Auto volumes are typically subdued in December as customers tend to postpone vehicle purchases for registration in the new year, according to Religare Institutional Research. "Our top picks are Bajaj Auto/M&M given their continued performance in an otherwise tepid demand environment, and Tata Motors on its healthy JLR outlook. While Maruti Suzuki (MSIL) prices in a likely volume pick-up, its real test would be over the high base of next four months," it said.
During November 2012, two-wheeler sales for Bajaj Auto (BJAUT)/ Hero Motocorp (HMCL)/ TVS Motors (TVSL) declined 1.6%/6.4%/ 3.5% YoY as wholesale dispatches slowed since dealers were already holding up inventory in anticipation of the festive demand. This would have normalised dealer inventory levels. HMSI continued to clock stronger growth YoY.
In passenger vehicles, performance was mixed for Maruti Suzuki (MSIL), as the Mini segment declined 5.8% while compact/super-compact segments grew 7.6%/30%. Growth for Tata Motors/Hyundai/ Ford/Toyota was lackluster, as PV sales dropped 35%/0.7%/28.6%/25.8% YoY.
For Mahindra & Mahindra (MM), while the automotive segment maintained a healthy run-rate, domestic tractor sales soared 22% over a soft base of -4.7% (segment base to remain attractive for next 10 months). UV/pick-up/3W sales were up 38%/7.4%/16.6% YoY. In the CV segment, Tata Motors (TTMT)/ Ashok Leyland (AL) reported disappointing MHCV sales; this, however, was offset by a steady trend in LCVs.
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