Passenger vehicles (PV) sales grew at a moderate 6.88 per cent in the first half of 2018-19 hit by a slump in July-September that prompted auto makers body SIAM to take a conservative outlook for the fiscal signalling a slowdown in the sector.
PV sales contracted by 5.61 per cent in September -- the biggest monthly slump in this fiscal -- marking the third straight month of decline.
In total, PV sales dropped by 3.6 per cent in July-September 2018 after a stellar 20 per cent growth in the April-June quarter. Sales dropped 2.71 per cent in July followed by a 2.46 per cent contraction in August.
The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) contained its growth forecast for 2018-19 to 9 per cent from earlier spread of 9-11 per cent.
Passenger vehicle sales during the April-September period stood at 17,44,305 units as against 16,32,006 units in the year-ago period, showing a moderate growth of 6.88 per cent largely backed by new launches and rural demand.
In the first half of the fiscal, PV sales have grown 6.88 per cent and for the second half also while the outlook is positive, sales will be "slightly" higher or similar, SIAM President Rajan Wadhera told reporters here.
"For the entire fiscal, we had a forecast of 9-11 per cent growth but we are now looking more at the lower end of around 9 per cent," he added.
Domestic car sales also grew 6.8 per cent to 11,69,497 units in the April-September period of 2018-19 as compared with 10,95,077 units in the same period of 2017-18, according to data released by SIAM Friday.
PV sales during the first half of the fiscal were mainly driven by rural demand and new model launches, Wadhera said.
He hoped that sales growth would further improve with the onset of festive season.
"In the next six months, the growth story of automotive industry will continue to be on the positive side based on strong rural demand and festive season," Wadhera said.
Two-wheeler sales during the period under review rose 10.07 per cent to 1,15,69,770 units. Similarly, total commercial vehicle sales also grew 37.82 per cent to 4,87,316 units.
PV exports during the April-September period declined 2.96 per cent to 3,49,951 units, SIAM said.
In September, PV sales declined 5.61 per cent to 2,92,658 units from 3,10,041 units in the same month of the previous year.
Domestic car sales also declined 5.57 per cent to 1,97,124 units compared to 2,08,742 units in September 2017, SIAM data showed.
Honda Cars India reported sales of 14,820 units, down 18.83 per cent as compared with September 2017.
Motorcycle sales last month, however, rose 7.04 per cent to 13,60,415 units as against 12,70,885 units in the same month last year.
Rival Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) sold 1,70,978 units as compared to 1,83,366 units in the same month last year, a decline of 6.75 per cent.
Bajaj Auto's motorcycle sales stood at 2,73,029 units compared to 2,47,418 units in September 2017, up 10.35 per cent.
Scooter sales witnessed a decline of 2.91 per cent to 6,66,476 units, as compared to 6,86,478 units in September last year.
Market leader HMSI saw its domestic sales dip 9.58 per cent to 3,49,422 units as against 3,86,456 units in the year-ago month.
Chennai-based TVS Motors sold 1,37,154 units as compared to 1,18,174 units in September last year, up 16.06 per cent.
Hero MotoCorp's scooter sales stood at 77,069 units as compared to 88,524 units in the year-ago month, down 12.93 per cent.
Total two-wheeler sales in September rose 4.12 per cent to 21,26,484 units compared with 20,42,297 units in the year-ago month.
Commercial vehicles sales were up 24.14 per cent at 95,867 units in September, SIAM said.
Vehicle sales across categories registered a rise of 3.72 per cent to 25,84,096 units from 24,91,425 units in September 2017, it added.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)