In Part 1 of our analysis of monthly dispatch data of December 2014, we analysed the Passenger Car market by segment and OEM. In Part 2 of the analysis, we evaluated the performance of Utility Vehicles and Vans. In this third part of the analysis, we look at the Commercial Vehicles segment.
December 2014 was a good month for most Commercial Vehicles segments. While commercial vehicles have been witnessing a revival in the last few months, the jump in dispatches last month was also driven by the impending rise in excise duties which would pull prices up significantly. Many fleet operators rushed to buy trucks before the excise duties would go up on January 1st, 2015.
MEDIUM COMMERCIAL VEHICLES
The Medium Commercial Vehicles segment (7.5T-16.2T) is still the largest segment in the Indian M&HCV market. The segment has been lagging in recovery, with volume gains slower than that in the HCV segments. However, December 2014 was a sweet month for the segment. Overall industry dispatches stood at 9662 units, a jump of 25.09% from previous December. However, volumes were still significantly lower than December 2012 volumes of more than 11400 units, much lower than December 2011 volumes of more than 16700 units, lower than December 2010 dispatches of more than 14500 units and also lower than December 2009 dispatches of about 13900 units. This indicates that the recovery in the market still has some distance to cover.
Market leader Tata grew the fastest, dispatching 4976 MCVs in December. This was a 32.6% jump from Dec 2013 dispatches of 3752 units. However, the volume was still lower than Tata’s MCV volumes in any December between 2009 and 2012.
Both Ashok Leyland and Volvo-Eicher (VECV) are significantly behind Tata and neck-to-neck with each other. Ashok Leyland dispatched 2251 MCVs in December 2014, a 12.8% jump over December 2013 volumes. The company’s volumes were significantly lower than what it had managed in Decembers of 2009-2012.
VECV dispatched 1996 units, a 23.9% jump over previous year. Again, the dispatches in December 2014 were significantly lower than the company’s dispatches in any December between 2009-2012.
HEAVY COMMERCIAL VEHICLES – RIGID AXLES
The segment’s growth and revival is dependent on large infrastructure projects as most of these vehicles are used in construction projects as dumpers, tippers and cement mixers. December 2014 saw 9470 units of HCVs with Rigid rear axles being dispatched, a 85% jump from December 2013 dispatches of 5114 units. However, even after this big jump, December 2014 volumes were lower than those in December 2010 and 2011 when the segment was at its peak. In a way, this is just the start of revival and the market should grow another 60% from these levels before the start of the next correction cycle.
Market leader Tata Motors dispatched 5857 units, a 75.78% growth over December 2013 dispatches of 3332 units. However, this was significantly lower than December 2011 dispatches of 8357 units for the company.
Ashok Leyland dispatched 2748 units in December 2014, a 162% jump from previous year. The company’s new range of HCVs has been received well in the market and is helping it in gaining marketshare. The sharp jump in dispatches made this the best December for Ashok Leyland in the last six years, surpassing the December 2011 high of 2608 units.
Apart from Tata and Ashok Leyland, the other players are quite small in the segment. VECV dispatched 369 units in December 2014, a 43% jump over December 2013 sales of 258 units. However, the volumes were much lower than the December 20111 peak volumes of 483 units.
HEAVY COMMERCIAL VEHICLES – TRACTOR TRAILERS
The HCV-Tractor Trailers are used for carrying large loads over long distances on highways. The segment depends on the economic health of the country. These vehicles are also quite capital intensive so any increase in excise duties would have a significant impact on the prices of the vehicles. The segment had also started recovering much earlier than the other M&HCV vehicle segments.
December 2014 witnessed a huge spurt in HCV-Tractor Trailers dispatches. The segment accounted for 2603 units in the month, a 187.6% jump over December 2013 dispatches of 905 units.This huge spurt in sales made this the best December ever for the segment, surpassing the previous highs of 2159 units in December 2010.
Market leader Tata dispatched 1605 units in the month, a 179% jump from previous year. Last December, the company had dispatched 575 units. This was the best December ever for the company in the Heavy Trucks – Tractor Trailers segment.
Ashok Leyland dispatched 927 units in the month, a near 240% jump from previous year. Again, this was the best December ever for the company in the Heavy Trucks – Tractor Trailers segment.
Apart from these two manufacturers, the other players have very small presence in the segment. Most of them experienced the same spurts in dispatches in December 2014.
The Buses segment has been the last one to recover but December 2014 saw a healthy jump in Bus dispatches as well. In all, the Segment accounted for 2942 units, a 19.3% jump from previous year dispatches of 2276 units. Even after the jump, this was the worst December yet in the last six years, not counting December 2013. Most of the growth in the segment was driven by market leader Tata Motors.
Tata Motors accounted for 1482 Buses, up 45.6% from previous year dispatches of 1018 units. In dispatching the numbers, Tata Motors bettered the December 2012 volumes of 1165 units but was still way short of the December 2009 peak of 2426 units.
Ashok Leyland had a surprisingly mellow December 2014 with dispatches of 905 units in the month. This was a 6.7% improvement from dec 2013 dispatches of 848 units and the worst December in the last six years for the company in the Buses segment, not counting December 2013.
VECV also had a comparatively mellow December 2014 with dispatches of 202 units. This was a 11% jump from December 2013 dispatches of 182 units.
SMALL COMMERCIAL VEHICLES
The Small Commercial Vehicles segment has been under pressure in the last few quarters and witnessing heavy double digit declines. Even the premise of an excise duty increase could not change the tide and December 2014 witnessed a 17% decline in dispatches over previous year. Overall, 23553 units of SCVs were dispatched in the month as compared to 28492 units dispatched in December 2013. This was the worst December in last five years for the segment.
Tata Motors witnessed a near 25% decline in SCV dispatches as Ace / Super Ace sales continue to fall. This was the worst December in the last six years for the company in the segment.
Market leader Mahindra did much better with only a 11.4% decline in dispatches. At 11525 units, dispatches were just at the level of December 2011 and December 2012.
Ashok Leyland’s dispatches of the Dost small truck were also down 16% from previous year. At 1881 units, dispatches were also below December 2012 levels.
Force and Piaggio continue to stay insignificant in the segment even though Piaggio was able to hold on to its dispatch levels of December 2013.
LIGHT COMMERCIAL VEHICLES
The Light Commercial Vehicles caters to goods transport over small distances and many smaller niches like school buses. In December 2014, the segment witnessed a 26% jump in dispatches at 5733 units, up from 4548 units in December 2013. Dispatches were at the level of December 2012, but much lower than 2011 and 2010 levels.
Market leader Tata Motors dispatched 2288 units of LCVs in December 2014, a 8.7% increase over December 2013 dispatches of 2105 units. This was the company’s worst performance in December in the segment in the last six years, not counting December 2013.
SML Isuzu witnessed a smart jump in its LCV dispatches in December 2014. At 663 units, dispatches were up 122% from December 2013 dispatches of 298 units.
Force Motors dispatched 1531 units of its Traveller range, a 21% improvement over previous year. This was the best December ever for the company in the LCV segment.
VECV dispatched 708 LCVs in the month, a 13.8% jump from previous year and near its peak of December 2011.