Domestic passenger vehicle sales
growth was flat in October, as dealers had built enough inventory for festive demand during August-September.
Sales of two-wheelers
from manufacturers to dealers declined almost 3 per cent last month. Light commercial
vehicles and three-wheelers, however, reported double-digit growth, show data from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (Siam).
Within passenger vehicles, the biggest contributor, cars, fell 5.3 per cent to 184,666 units. Utility
vehicles, the next biggest, continued to grow, up 12.4 per cent to 79,323 vehicles. Vans expanded by 5 per cent to 15,848.
Most carmakers, barring market leader Maruti Suzuki, reported a flat performance; some also declined. Maruti sales grew 9.25 per cent to 135,128 units last month. Hyundai, the second biggest, reported a decline of nearly 0.9 per cent to 49,588 units. Mahindra & Mahindra and Honda also saw a decline.
“The festive season could have been a lot better but this is not necessarily a reflection of market sentiment. It is a temporary blip... The decline in sales is more to do with inventory correction by manufacturers,” said Vishnu Mathur, director-general, Siam. July to September saw inventory build-up by manufacturers at dealerships ahead of the festival purchases; in October, they reduced dispatches, he added.
Sales of two-wheelers, the largest automobile segment by volumes, declined almost three per cent to 1.75 million units. This is the first fall in the segment since February. Within this, motorcycles contracted 3.5 per cent to 1.1 million; scooters remained at 0.57 million. Hero MotoCorp, the country’s largest two-wheeler maker, saw a decline of almost four per cent to 0.54 million units.
Dispatch of medium and heavy commercial
vehicles (M&HCVs) expanded close to 1 per cent, to 26,158 units. Sales of light CVs grew 10 per cent to 43,635 units. Total CV volume expanded 6.4 per cent to 69,793. “LCV’s have shown a lag effect, with sale improving after M&HCV’s had shown growth arising out of BS-IV conversions earlier this year. The dip in two-wheeler sales appears a post festival hangover,” said Sridhar V, partner, Grant Thornton India.
Three-wheelers saw growth of 13 per cent. Overall automobile industry
sales — all segments combined — declined nearly 3 per cent to 1.75 million units.
November is expected to be a growth month for the industry, owing to the low base effect of last year when demonetisation
Passenger vehicle sales
had grown by less than 2 per cent last November; those of two-wheelers
had slipped by six per cent. Sales of CVs and three-wheelers had contracted in double-digits.