Commercial Vehicle sales decline 41% in Sept | Festive season brings cheer

Truck sales, a leading indicator of economic growth, are worst-hit across automotive categories. Even heavy discounts are failing to push commercial vehicle sales.

Commercial Vehicle Sales Figures

The overall domestic commercial vehicle sales declined approx 41% in Sept 2019 vis a vis same month last year. However, the onset of the festive season did show its positive effect, by bringing a 13% increase in wholesale numbers compared to the previous month (Aug 19). A part of this increment in volumes might be on account of the recent announcements by the Finance Minister.

MHCV Trucks worst hit

Commercial vehicle manufacturers with higher dependency on MHCV trucks are worst hit, while those with considerable volume chunk coming from small vehicles (SCV and LCVs) have fared reasonably better. Tata Motors, India’s largest manufacturer of commercial vehicle sales declined 47% at overall CV wholesale numbers level, while its MHCV sales tanked 69% to 5082 units on Sept 19 compared to the same month last year.

Brand Sep-19 Sep-18 % Change
(Sep 19 vs 18)
Tata Motors 24279 46169 -47%
Mahindra 18872 22917 -18%
Ashok Leyland 7851 18078 -57%
Eicher 3140 5685 -45%
Maruti Suzuki 2046 2038 0%
SML Isuzu 614 1014 -39%
TOTAL 56802 95901 -41%

However, as per information received, the retail sales have fared better than wholesale numbers by almost 16%, which is a good sign as far as dealer inventory levels and working capital is concerned. Out of total sales of 24279 units in Sep, 56% volumes came from small commercial vehicles portfolio (comprising of mini trucks, pickups, and vans), a segment still not very much affected by freight availability concerns over the long haul. The company’s overall sales compared to Aug 19, improved by 11%.

Ashok Leyland, which sold 18078 vehicles in Sept last year, declined to 7851 units this year, majorly hit in the M&HCV trucks segment which declined by a staggering 73.55%.

Brand Sep-19 Aug-19 % Change
(Sep 19 vs Aug 19)
Tata Motors 24279 21824 11%
Mahindra 18872 14684 29%
Ashok Leyland 7851 8296 -5%
Eicher 3140 3144 0%
Maruti Suzuki 2046 1555 32%
SML Isuzu 614 677 -9%
TOTAL 56802 50180 13%

If the industry sources are to be believed, discounts on heavy trucks have gone to an all-time high, even touching the figures of 7 lakhs to 8.5 lakhs for some of the models like 6x4 tractor-trailers. Most of the manufacturers are leaving no stone un-turned to convert the limited buyers out there, in their favor.

SCVs & LCVs upkeep the festive cheer

Mahindra Auto’s commercial vehicle portfolio witnessed a small decline of 18% overall, owing to the fact that over 95% of its total volumes of 18872 came from the LCV segment (less than 3.5 Ton GVW). The company’s sales in Sept grew 29% compared to the previous month of Aug.

Maruti Suzuki’s LCV division followed suit by maintaining its volumes of last year and growing by 32% compared to the month of Aug. A low base volume and increasing dealer network is helping the company overcome a slowdown in the industry.