November was a horrendous month for car and two-wheeler manufacturers. Maruti Suzuki, the market leader saw alarming fall in numbers. The company posted a 27 per cent fall in domestic sales to end at a new low of 47,704 units. Just to get a better idea of the declining curve, sales in September totalled 64,682 units and were down marginally to 59,127 units in October. However, November’s fall was sharp which could indicate that December could be a lot worse. Tata Motors was also a casualty and sold only 14,327 cars in November. The previous two months had seen its car sales closer to the 20,000-unit mark and a lot was expected from the Indica Vista. Mahindra & Mahindra domestic sales of its multi-utility vehicles as well as the Logan sedan totalled 7,823 units, a 12 per cent fall from the same period last year. Over the last three months, M&M’s chart has been dipping from 10,628 units in September to 9,394 units in October.
Things were no better in the two-wheeler arena either except for the fact that market leader Hero Honda held its own with sales of 2.89 lakh units in November though this was still 55,000 units lower than the previous month. Bajaj Auto sales of two and three wheelers totaling 1.59 lakh units in November, a fall of over 35 per cent from the same period last year. The fact that exports accounted for 67,397 units meant that domestic sales for the company were less than 100,000 units. TVS Motors’s sales slipped to below one lakh in November. In the previous two months, it had managed to keep its sales figure at six digits.
Sales of cars, motorbikes and three-wheelers declined in November, continuing a trend seen in four of the last five months, and raising for the first time the prospect that business in the Indian automotive sector may not just miss the 8% growth target set for this fiscal year, but actually contract from fiscal 2008. Seven of the 36 auto makers reported sales figures yesterday, the downward trend was clear.crackcrack