Motown October snippets
Car sales fell to the lowest level this year in October, with the festive month providing little cheer to the sector hobbled by costlier loans, high fuel costs and labour unrest at market leader Maruti Suzuki. The traditional step-up in demand seen during the festive season was clearly missing as the second-biggest carmaker, Hyundai Motor India, also reported a decline in sales, compared to the same period last year. Maruti’s sales slipped more than half, down 52% to 51,458 units, compared with 1,07,555 cars sold last October. The company, which also posted its worst quarterly results on Saturday, with a 60% slide in profit for the July-September period, attributed the decline to the recurring workers’ unrest that led to an output loss of more than 40,000 cars. Production loss impacted the company’s exports, which fell 64% to 4,137 units in the month. Hyundai posted a 5% decline in its domestic sales to 33,001 units, while exports declined by a sharper 12% to 15,325 units. Cumulative demand during October was down 7.5%. Tata Motors, however, reported a marginal growth of 3% in passenger vehicles sales, due to rise in demand for its small cars Nano and Indica even as bookings declined for bigger cars from the Indigo range. Japanese carmaker Toyota Kirloskar Motor, which entered the mass car market last year, posted a 63% growth to 10,762 units, on the back of sales of Etios and Etios Liva models. Utility vehicle maker Mahindra & Mahindra also posted a 10% rise in sales to 18,756 units, driven by robust demand from the rural markets. The two-wheeler segment continued to fare better than cars, with market leader Hero MotoCorp (erstwhile Hero Honda) sales up 1.32% to 5.12 lakh bikes and scooters in October.