Two-and-three-wheeler sales remained muted in December as depressed rural demand along with inventory management dented off-take.
Two-wheeler major Hero MotoCorp reported a 6.41% decline in sales, including exports, for December 2019 to 424,845 units from 453,985 units sold during the year-ago month.
"In the first three quarters of FY20, the company sold 50,75,208 motorcycles and scooters," it said.
"Hero MotoCorp is rapidly migrating to the BSVI regime and has launched two exciting motorcycles -- Splendor iSmart BSVI and HF Deluxe BSVI -- in quick succession."
The company's domestic sales in the month fell to 4,12,009 units, down over 5%, from 436,591 units sold in last December, while exports declined by 26.20% to 12,836 units from 17,394 units shipped out during the like month of 2018.
Identically, two-and three-wheeler manufacturer Bajaj Auto's total sales fell by 3% to 336,055 units from 346,199 units during the corresponding month of 2018.
Its total domestic sales stood at 153,163 units -- down 15% -- from 180,351 units sold in December last year.
However, the two-and three-wheeler manufacturer's overall exports rose by 10% to 182,892 units from 165,848 units shipped-out during the like month of 2018.
Another two- and three-wheeler major TVS Motor Company also reported dip in sales for December at 231,571 units.
The company said it sold a total of 231,571 (215,619 two-wheelers and 15,952 three- wheelers) units in this month, down from 271,395 units (258,709 two-wheelers, 12,686 three-wheelers) sold in December 2018.
The company also said it has started rolling out Bharat Stage VI emission norm compliant TVS Apache RTR series, TVS Jupiter Classic and TVS XL models.
On the other hand, Suzuki Motorcycle India clocked monthly domestic sales of 44,368 units in December 2019 as compared to 43,874 units sold during the year ago period recording a Y-o-Y increase of 1.1%.
"Overall, SMIPL registered monthly sales of 52,351 units (domestic + exports) in December 2019 as compared to 52,362 units sold in December last year," the company said in a statement.
"Suzuki Motorcycle India posted cumulative sales of 616,392 units for April-December 2019 period."
According to Shamsher Dewan, Vice President and Sector Head, Corporate Ratings, ICRA, preliminary wholesale data released by the top five two-wheeler manufacturers, except Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India, indicates that two-wheeler demand remained muted in December 2019, despite the discounts offered by the OEMs.
"However, exports reported a healthy 10.6% YoY growth during the month, driven primarily by Bajaj and TVS. With the forthcoming BSVI transition in April 2020, it is likely that OEMs have consciously scaled-back their BSIV dispatches to prevent overstocking at dealerships," Dewan said.
"OEMs started launching BSVI variants post festive season and will be scaling up their dispatches in Q4. As cost differential between BSVI and BSIV becomes more evident, some pre-buying is expected to drive retail demand. However, near term outlook remains subdued given the muted consumer sentiments and expectation of significant increase in cost of vehicle ownership."