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Impact of court ruling on diesel cars moderate, but wide: Analysts

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New Delhi, Dec 16 : The Supreme Court order banning the sale of diesel vehicles above 2,000 cc in the national capital will impact only some auto-makers strongly, but will also potentially trigger a cascading effect on the dependent ancillary industry, analysts maintain.

Spelling out the figures on domestic sale of passenger vehicles, analysts said out of some 3 million sold in India annually, only around 7 percent is accounted for by the national capital — which makes it a market of 210,000 units.

Out of that, diesel vehicles account for 25 percent, or a market of 52,500 units. That is 1.75 percent of passenger vehicles sold in India are accounted for by the diesel versions in Delhi region.

“In the short term, there will be disruption. From showroom inventory to pipeline stocks — changes, cancellation of bookings, workshop and parts planning are the areas of impact at the vendor end,” said Kumar Kandaswami, senior director with Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu.

“It remains to be seen as to the long-term view. If this restriction of not registering diesel cars with engines of 2000 cc or more continues longer, or on a permanent basis, companies will have to deal with investment decisions that are significant,” Kandaswami told.

“Inventories will have to be shifted,” he said, referring to the impact down the line. “The problems may not be as acute in some interior parts and accessories. Most component suppliers will be faced with schedule changes in the near term.”

But some companies, analysts maintain, can take a larger hit.

“We believe the news (of the Supreme Court order) is likely to have negative impact on Mahindra and Mahindra, as about 95 percent its passenger vehicle portfolio is above the 2,000 cc range,” said Bharat Gianani, automobile analysts with Angel Broking.

In fact on a day when the sensitive index of the Bombay Stock Exchange rose 0.69 percent, Mahindra and Mahindra shares declined by 5.44 percent, even as the bourse’s automobile index, as a whole, was down just 0.51 percent.

Mahindra and Mahindra hoped for a holistic view. “The vehicles affected represent about 2 percent of the company’s monthly sales. The company is in the process of evaluating various options to work within the framework provided by the honourable Supreme Court,” the company statement said.

“The news will not have much impact on Maruti Suzuki — it hardly has any product above the 2,000 cc segment — nor on Tata Motors as its earnings are driven largely by JLR, which is a global player,” Gianani added.

At then same time, they said the ruling could change customer perception nation-wide.

“This decision will surely impact some makers in the luxury segment and as well as SUV segment. In addition, from customer prospective they will think twice now buying diesel vehicles because of the uncertainty with regard to diesel regulation,” said Abdul Majeed of PriceWaterhouse.

Similarly, they said, much was being made out on the pile-up of inventories. They said the norm was to maintain an inventory of around one week. But they felt government revenues may get effected slightly, as as utility vehicles were taxed at higher rate at 24-30 percent.

“There is an interim period of 15 days till December 31 for OEMs to clear the inventory in the NCR region, if they are not able to clear the inventory by 31st Dec they need to look at other location within the country including if possible exports to nearby countries,” Majeed said.

Analysts believe the auto industry will hold negotiations with the government to sort out the issue, suggesting measures such as banning older vehicles, further improving the emission levels so that the ban does not exceed March 31 next year.

“While the temporary ban on diesel vehicles for three months may impact sales in the short term, the long term changes to policy, including emission norms, will be the key in determining the future road map of the industry,” said R. Muralidharan of Fitch Ratings.

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Honda Activa breaches 2 cr sales mark in India

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Honda Activa

New Delhi, Oct 17 : Hondas Activa scooter has breached the 2-crore sales mark in India, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India said on Wednesday.

According to the company, while it took 15 years to achieve the first one crore sales, the recent addition has come in just three years.

“Over 18 years and 5 generations, Honda 2Wheelers India continuously added value to exceed customers’ expectations and making Activa the most preferred choice of Indian 2 wheeler buyers,” said Minoru Kato, President and CEO, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India.

