared to 23, 686 units in the same month last year. Even with the launch of new vehicles like Marazzo and Alturas, Mahindra failed to get incremental sales in the utility vehicle segment. The company almost saw a flat growth as it sold 22,263 units of UVs last months. In the coming month, the automaker will launch a big volume product – the XUV300 compact SUV.
Tata Motors witnessed a drop of 11 percent with 17, 826 units only in January 2019 compared to 20,055 units last year. Sales could improve in the coming months though as Tata has a slew of new cars in the offing this year. The Harrier SUV has just been launched, and Tata Motors will follow this up with the likes of the 45X premium hatchback and the H7X 7 seat SUV.
Similarly Toyota Kirloskar Motors (TKM) also reported a decline of 9.1 percent in its domestic sales in January 2019. N. Raja, Deputy Managing Director, TKM said,
With the closure of special offers, year-end schemes the buying sentiment has witnessed a dip this month. The tightening of vehicle financing availability has also added to the challenges in the market.
Toyota has no major launched lined up for 2019, which means that sales could come under pressure in the coming months if the economy does not improve in a big way.
Honda Cars India is an exception in this case. They saw a strong double-digit growth of 23 percent on the back of Amaze and WR-V. Honda sold a total of 18,261 units in January this year compared to 14,838 units in January 2018. In a month from now, Honda will reintroduce the Civic sedan in India. The car will rival the Toyota Corolla Altis, Hyundai Elantra and the Skoda Octavia.
Experts feel that the pressure continue to remain on auto sector especially because of the liquidity crunch, low consumer sentiment and increase in price of the vehicle. On an average a manufacturer hiked the price of the vehicle up to 5 percent. Manufacturers also feel that the announcement of additional benefits in Direct Taxes in the recent Interim Budget is likely to improve consumer sentiment in the coming months.