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Some auto stocks slip as December sales disappoint

SNS | New Delhi |

Most two-wheeler companies inched lower on the first trading day of January as they reported sales that reflected slipping demand following the government's demonetisation process. The absence of 86 per cent financial liquidity in the market resulted in demand for luxury items dropping since November as citizens concentrated on meeting bare necessities rather than spending on high ticket items.

Leading bike makers, with the exception of Eicher Motors, dropped between 0.2-2 per cent on Monday, also the first session for calendar 2017.

Bajaj Auto fell 2 per cent or 51 rupees, to 2,580 rupees. Bajaj reported an 18 per cent fall in bike sales to 203,312 units in December. These included exports as well, which plunged 24 per cent. Overall, total vehicle sales, which include commercial vehicles and bikes, slid 22 per cent to 225,529 as companies grappled with falling demand due to demonetization and the year-end lull in bike sales which happens in each December.

India's top bike seller, Hero MotoCorp, was down 1 per cent to 3,012 rupees. The company is yet to report sales numbers. Similarly, TVS Motor Co was down 0.2 per cent at 360 rupees.

Eicher Motors, maker of the high-end Royal Enfield bike, faced no problem finding buyers. The company already enjoys a waiting period of up to 6 months for its top selling models whose engine capacity starts at 350 cc. Eicher said it sold 42 per cent more bikes in December, totalling 57,398 units. Eicher Motors surged 717 rupees, or 3.3 per cent, to 22,520 rupees and was the top gainer on the Nifty.