A barometer of nation’s economic growth, commercial vehicle sales in India showed a mixed trend in March 2019. While the annual growth figures (domestic) for most of the commercial vehicle manufacturers in India show astounding double digit growths, march month’s figures reflect subdued demand.
Tata Motors, country’s largest commercial vehicle manufacturer sold 50917 units in March 2019 as against 49174 in March 2018, reflecting a growth of 3.5%. Whereas as far as the annual sales figures are concerned, the auto maker sold 468692 vehicles in FY 2018-19 against last year’s 399317, showing a strong 17.4% growth. The subdued march figures are also on account of a large base in Q4 last year.
Sales of Tata M&HCV trucks grew by 12% over the year from 134,399 units sold last fiscal to 151,105 units in FY 18-19, while the recent march figures reflect a 9% decline. ICV & LCV trucks (intermediate & light commercial vehicles) segment together showed double digit growth of 17% in Mar at 6730 units and a remarkable 23% annual growth at 56996 this year. In the small commercial vehicles space Tata mini trucks & Pickups segment in India also registered a robust 24% annual growth at 206393 this year, with 11% monthly growth in March at 21621 vehicles. Tata Buses & vans grew by marginal single digits.
Growing aggressively with BSIV trucks and buses, Ashok Leyland sales figures reflect a strong growth of 16.7% over the year at 185065 units this year, while the monthly figures show a 4.7% decline from 21533 units sold in March 2018. Reflecting a similar trend similar to Tata Motors, Ashok Leyland’s MHCV trucks declined by 7% in March to 15235 units.
Sluggish demand on account of revised axle load norms and purchase deferrals owing to election season are some of the reasons behind the decline in MHCV truck figures.
Mahindra commercial vehicles sales for the year gone by have grown by 15% to 248601 while the monthly sales declined by 4%. The effect of increased axle load norms reflected in the sales figures of Mahindra trucks as well, declining by 33% to 917 units in March month standalone.
VE Commercial Vehicles (A Volvo Group and Eicher Motors joint venture) registered the sharpest fall of 8.2% in Mar 2019 for its Eicher branded trucks and buses. However for the financial year Apr-Mar, the company registered a double digit growth of 10.5%.
SML Isuzu, makers of intermediate and light commercial vehicles in India (popularly known as Swaraj Mazda trucks & buses), grew by over 14% to 2003 units in March 2019 and registered a 20.3% annual growth.
Maruti Suzuki, the latest entrant in small commercial vehicles space with Super Carry mini truck, grew by a staggering 83% in March 2019. The company posted a strong 138% annual growth in sales volumes of Maruti Suzuki Super Carry, owing to small base compared to other small commercial vehicle manufacturers in India. The dealership network of Maruti Suzuki Commercial has also been expanding at a very fast pace to reach closer to the customers.