India November auto sales: car, tractor, truck sales rise

Vehicles are pictured at a toll post in Mumbai, India, August 13, 2019. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

BENGALURU, Dec 1 (Reuters) - The festive season helped drive strong overall sales at most Indian automakers in November, with market leader Maruti Suzuki (MRTI.NS) posting a 14.3% jump for the month.

Auto sales numbers are keenly watched as they are among the key indicators for assessing private consumption, which has a more than 50% weightage in calculating the country's economic growth.

India's inflation has remained at elevated levels well above the Reserve Bank of India's upper tolerance band of 6%, but has recently shown some signs of easing.

Total passenger car sales rose 22.6% at Maruti Suzuki India, 56.2% at Mahindra & Mahindra and 55% at Tata Motors. Sales of utility vehicles, one of the fastest growing segments, rose 32.5% at Maruti and 56% at Mahindra.

Tractors sales, which indicate demand in rural economy and the state of farm incomes, were up by 10.3% each at Mahindra and VST Tillers Tractors (VST.NS), and 11.3% at Escorts Kubota (ESCO.NS).

"Rural sentiment continues to remain positive on account of good Rabi sowing and high reservoir levels," said Hemant Sikka, president of farm equipment sector, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.

Two-wheeler sales rose marginally at TVS Motor Co (TVSM.NS) to 263,642 units, although rival Bajaj reported a 22.6% drop to 262,120 units. The sales figures help gauge the economic health of India's biggest consumer base, which is loosely defined as "lower middle income households".

Eicher, which sells Royal Enfield motorcycles, registered a 37% rise in bike sales to 70,766 units.

India's annual economic growth (INGDPQ=ECI) for the quarter-ended Sept. 30 more than halved to 6.3% from 13.5% in the prior three months as distortions caused by COVID-19 lockdowns faded in Asia's third-largest economy.

Below is the list of sales figures from some of India's leading auto companies that have reported so far:

** Maruti Suzuki India - 159,044 units, up 14.3%

** Mahindra & Mahindra Auto - 58,303 units, up 45.4%

** Mahindra & Mahindra Farm Equipment - 30,528 units, up 10.3%

** Tata Motors - 75,478 units, up 21.4%

** TVS Motor Co - 277,123 units, up 1.6%

** Bajaj Auto - 306,552 units, down 19.2%

** Eicher Motors Trucks & Buses - 4,903 units, up 20%

** Eicher Motors Motorcycles - 70,766 units, up 37%

** Ashok Leyland - 14,561 units, up 39%

Reporting by Nandan Mandayam in Bengaluru, Additional Reporting by Aftab Ahmed in New Delhi, editing by Anil D'Silva

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