While Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) did not see a good year in terms of sales of its utility vehicles last fiscal which was evident by production cuts across its manufacturing facilities, its tractor sales were robust leading the company to increase its workforce.
Since the passenger vehicles market was tepid during FY14 almost all the other manufacturers had reduced their workforce. It was only M&M, which saw its employee strength go up 16% to 40,163 compared with a year ago period, according to the data given in its annual report.
"This data includes the various automotive business segments of M&M, which includes tractors, commercial and utility vehicles. The increase in employees was mostly on account of robust tractor and agri-sales during the fiscal which grew at over 20%," said Rajeev Dubey, president, group HR, M&M. "There was also a slight addition of employees on account Mahindra Navistar business being demerged," he added.
M&M, which has 13 facilities spread across the country, added a higher number of temporary or casual employees during the period compared with permanent workers. The company’s temporary employee strength went up 29% to 20,736 employees in FY14, according to the annual report. Permanent employee strength moved up 5% to 19,427 vehicles during the period. M&M is the country’s largest tractor manufacturer with a 41% market share. It grew faster than the industry average last fiscal selling 260,000 tractors, an annual growth of 22%. As a result of the rise in the employee strength, the company saw its employee cost go up 16% to R2163.7 crore during the period. The company is known to have taken nine wage settlements during the year three of which came in Q4 of FY14.
In FY14 Mahindra observed multiple ‘No Production Days’ on account of the low sales. The first of these production cuts started in July 2013 at its automotive plants for a period ranging from 1 to 8 days. In August 2013 too the company ‘No Production Days’ for about six days followed by a production cut in January 2014.
Giving out future guidance, Dubey said that FY15 will be a difficult year and that there are no large scale hiring plans this year.
In FY14, M&M sold 254,344 passenger vehicles, a decline of 18% over the year-ago period. Commercial vehicles volumes were up 7% during the period to 152,398 units. Net sales during the fiscal remained flat at R40508.5 crore, as compared with a year