Discounts lift auto sales
Buoyed by discounts, Maruti Suzuki India and Mahindra & Mahindra reported a rise in domestic sales in December. Sales of Hyundai, Tata Motors and Toyota, however, declined.
Beating year-end blues, Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) said its domestic sales came in at 1,24,375 units in December 2019 against 1,21,479 units in the same month a year ago, a growth of 2.4 per cent.
The company said its compact segment, comprising the New WagonR, Swift, Celerio, Ignis, Baleno and the Dzire, recorded sales of 65,673 units last month compared with 51,346 units in December 2018, a growth of 27.9 per cent.
Sales of utility vehicles, including Gypsy, Ertiga, XL6, S-Cross and Vitara Brezza, rose 17.7 per cent to 23,808 units from 20,225 units a year ago.
The automobile industry witnessed its worst-ever downturn last year, prompting companies, including Maruti, to cut production and sack employees.
Mahindra & Mahindra reported domestic sales of 37,081 units in December 2019 compared with 36,690 units in the same month a year ago, up 1 per cent.
“Our performance in December is as per the year-end sales outlook and currently we are also comfortable with our overall stock levels,” M&M chief of sales and marketing (automotive division) Veejay Ram Nakra said.
Hyundai’s sales were at 37,953 units in December 2019 compared with 42,093 units in the same month of the previous year, down 9.8 per cent.
Tarung Garg, Hyundai’s director of sales, marketing and service, said, “Year 2019 has been challenging for the Indian automotive industry. Even in such adverse conditions, Hyundai Motor India, as committed, has launched four benchmark products in different segments.”
Tata Motors reported a 12 per cent decline in sales to 44,254 units in December 2019 from 50,440 units in the same month of 2018.
Tata Motors president (passenger vehicles business) Mayank Pareek said, “Our focus in December has been to drive retail and minimise the network stock in order to facilitate a smooth transition to BS-VI.”