Most of the automobile stocks are trading in red, with Hero Motocorp and Ashok Leyland being among the leading losers. As per a leading financial daily, car sales have fallen most during Feb 2013 in the last 12 years. The sales have declined by 25.7% YoY. This was the 4th consecutive month, which has witnessed decline in the sales volume. According to data from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), automakers sold 158,513 cars in India in the month of Jan 2013. Car sales were down by 4.6% during the first 11 months of the fiscal year ending in March. Reportedly, car sales in March were unlikely to see major improvement and thus this fiscal is expected to end up in the "negative territory" for the first time since FY03. The country's largest auto makers are facing pressures. Tata Motors is sharply trimming down its production due to fall in sales and pile-up of inventory. Since the past few months, the company has witnessed fall in its market share as competition intensified in the compact car segment. Similar trend is seen in Maruti Suzuki.The company has recently declared that it will suspend petrol car production at its Gurgaon plant. Gurgaon plant is the biggest and the oldest plant for Maruti Suzuki and manufacturers around 1500 to 1800 cars every day, including its largest selling car Alto, M800 and WagonR. The company's diesel cars are also facing slowdown in demand. Its dealers have 1-1.5 month of unsold inventory, an all-time high.
Most of the FMCG stocks are trading in red with Dabur and Emami among the major losers. However, Gillete India and Godrej Consumer are trading in green. As per a leading financial daily, Hindustan Unilever (HUL) has signaled its counter-attack on arch-rival Reckitt Benckiser by launching a print-advertisement. The print advertisement (ad) claims Lifebuoy liquid soap to be better than Dettol antiseptic formulation. Reckitt Benckiser had earlier aired a commercial that showed Dettol kitchen liquid gel to be better than HUL's Vim liquid dishwash. HUL had also filed a petition after which the Calcutta High Court had directed Reckitt to remove controversial portion from its Dettol dishwashing gel ad. According to the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), FMCG companies are adopting all sorts of gimmicks to target consumers. As per Technopak, this round of ad-wars is likely to create buzz in this need-based category where brands have to find ways to gain attraction. HUL stock is up 1.3%.