New Delhi/Chennai, June 1 (IANS) Amid a general slowdown of the economy, India's major auto companies posted a decline or meagre sales in May owing to hikes in fuel prices and interest costs.
Some firms which have developed capacity in the diesel segment reported healthy rise in offtake. Petrol-powered vehicles which were already losing favour with customers took a further hit with the price hike.
Passenger car market leader Maruti Suzuki's total sales, including exports, declined by 5 percent in May at 98,884 units, from 104,073 in the corresponding period last year.
The slide is attributed to the large chuck of petrol mix in the company's total offerings.
Petrol powered hatchback segment, which includes brands like Maruti 800, Alto, A-Star and WagonR, fell by 29 percent at 29,895 units from 42,125 units in May 2011.
Total domestic sales in May were down 4.3 percent at 89,478 units from 93,519 in May 2011. Exports fell by 10.9 percent at 9,406 units from 10,554 units.
Chennai-based Hyundai Motor's sales was up, with higher exports which grew 42.2 percent. Its domestic sales grew only 2.8 percent.
Total sales including exports grew by 16.6 percent at 55,670 units from 47,762 units sold in the corresponding period of 2011.
The company projected a bearish outlook.
'The recent hike in petrol prices has depressed market sentiment, with the macro-economic indicators providing no cause for cheer, the demand outlook doesn't look very bright,' said Arvind Saxena, director, marketing and sales, HMIL.
According to the company, domestic sales increased by 2.8 percent in the month under review to 32,010 units from 31,123 units sold in May last year.
However, exports zoomed 42.2 percent with 23,660 units shipped out as compared to 16,639 units in the corresponding month of 2011.
Tata Motors' total sales went up by 4 percent at 64,347 units. Domestic sales including that of commercial and passenger vehicles rose by 6 percent at 60,128 units.
Exports dwindled by 24 percent at 4,219 units as compared to 5,534 units in May 2011.
Mahindra and Mahindra, however, had a stellar May with a rise of 28 percent in sales at 43,988 units from 34,323 units in May 2011. Domestic sales grew 24 percent at 39,938 units.
Sales of passenger vehicles including utility vehicles rose 27 percent at 21,154 units in May 2012.
Two-and-three wheeler maker TVS Motor closed last month with a decline of 5.33 percent in sales which stood at 176,012 units from 185,930 units sold during May 2011.
On the other hand, Hero MotoCorp achieved its tenth consecutive month of over five lakh sales by dispatching 556,644 two-wheelers in May, with a growth of 11.3 percent over the corresponding month last year.
Said Anil Dua, senior vice-president, marketing and sales, Hero MotoCorp:
'Notwithstanding the slowdown in the overall economy and the prevailing sentiment in the country, we are cautiously optimistic that the expected normal monsoon and the consequent good harvest should perk up the mood in the coming months.'