With 2.46 per cent drop in August, passenger vehicle sales in Asia’s third biggest car mart declined for the second month in a row due to high base effect and partial impact of floods in Kerala.
The latest report from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (Siam), automobile industry body, said on Tuesday that the passenger vehicles, which include cars, utility vehicles and vans, stood at 2,87,186 units last month against 2,94,416 units in August 2017.
Car sales also fell 1.03 per cent to 1,96,847 units last month against 1,98,892 units in August last year. Passenger vehicle sales in July had also declined by 2.71 per cent to 2,90,960 units from 2,99,066 units in the same month previous year. Car sales had also fallen to 1,91,979 units in July against 1,92,845 in the year-ago month.
The decline in sales, is “because of the impact of high base effect, as sales last year from July to September were high after the goods and service tax (GST) implementation,” said Vishnu Mathur, director general at Siam. Floods, especially in Kerala that is a big automotive market, had also hit sales, he added.
Mathur, however, said the current high fuel prices had little impact on vehicle sales. “Fuel prices keep fluctuating and it does not have an immediate impact on sales, although in the long term it can have some impact,” he said.
In August, market leader Maruti Suzuki India, which sells one car out of two bought in the country, posted 3.55 per cent decline in passenger vehicle sales at 1,45,895 units. Its rival brand Hyundai Motor India also saw 2.76 per cent decline at 45,801 units. Tata Motors, however, posted 24.98 per cent jump in passenger vehicles sales in August at 20,323 units.
According to Siam, sales of commercial vehicles in the country jumped by 29.56 per cent to 84,668 units in August, up from 65,350 units sold in the year-ago month. “Considering how this segment has grown above expectations we are looking at having a re-look at our forecast for an upward revision,” said Sugato Sen, deputy director general at Siam.
Siam had earlier projected that the commercial vehicle segment could grow around 10-12 per cent this financial year.
However, in April-August, the segment has grown by 41.67 per cent to 3,91,260 units against 2,76,182 units in the year-ago period. Siam said motorcycle sales last month grew by 6.18 per cent to 12,06,512 units compared with 11,36,322 units in August 2017. But Scooter sales were marginally down at 6,69,416 units against 6,73,444 units in August last year.
Total two-wheeler sales in August were higher by 2.91 per cent to 19,46,811 units against 18,91,685 units in the year-ago month. “Two-wheeler sales were partially affected by the restriction imposed in West Bengal on new purchases without driving licence,” Mathur explained. Vehicle sales across categories in August registered a growth of 3.43 per cent to 23,81,931 units from 23,02,902 units in the same month last year.