Passenger vehicle sales slip again in negative territory in November

New Delhi: Domestic passenger vehicle sales slipped into negative territory once again in November after registering a slight recovery in the preceding month, as muted demand conditions forced companies to reduce their dispatches to dealers.

According to data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), passenger vehicle (PV) sales declined 0.84 per cent to 2,63,773 units in November from 2,66,000 units in the year-ago period.

The PV sales figure would have been much lower during the period under consideration, if it had not been aided by the utility vehicle segment, which saw despatches grow by 32.7 per cent to 92,739 units in November as compared with 69,884 units a year-ago.

Domestic car sales were down 10.83 per cent to 1,60,306 units as against 1,79,783 units in the year-ago period while van sales were down 34.32 per cent to 10,728 units as compared to 16,333 in November 2018.

"Challenges continue in the passenger vehicle segment. we have to remember that the current numbers are on a comparatively low base of last November," SIAM Director General Rajesh Menon told reporters here.

New launches in the utility vehicle segment has helped prop up sales in October and November, he added.

PV sales had risen marginally in October aided by positive festive season sentiment and introduction of new models in utility vehicle space, just about managing to snap 11 continuous months of decline in sales.

However, vehicle sales across categories remained in the negative territory for over a year now.

Menon said, sales in PV sector would in all probability continue in the slow lane during the remaining months of the ongoing fiscal. He added that SIAM was in talks with the government to introduce BS-VI fuel across the country from February itself in order to push the sales of BS-VI emission norms compliant models.

As of now the government has kept April 1, 2020 as the date of introducing upgraded fuel across the country. The BS-VI fuel is available currently in only the NCR region.

Total two-wheeler sales in November fell 14.27 per cent to 14,10,939 units compared to 16,45,783 units in the year-ago month. Motorcycle sales last month were down 14.87 per cent to 8,93,538 units as against 10,49,651 units a year earlier.

Similarly, scooter sales last month declined 11.83 per cent to 4,59,851 units as compared with 5,21,542 units in November 2018.

Commercial vehicle sales were down 14.98 per cent to 61,907 units in November, SIAM said.

"It is worrisome that commercial vehicles and two wheelers sales continue to be in the negative zone. Commercial vehicle segment continue to suffer because of low demand in the infrastructure sector while two wheeler sales remain muted due to low demand in the rural areas," Menon said.

In the PV segment, Maruti Suzuki India reported a 3.31 per cent decline in its November sales at 1,39,133 units. Hyundai Motor India witnessed a 2.04 per cent increase at 44,600 units, while Mahindra & Mahindra reported a fall of 9.62 per cent to 14,633 units during the month.

In the two-wheeler category, Hero MotoCorp posted a 15.81 per cent drop in sales at 5,05,994 units, while rival Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India saw sales decline by 5.32 per cent to 3,73,283 units.

Similarly, Chennai-based TVS Motor Company saw its sales slump by 26.52 per cent to 1,91,222 units in November.

In November, vehicle wholesales across categories registered a decline of 12.05 per cent to 17,92,415 units from 20,38,007 units in November 2018. On the other hand, November retail sales data showed a somewhat better picture in terms of sales, pointing to inventory correction taking place in the industry.

Overall retail sales increased by 4.76 per cent to 22,13,519 units as compared with 21,12,876 units in the year-ago period. Similarly, PV retail sales stood at 3,13,061 units last month, as against 2,94,649 units in the same month last year, an increase of 6.25 per cent.

Two-wheeler retail sales were up by 4.6 per cent at 17,52,903 units as against 16,75,761 units in November 2018.

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