Auto demand picking up as the festive season nears – Maruti SuzukiNeha Kshirsagar
Update on the Indian Equity Market:
On Tuesday, Nifty ended 1.9%, higher than the previous close at 11,095. The top gainers for Nifty 50 were Reliance (+7.4%), Zee (+6.4%), and HDFC Bank (+3.8%) while the losing stocks were Tech M (-2.8%), BPCL (-2.5%), and IndusInd Bank (-2.0%). The sectoral gainers for the day were Media (+3.8%), Financial Service (+2.3%) and Pvt Bank (+2.0%) while the losers were IT (-0.9%) and PSU Bank (-0.02%).
Edited excerpts of an interview with Mr RC Bhargava, Chairman, Maruti Suzuki; dated 04th August 2020 from CNBC TV18:
- Auto sales in the month of July have seen a substantial improvement as compared to June and the demand is seen picking up ahead of the festive
- Demand is beginning to pick up as the festival season is coming up. Maruti is gradually ramping up production but there are still problems as the factories are working at anywhere near 100% capacities. Safety regulations limit the capacity utilization. So with all of that, Maruti is trying to meet the demand and get up to last year without any forecast or guarantees of what is going to happen.
- He highlighted that the number of enquiries was large and bookings were going along quite normally, compared to last year.
- There is the pent-up demand from last year as there is some requirement of people to have mobility as the economy is opening up. However, he expects the situation for six months down to remain uncertain because of negative factors such as lower income levels of people caused by the shutdown in business activities.
- Hospitality and travel businesses have closed down which were users of vehicles.
- In terms of the cost of a vehicle in relation to per capita income, he believes that has gone up probably a little faster because of new regulations on safety and emissions.
- The steel prices have never been on a straight line. There has been a period when steel prices have gone up sharply than they have flattened out and come down and then the cycle reverses. In the last two years, there were periods when steel prices were declining and they are benefited from that. Thus, he is not so worried about the increase in steel prices.
- Talking on the personal mobility issue he said that the percentage of buying cars which are the smaller entry-level hatchbacks has gone up. The increase in the percentage of people wanting to buy small hatchbacks is an indicator that there is a requirement of people to have a small car for doing all kinds of things, going to school, going shopping and other forms of transport. So he thinks that there is some section of the consumers that needs to have personal transport instead of using shared transport or some other form of transport.
Consensus Estimate: (Source: market screener and investing.com websites)
- The closing price of Maruti Suzuki India Ltd was ₹ 6,361/- as of 04-August-2020. It traded at 45x/27x the consensus EPS estimates of ₹ 141/239 for FY21E/FY22E respectively.
- The consensus target price of ₹ 5,698/- implies a PE multiple of 24x on FY22E EPS of ₹ 239/-.
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