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Auto sales continue to remain under pressure in January

At Maruti Suzuki, sales inched up by a marginal 1.1% to 142150 units in January. While sales of mini cars Alto and WagonR remained almost flat at 33408 units, those of compacts (Swift, Celerio, Ignis, Baleno, DZire) fell 3.5% to 65523 units.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Feb 02, 2019, 09.43 AM IST
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BCCL
Auto sales continue to remain under pressure in January
In the commercial vehicle segment, Ashok Leyland registered a 12% increase in volumes at 18533 units.
New Delhi: Passenger vehicle sales in January remained tepid with consumers preferring to put off their purchases amid a rise in cost of ownership.

At Maruti Suzuki, sales inched up by a marginal 1.1% to 14,2,150 units in January. While sales of mini cars Alto and WagonR remained almost flat at 33,408 units, those of compacts (Swift, Celerio, Ignis, Baleno, DZire) fell 3.5% to 65,523 units. Demand for mid-size sedan Ciaz too slumped 42% to 2,934 units. Utility vehicles — Vitara Brezza and S-Cross — fared better with volumes rising 8.4% to 22,430 units.

The company sold 2,710 units of light commercial vehicle Super Carry, an increase of 92.1% over 1,411 units sold in year-ago period.

RS Kalsi, senior executive director (marketing & sales) at Maruti, had said recently that “carmakers offered record discounts in December due to which there was some advancement in purchases. This affected demand in January.”

At Toyota Kirloskar Motor, sales fell 9% to 11,221 units. Tata Motors’ passenger vehicle sales fell 11% to 17,826 units.

“With the closure of special offers, the buying sentiment dipped this month. The tightening of vehicle financing also added to the challenges,” said N Raja, deputy managing director, Toyota Kirloskar Motor.

At Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M), top volumes grew 1% to 23,872 units. Rajan Wadhera, president, Automotive Sector, M&M, however, is optimistic sentiments will improve going ahead.

Rajesh Goel, senior vice-president (sales & marketing), Honda Cars India, said the benefits in direct tax announced in the budget will help improve consumer sentiments in the coming months.

“There is buoyancy in rural growth, commodity costs are levelling, fuel prices are coming down and we see improvement in forex movement, which in turn, will drive positive customer sentiment. Having successfully established the Marazzo & Alturas brands and with the upcoming launch of our new compact SUV, the XUV300, we are positive on our outlook,” he said.

Honda Cars posted a growth of 23% to sell 18,261 units last month.

In the commercial vehicle segment too sales remained under pressure. Market leader Tata Motors posted a 6% decline in sales at 37089 units. VE Commercial Vehicles too reported a 13.5% drop in volumes in the domestic market selling 5,275 units.

Girish Wagh, president, commercial vehicles business unit, Tata Motors, said, “The muted growth of the CV industry is due to the low customer sentiments with the base effect also playing a role in the in H2 FY19.

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