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Delay in festive season causes September sales to skid for most…

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Delay in festive season causes September sales to skid for most…

 September has been a good month for most of the auto companies (mainly the 4 wheelers) as they have started getting ready for the festive season lined up during the next two months. Dealers are stuffed with inventory to catch the festive demand. With new product launch M&M has clearly shown that a good product portfolio attracts demand defying macro hurdles, while Maruti Suzuki has posted an unexpected performance as Manesar plant is back to normal and has in fact started second shift of operation. However, macros still remain weak for Maruti and valuations look stretched. Tata Motors though posted a negative growth, its negativity was insignificant as LCV segment excelled again. On the other hand, 2 wheelers have posted a dismal show in September as inventory pile up fear has come true leading to lesser push to the dealers’ end. Also, the sales in September were down yoy as in last year, the festivals were spaced out and had already started in September.  Hero, Bajaj and TVS Motors all have posted a yoy decline, while the latter has posted a good sequential growth. We expect the next couple of months to be strong for the industry and somewhat improve the full year performance.

 Ashok Leyland – (TP- Rs 25, Neutral) – MHCVs dip, Dost excels

In September, ALL’s MHCV sales dipped by 12% yoy to 7,596 units, while the LCV Dost sold 3,027 units v/s 197 units last year when it was just launched. Including Dost, the total sales increased by 21% yoy and 13% mom to 10,623 units. This clearly signifies that amidst pain in the MHCV segment, LCVs are still holding the forte strongly for ALL. YTD, the company has posted a 33% growth to 57,327 units mainly on the back of the LCV Dost, which was launched only in October last year.

 Bajaj Auto – (TP – Rs 1825, Neutral) – Exports recovery on track

Bajaj Auto’s September sales came 14% down on yoy basis to 3,60,152 units, while there was a mom improvement of 4%. Motorcycle sales de-grew by 15% yoy despite the new Pulsar 200 NS and Discover 125ST putting up a good show ( sold 9,000 units and 35,000 units respectively) in this month. Exports are seeing a mom recovery while on yoy basis the dip is narrowed to just 6% as Bajaj Auto sold 133,222 units with Sri Lankan and Egyptian markets almost up to their normal monthly run-rate. We expect full recovery from October onwards in exports and negative growth in domestic market to correct somewhat from the upcoming couple of festive months.

 Hero MotoCorp – (Under Review) – Solid dip

HMCL’s September sales nosedived by 26% yoy and 9% mom to 4,04,787 lakh units in September ahead of festive season which we believe is an attempt to clear off inventory and newly start stuffing the dealers with fresh inventory along with new models to catch the festive demand. Also the management has cited this dip as the current sentiment in the 2W industry. We expect demand to get back in full form from October onwards.

 Mahindra and Mahindra – (TP- Rs895, Neutral) – Consistent auto business, FES sees month on month uptick

M&M sold 48,342 units in the auto segment, 10% growth yoy and a 5% mom growth. Passenger UV sales in the month grew by 22% yoy to 23,808 units, which was a 15% mom growth. The UV sales growth came on the back of ramp up in the production of XUV5oo and a pan India launch of the same in June. Also the compact SUV Quanto was launched which has received a warm response, as its order backlog is at 3,000 vehicles currently. 4W pick-up segment which includes Gio, Genio and Maxximo posted a 7% growth yoy as the LCV segment continued to grow at a strong pace indicating strong demand in the sub 1 tonne market despite a slowdown in the bigger version of the CV sector. 3Ws went back to negative growth after a strong August, as sales declined by 17% yoy. Exports grew by a 3% yoy to 3,079 units as XUV5oo was launched in South Africa in August and traction was seen from geographies like Chile, Africa, Middle East and the US. FES segment posted a better than expected performance as the company sold 20,085 units in September which was a 24% yoy decline, however it was a whopping 52% rise mom. Although YTD FES segment has fallen by 7%, we expect second half to show some improvement on expectations of a strong rabi crop.

 Maruti Suzuki – (TP – Rs 1,123, Underperformer)-Surprising stuff!!

Maruti Suzuki (Maruti)‘s sales in this month came at 93,988 units up by 74% mom and 10% yoy which was much better than our as well as market’s expectations.  In a scenario where petrol prices are moving up, the bread and butter segment, the mini segment of Maruti comprising Alto, Wagon R and A Star grew by 4.9% yoy as the company is preparing for the festive season, while the company is providing >10% discounts on Alto and Wagon R. The compact hatchback segment comprising Swift, Ritz and Estillo has seen a fall of 9.7% yoy as diesel prices have seen a hike in the month while on the other hand, production at Manesar is slowly getting back to normal.  Dzire model which had been a star performer for Maruti succumbed to the lockout and declined by 60.7% yoy in August. But in September it came back to its old glory as it grew by 24.3% yoy. Vans segment grew in the positive territory after several months, as it went up by 7.5% yoy as vehicles such as Omni and Eeco showed some improvement. MPV segment, backed by the newly launched Ertiga sold 7,224 units thus maintaining its high demand base of ~7,000 units. SX4 model grew by about 46.9% yoy although the model has seen strong pressures over the past year as competition from Vento, City and Verna has increased. Exports looked weak this month again as they fell by 23% yoy. Although September sales were strong, and the next couple of months will continue to remain so, the company will still underperform on a full year basis as fuel prices are zooming up and interest rates are yet to cool off. At current price point, the stock looks overvalued to us.

 Tata Motors – (TP- Rs298, BUY)- Numbers above expectations

September sales for the company were lower by 4% yoy, while on mom basis, it went up by 5%. CV sales grew by 5% yoy, out of which LCV sales were up by 19% yoy signifying LCV segment’s defiance of the macro uncertainties. New launches like the variant of Ace Zip led to the growth in LCV. MHCV sales however slipped by 16% yoy as macro weaknesses continued to trouble in the month. PV segment sales fell by 18% yoy while an improvement is expected in festive season. Nano segment grew by 87% yoy to 5,491 units, while it was an 15% decline on a mom basis.  Indica range fell by 23% yoy while Indigo products posted 26% decline yoy. Utility segment sales were by 15% yoy.

 TVS Motor – (TP- Rs 32, Underperformer)- Aberration!

TVS sold 1.71 lakh units in September which was better than our expectations. This was a 10% mom growth and a de-growth of 22% yoy. Motorcycles de-grew by 29% yoy to 63,832 units, while scooters de-grew by 28% yoy to 40,055 units. 3 Wheelers improved drastically as it touched record high of 5,005 units a growth of 36% yoy.  We believe this to be a 2-3 months affair on account of festive season and the stock would in our view  remain an underperformer.

 

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