Passenger vehicle sales in India inched up 1.82 per cent in November, the lowest clip since February this year, even as two-wheeler sales fell nearly 6 per cent as currency pullback affected sales, especially in rural areas.
According to Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), passenger vehicle sales last month were at 2,40,979 units, as against 2,36,664 in November last year.
Domestic car sales ticked up to 1,73,606 units as against 1,73,111 in November last year while that of commerc+ial vehicles (CVs) was down 11.58 per cent at 45,773 units in November, SIAM said.
Vehicle sales across categories registered a decline of 5.48 per cent at 15,63,665 units, from 16,54,407 in November 2015. It is the steepest decline in 43 months when total sales had declined by 7.75 per cent in March 2013.
“In November, companies were able to push stock to dealers as the inventory levels were down owing to a good festive season in October. So, the impact is not visible at wholesale levels. It will be only clear after this month after taking into account retail sales,” SIAM Director General Vishnu Mathur told reporters here.
Over 85 per cent of the passenger vehicles are financed.
So, people are just postponing buys while the impact is visible in rural areas, especially in the two-wheeler space, where cash component pays a major role, he added.
“So, two-wheeler sales are giving out a true picture of the current situation. Also, for car companies which have long waiting periods for some of their models, the impact would be less as compared to others which do not have any backlog to clear,” Mathur explained.
Even fast-growing utility vehicles sales posted 10.01 per cent growth during the last month, the lowest pace in the past 10 months.
However, in April-November, total vehicle sales across categories grew 12.5 per cent at 1,54,20,035 units as against 1,37,07,157 in the year-ago period. Mathur said footfalls declined at showrooms during the first week after demonetisation, but situation recovered in the weeks that followed.
“We expect it to be a temporary disruption and expect industry making a comeback January onwards. The picture would be clear over the next 2-3 months,” he said.
During November, market leader Maruti Suzuki India saw its car sales rise by 8.14 per cent to 96,767 units as against 89,479 in the same month last year. The company’s utility vehicle sales, however, jumped 98.14 per cent to 17,215 units as against 8,688 in November last year.
Rival Hyundai Motor India reported a decline of 12.83 per cent in its domestic car sales at 32,923 units compared with 37,771 units in the year-ago period. Its utility vehicles sales came in at 7,093 units as against 5,880 last year, up 20.62 per cent. .
Utility vehicle major Mahindra and Mahindra saw its sales in the utility category decline 33.58 per cent to 12,410 units last month as against 18,686 in the year-ago month. Its car sales were at 291 units compared with 221 last year, up 31.67 per cent, as per the SIAM data.
Total two-wheeler sales in November fell 5.85 per cent to 12,43,251 units compared with 13,20,552 in the year-earlier month. SIAM said motorcycle sales last month declined 10.21 per cent to 7,78,178 units, from 8,66,696 a year earlier.
Hero MotoCorp saw its bike sales at 4,14,709 units last month as against 4,71,881 in November last year, down 12.11 per cent.
Rival Bajaj Auto’s motorcycles sales stood at 1,39,765 units as against 1,52,663 units in the same month last year, down 8.44 per cent.
According to SIAM, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) saw its bike sales decline 7.48 per cent to 96,338 units as against 1,04,132 units in the year-ago month.
Total scooter sales last month were at 3,88,692 units compared with 3,96,024 units in the year-ago period, down 1.85 per cent.
Segment leader HMSI saw its scooter sales tumble by 2.27 per cent to 2,03,076 units, from 2,07,814 units in the corresponding month last year.
Hero MotoCorp’s scooter sales were at 53,410 units compared with 66,299 units in November in 2015, down 19.44 per cent. Chennai-based TVS Motor’s scooter sales declined 2.73 per cent to 69,759 units, from 71,720 in the same month last year.