Maruti, Honda lead auto sale surge in August

New Delhi: Auto majors Maruti Suzuki, Honda Cars, Hyundai and Nissan reported healthy growth in domestic sales riding on an improved sentiment in the market.

Other manufacturers, Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M), Toyota Kirloskar Motor, Ford India and General Motors, however, saw decline in their sales in the domestic market during the month.

The country's largest car maker Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) said its August domestic sales grew by 29.3 per cent to 98,304 units, up from 76,018 units in the same month last year.

The company's sales were driven by the compact cars, comprising Swift, Estilo, Celerio, Ritz and Dzire, which zoomed 53.2 per cent at 46,759 units as against 30,512 units in the year-ago month.

Sales of mini passenger cars, including Alto, A-Star and WagonR were up 8.3 per cent at 34,686 units as against 32,019 units in the previous year.

Rival Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) saw its domestic sales grow by up 19.2 per cent at 33,750 units last month as compared to 28,311 units in August 2013.

Commenting on the sales performance, HMIL Senior Vice President (Sales and Marketing) Rakesh Srivastava said the company continued to build on the positive momentum with good response for the new products such as Elite i20, Xcent and the Grand i10.

"We maintain a cautious optimism for a good festive season on the strength of new products, increase in demand for petrol cars and improving customer sentiments," he added.

Honda Cars India Ltd (HCIL) reported 88 per cent jump in domestic sales in August 2014 at 16,758 units as against 8,913 units the same month last year.

HCIL Senior Vice-President (Marketing and Sales) Jnaneswar Sen said: "We are extremely happy to witness consistent growth for Honda cars month after month. The festive season has already set-in and will bring further cheer to the market. We are geared up for strong sales in coming months."

Another Japanese auto major Nissan reported 60.3 per cent increase in its sales in India at 3,999 units during the month as against 2,494 units in August 2013.

Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM), however, 6.59 per cent decline in domestic sales at 11,215 units in August 2014, as compared to 12,007 units in the same month last year.

TKM Senior Vice President (Sales and Marketing) N Raja said the company was looking forward to increased demand in the coming months due to the festive season.

Homegrown utility vehicles major M&M's domestic sales went down by 5.72 per cent to 33,145 units last month as against 35,159 units a year earlier.

Commenting on the numbers, M&M Chief Executive Automotive Division and International Operations (AFS), Pravin Shah said: "We continue to be optimistic due to the industry's enhanced business confidence which is reflected by the manufacturing sector showing signs of revival. The automotive industry, including us, is hopeful of a better demand leading up to the ensuing festival season."

Ford India reported 15 per cent decline in domestic sales at 6,801 units during August 2014 as against 8,008 units a year ago.

Commenting on the sales performance, Ford India Executive Director (Marketing, Sales and Service) Vinay Piparsania said: "We anticipate a continued revival in customer sentiments aswe lead up to the festive season and are prepared to meet the higher demand for our cars, including the popular Ford EcoSport."

General Motors India also reported 36.58 per cent decline in August sales at 4,232 units as against 6,673 units sold in the same month of last year.

General Motors India Vice President P Balendran said: "There is some positive movement in the market because of new entries. However, the buoyancy is still missing and we expect the market to improve only during the festival season."

It the two-wheeler segment, Royal Enfield reported 66 per cent jump in domestic sales at 26,121 units as against 15,708 units in August last year.

Chennai-based TVS Motor Co saw its domestic two-wheeler sales jump by 50 per cent to 1,90,547 units last month from 1,27,095 units in the year-ago period.

Strong sales number in August posted by some auto makers, including Maruti Suzuki, was another positive factor for the markets, brokers said, adding that operators preferred to go long on the first day of September series.

Among sectoral indices, BSE Metal sector index rose (2.79 per cent), followed by Capital Goods (2.75 per cent), Realty (2.72 per cent) and Power (2.60 per cent).

The BSE Bankex rose by 1.79 per cent, Consumer Durables 1.63 per cent, Oil & Gas 1.61 by per cent and Auto by 1.32 per cent.

A near term hope of zero losses on sale of diesel has given a much needed boost to the oil marketing & upstream companies, Mehta said.

"Both FIIs and DIIs were the net buyers for the month of August. Local equities has over looked the ongoing crises in Ukraine and Gaza and focused on the recent positive sentiments," Jignesh Chaudhary, Head of Research, Veracity Broking Services said.

Among 30 Sensex shares, 22 scrips ended higher, while eight others finished lower. Sunpharma fell by 1.46 per cent, ITC by 1.37 per cent and HDFC by 1.19 per cent.

Meanwhile, the HSBC India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), a measure of factory production, eased to 52.4 in August from 53 in July, though remaining "solid" as reading above 50 indicates growth while a lower reading means contraction.

The total market breadth turned positive as 1,923 stocks closed higher, 1,010 finished lower while 137 ruled steady.

"Persistent efforts by the Modi government to revive manufacturing, create jobs and hack through the thicket of regulatory labyrinth to rev-up the engine of growth is responsible for the buoyancy in Indian markets," Ajay Bodke, Head - Investment Strategy & Advisory at Prabhudas Lilladher said.

PTI

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Updated Date: Sep 02, 2014 08:16:18 IST