Despite five months of best ever sales, Hero MotoCorp sold only 31,600 more bikes last year
While automobile companies had a good year at the start, the move to demonetise high currency notes in November hit their sales in the next few months.
India's largest two-wheeler maker Hero MotoCorp has sold 66.639 lakh two-wheelers in financial year ended March 31, 2017 as against 66.323 units in the year previous to last.
The company said that it sold 6.09 lakh bikes in March 2017 alone as against 6.06 lakh two-wheelers in March of last year and 5.24 lakh units in February 2017.
Although the year began on a tepid note for two-wheeler makers and auto companies at large, good monsoon did improve sales in the middle of last year. However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's demonetisation on November 8, 2016 hit sales hard.
Despite this, Hero MotoCorp said that its best months where it sold over 6 lakh units were October 2016 (663,153), September 2016 (674,961), August 2016 (616,424) ,April 2016 (612,739) andMarch 2017 (609,951).
The year-end came as another shocker for the auto industry in India as the Supreme Court banned sales of BSIII complaint vehicles from April 1, 2017. Two-wheeler makers like Hero MotoCorp were hardest hit by this as two-wheeler makers sat on an inventory of nearly 6 lakh vehicles. The company told SC that the order is likely to cause it a loss of Rs 1,600 crore.
While the company did not give any figures about the sales of its BS III vehicles, heavy discounting on the last two days of March 2017 to clear the unsold BSIII inventory helped the company achieve its highest monthly sales in the given month.