Hyundai Motor India (HMIL), the largest car exporter and second-largest domestic carmaker, saw its net profit go up 5.27% to Rs 836.2 crore during fiscal 2011-12, while total revenues were up 13.27% to Rs 22,500 crore.
“The increase was mainly due to introduction of the new Verna, Eon and increased efficiency. Due to growth in diesel car segment and new product offerings, domestic sale recorded a growth of 8% with 388,615 units as against 358,583 units in the previous year,” a company filing in the registrar of companies said.
While market share in the domestic passenger car segment stood at 19.2%, export volumes were up 2% to 237,471 units largely on the addition of new markets in Africa, Latin America and West Asia. European markets continue to be sluggish.
Apart from a shift to diesel vehicles, car sales performed poorly in the previous fiscal largely due to “costlier fuel and high interest rates on auto loans”. Meanwhile, the industry also faced margin pressures from rising interest rates, steep rise in input costs and sudden depreciation of rupee against major currencies.
Though nine of the top 10 global auto majors are present in India, only a handful of carmakers have been able to post profits on a net basis. In fact, US-based Ford Motor had to report to the BIFR earlier this year as its accumulated losses eroded half of its net worth. Profitability has been elusive both because of the large amount of fixed capital investments recently made across the sector and the low product margins driven by highly competitive market.
In comparison, peer Maruti Suzuki recorded the sharpest drop in profit in three years in FY12 (28.55% to R1,635 crore). Tata Motors’ standalone profits also fell 31.45% in the same year to R1,242 crore. In the period, total passenger car sales in India in the fiscal was up 2.19% to 2.01 million units.