“We are delighted that Activa partnered over 2 crore Indian families on the move in realising their dreams.”

Honda Activa was launched in 2001.

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Hyundai’s Kona EV ready to hit the road

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Seoul, Oct 15: Carmaker Hyundai is developing a crossover sports utility vehicle (SUV) named Kona and the electric vehicle (EV) is reportedly ready to hit the road.

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While industry stalwarts like Ford and startups like Tesla dominate the conversation around the future of the EV market, Hyundai is out here quietly developing the crossover SUV that can travel farther on a single charge — 258 miles, to be precise — than any other electric vehicle on the market, Engadget reported on Monday.

The Kona Electric has a 64KWH lithium-ion polymer battery pack delivering 258 miles per charge.

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Notably, this make it the longest-range non-luxury EV, beating the likes of the Chevrolet Bolt EV (238 miles) and Nissan Leaf (151 miles) — and even Hyundai’s own Ioniq Electric (124 miles).

The Kona Electric or Kona EV is, unsurprisingly, based on the existing Hyundai Kona gas-powered platform.

“The exterior stylings are virtually identical, with the EV just 0.6-inches longer and 0.2 inches taller. The two models also share the same trio of trim packages. You’ve got the base SEL, then Limited and Ultimate,” the report added.

The SUV would be available in six colours, two of which are exclusive to the electric model.

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Base effect, fuel prices dent September passenger vehicles’ sales

The off-take of the sub-segment such as passenger cars dipped by 5.57 per cent during the month under review to 197,124 units.

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New Delhi, Oct 13 : Unfavourable base effect, along with high fuel and interest costs dented the sales of domestic passenger vehicles in September 2018, data showed on Friday.

According to the data furnished by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), sales of passenger vehicles — cars, utility vehicles and vans — declined by 5.61 per cent to 292,658 units from 310,041 units sold in the corresponding period of last year.

The off-take of the sub-segment such as passenger cars dipped by 5.57 per cent during the month under review to 197,124 units.

Similarly, utility vehicles’ sales edged-lower last month. The off-take was lower by 8.29 per cent during the month under review to 77,378 units.

However, sales of vans increased by 7.27 per cent to 18,156 units.

Similarly, sales of overall commercial vehicles zoomed. It rose by 24.14 per cent to 95,867 units in September. The segment is a key indicator of economic activity.

The data pointed-out that off-take of three-wheelers accelerated by 11.65 per cent to 69,066 units during the month.

In addition, overall sales of two-wheelers, which include scooters, motorcycles and mopeds, climbed by 4.12 per cent to 2,126,484 units.

As per the data, total sales of the Indian automobile sector rose by 3.72 per cent during September 2018 to 2,584,096 units across segments and categories.

The overall exports of vehicles across categories also edged higher by 17.05 per cent to 414,428 units.

“PV sales decline of 5.6 per cent YoY during September-2018 came on very high base of September-2017, when industry clocked its highest ever monthly wholesale dispatches of 3.1 lakh units,” said Ashish Modani, Assistant Vice President, Corporate Sector ratings, ICRA.

“Weaker Q2 sales in FY2019 was expected, given high base of last fiscal and delayed festive season in current fiscal. Volume should recover in subsequent months with onset of festive season; however, higher fuel prices remain a drag on customer sentiments.”

Sridhar V, Partner, Grant Thornton India said: “The commercial vehicles are still on a roll this September and the enablers have been the road infrastructure and state of the economy. CV’s have achieved the second highest volume in the last 30 months.”

“Two Wheelers have also shown a healthy growth and probably their best performance yet in the last 30 months with motorcycles sales doing well.”

“However, while passenger vehicles have shown a YoY decline the numbers remain healthy. The decline is only due to the highest number ever hit in September 2017 coupled with rise in fuel rates, interest rates and deferment of some buys on account of expectation of new introductions, updates and price cuts expected during the ensuing festival season.”

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