Auto stocks plunged on Tuesday on the back of negative monthly sales data from major companies. Shares in Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra dropped as much as 1.98 per cent, 4.11 per cent and 2.99 per cent respectively. On the other hand, two-wheeler makers' stocks bucked the trend, with Bajaj Auto rising as much as 0.60 per cent, Hero MotoCorp adding 1.86 per cent and TVS Motor climbing 2.28 per cent in intraday trade.
Maruti Suzuki India, Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra and Eicher Motors reported their sales numbers on Sunday. Maruti Suzuki's total sales in the domestic market fell 35.86 per cent to 94,728 vehicles in August. Tata Motors said its total sales (passenger as well as commercial vehicles) in the domestic market fell 49.06 per cent to 29,140 units. Mahindra & Mahindra posted a fall of 26.03 per cent to 33,564 vehicles last month.
The Nifty Auto index - comprising manufacturers of cars, motorcycles, heavy vehicles, auto ancillaries and tyres - fell as much as 1.73 per cent, dragged by Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra and Eicher Motors shares. The S&P BSE Auto index on the Bombay Stock Exchange fell 1.62 per cent at one point of time.
Nomura said in a note that despite festive season arriving 10 days earlier this year, industry wholesale volumes continued to decline sharply across segments while floods in some regions also impacted wholesales.
"While inventory levels might have come down marginally in commercial vehicles and passenger vehicles, they remain elevated," Nomura said.
Bajaj Auto on Tuesday reported a 18.59 per cent decline in total domestic sales of motorcycles and commercial vehicles to 2,08,109 units in August.
Hero MotoCorp on Sunday reported sales of 5,43,406 two-wheelers last month, marking a decrease of 20.68 per cent compared to the corresponding period a year ago.
Some analysts say that auto sales will begin to normalise in the coming months.
"There may be one more month of pain for auto companies till October... The auto sector slowdown started in November 2018 and sales numbers before that were very good," AK Prabhakar, head of research at IDBI Capital, told NDTV.
Eicher Motors shares fell 3.55 per cent in intraday trade. The auto maker reported a 23.74 per cent fall in two-wheeler sales to 52,904 units in the domestic market. Its domestic sales in the trucks and buses segment declined 35.08 per cent to 3,144 units.
The medium- and heavy-commercial vehicle industry continued to remain under pressure due to weak freight rates, liquidity constraints and economic downturn, brokerage Kotak Institutional Equities said in a note.
The brokerage also said it expects a revival in the domestic tractor industry going into the festive season, led by normal monsoon and improvement in the sowing pattern of Kharif crops.
At 12:33 pm, Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra shares traded 0.71 per cent, 3.47 per cent and 2.40 per cent lower respectively, as against a 1.33 per cent fall in the benchmark Sensex index. Bajaj Auto shares traded 0.39 per cent lower at the time, whereas Hero MotoCorp and TVS Motor stocks were up 0.42 per cent and 1.80 per cent respectively.