Passenger vehicle sales lost momentum in October, with several companies posting a decline in dispatches as festival demand tapered off. Maruti Suzuki, however, continued to post strong numbers. The car market leader sent as 1,35,128 vehicles to dealerships in the past month, registering a 9.3% increase from a year earlier with the Baleno and Vitara Brezza remaining hot sellers.
While Tata Motors and Toyota Kirloskar Motor saw modest improvement in volume, Maruti's immediate rival Hyundai Motor posted a 0.85% fall in sales and Honda Cars sold 8.6% fewer cars than a year earlier. At Ford Motor, sales fell as much as 43.8%, but the American automaker said this was because of a production rejig ahead of the launch of the new EcoSport which affected wholesale numbers.
Automakers in India don't announce monthly retail sales, but report the number of vehicles they send to dealers as sales. They had sharply increased dispatches in September to cater to the festive demand.
At Maruti Suzuki, while sales of mini cars -Alto and WagonR -fell 4.2% to 32,490 units in October, compact models Swift, Celerio, Baleno, Ignis, DZire and Tour S posted a 24.7% expansion in numbers to 62,480. Sales of midsize sedan Ciaz dropped 35.4% to 4,107 units, while those of utility vehicles including the Ertiga, S Cross and Vitara Brezza remained strong, with it dispatching 23,382 units, or 29.8% more from the same month a year earlier.
Demand for the Innova and Fortuner pushed sales up 6.5% to 12,403 units at Toyota Kirloskar Motor last month. With no change in its price post cess hike, the company said it has seen a slight improvement in customer demand for the Camry Hybrid. The car, which is the flagship model for Toyota, will continue to be a significant part of its product line-up.
Tata Motors saw sales growing marginally to 16,475 units on back of the Tiago, Hexa and Nexon witnessing good demand. Rival M&M, which saw sales drop 5% to 23,413 units last month, said new variants would help it carve a niche and maintain a growth momentum during the period of slow year-end sales.