After registering a growth of more than 9 per cent in FY17, carmakers have had a roaring start to the new financial year as the industry posted a growth of 16 per cent in April.
A strong double-digit growth in domestic passenger vehicle (cars, vans and utility vehicle) sales by market leader Maruti Suzuki and others including Honda, Tata Motors and Toyota were among the major factors contributing to the growth. Simultaneously, new launches in recent months continued to drive volumes for many companies even while sports utility vehicles remained on a growth path.
Maruti Suzuki clocked a record monthly domestic car sales of 144,081 units, growing more than 23 per cent over the corresponding sales of 117,045 units in April last year. All segments except vans posted a strong double-digit growth for Maruti. The mini segment (Alto and WagonR) grew by 22 per cent. The compact segment (Swift, Celerio, Ignis, Baleno and Dzire) surged over 39 per cent in volumes. Sale of Maruti’s utility vehicles grew more than 28 per cent last month.
Korean car maker Hyundai, the second biggest player, reported a growth of 5.7 per cent in domestic volumes at 44,758 units in April. Rakesh Srivastava, Director (Sales and Marketing) at Hyundai, said that a positive trend is visible in the market owing to the macroeconomic factors including low inflation, buoyant stock markets and a reviving economic activity.
Overall, carmakers sold a record three million passenger vehicles in the domestic market in FY17 and the current year is expected to set a new record.
“The overall environment currently supports the automotive industry growth. The economy is expected do well and the impact of demonetisation is wearing off. With predictions of a good monsoon, the rural economy will lot better compared to last year,” said, Abdul Majeed, Partner, Price Waterhouse. He added that the automotive industry is getting back to its growth trajectory.
Tata Motors posted a growth of over 22 per cent in domestic sales of passenger vehicles last month, helped by demand for its compact sedan Tigor and SUV Hexa, both launched in 2017. Company hopes to see this momentum continue with an encouraging growth on the back of a strong product portfolio.
Japanese car maker Honda had reversed its declining trend following the launch of its new Honda City in February. The 38 per cent growth in April came on the back of City and its recently launched crossover WR-V. Yoichiro Ueno, President and CEO, Honda Cars India said the new financial year has begun on a positive note and we hope to continue the growth momentum.
Honda’s peer Toyota also posted a growth of 52 per cent owing to its low base in April last year when it was unable to sell its best sellers- Innova and Fortuner- in the national capital region due to a Supreme Court ban, which was later lifted in August. The new Innova Crysta and new Fortuner continue to help volumes. Nissan, another Japanese car maker, reported a 39 per cent growth in April volumes.
M&M, Renault and Ford did not announce their April numbers on Monday. However, it is learnt from sources that both M&M and Renault have seen a decline last month. Ford is, however, estimated to have grown over 16 per cent.