Domestic passenger vehicle sales in November were in a slow lane with major manufacturers reporting either marginal increase or decline in offtake during the month as adverse macroeconomic conditions failed to drive festive season purchases. While Maruti Suzuki, Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) and Honda Cars India reported sales growth during the month, Hyundai, Tata Motors and Toyota witnessed decline in domestic sales in November.
The country's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) said its domestic sales were up marginally at 1,46,018 units last month as against 1,45,300 units in the year ago period.
Sales of mini cars comprising Alto and WagonR stood at 29,954 units as compared to 38,204 units earlier, down 21.6 percent.
However, sales of compact segment models, including Swift, Celerio, Ignis, Baleno and Dzire, were up 10.8 percent at 72,533 units as against 65,447 in November last year, the company said.
Hyundai Motor India posted marginal decline in its domestic sales at 43,709 units as against 44,008 units in the year-ago month.
Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) also reported a 15.8 percent decline in domestic sales to 10,721 units in November as against 12,734 units in the same month last year.
"Fluctuating exchange rates, rising fuel costs and high interest rates have impacted the consumer sentiment in auto industry," TKM Deputy Managing Director N Raja said.
Consumer demand has witnessed a downward trend over the festive period as compared to same period last year, he added.
Likewise, Tata Motors' domestic passenger vehicles sales witnessed a decline of 1.01 percent to 16,982 units, as compared to 17,157 units sold in November 2017.
"November 2018 was a challenging month for the industry with muted consumer sentiment caused by liquidity crunch, non-availability of retail finance and moderate festive season," the company said.
This was "due to low consumer sentiments as a result of liquidity crisis in the industry, higher interest rates and rising fuel costs," it added.
Ford India also said its domestic sales in November were at 6,375 units as against 7,777 units in the same month last year, a decline of 18 percent.
Ford India President and MD Anurag Mehrotra said, "With consumer sentiment continuing to be low due to the general economic situation, we expect continued volatility in fuel prices and inflation to cause headwinds for the passenger vehicle industry.
On the other hand, M&M reported its domestic sales at 41,564 as against 36,039 in the year-ago month, up 15 percent.
Sales of utility vehicles, including popular models Scorpio and XUV500, stood at 15,049 units as against 14,958 units in November 2017, a growth of 1 percent, it added.
M&M President, Automotive Sector, Rajan Wadhera said adverse macroeconomic conditions have impacted the growth forecast for the automotive industry in general.
Honda Cars India reported a 10 percent increase in its domestic sales to 13,006 units in November as compared to 11,819 units in the same month last year.