Mahindra overtakes Tata Motors, becomes India’s largest carmaker

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 29, 2011

Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. is now the biggest automaker in India by market value, taking the place of Tata Motors Ltd. The decline in passenger car demand had pulled down Tata's shares. On Friday, Mahindra’s shares gained in Mumbai trading, giving it a market capitalization of 440.74 billion rupees ($9.6 billion).

Mahindra is the biggest maker of SUVs in India. On the other hand, Tata Motors dropped 5%, putting the company’s value at 424.14 billion rupees.

Tata Motors, which owns the Jaguar and Land Rover brands, is the biggest truckmaker in India, says Autonews. Bloomberg data show that it was in October 2008 that Tata Motors' value last fell below Mahindra's.

This was the time that financial markets struggled due to the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. the previous month. This year, the deliveries of Jaguar units have fallen as demand for luxury vehicles dropped as a result of the European debt crisis and the slowing down of the U.S. economic growth.

Overseas sales make up 73% of Tata Motors’ total revenue. This figure has fallen 44% this year. Mahindra, which sells just 5% of its vehicles abroad, has fallen by 7%. Surjit Singh Arora, a Mumbai-based analyst with Prabhudas Lilladher Pvt., said that Tata Motors has high exposure in North America and Europe through Land Rover and Jaguar.

The economy in these regions is presently uncertain. He believes that because of this uncertainty, Mahindra will continue to have a “higher market capitalization over Tata.”

In an e-mailed statement on Aug. 16, Tata Motors said that its global group sales in July declined by 6% to 85,392 vehicles compared to the same period in the previous year. According to the company’s Aug. 11 statement, its first-quarter profit was 20 billion rupees in the quarter ended June 30 compared to 19.9 billion rupees in the same period last year.

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