December marked the best growth in retail sales of passenger vehicles (PV) as new launches, cheaper finance and pre-buying to escape the January price increases helped boost demand. The segment also recorded the second-best monthly total this financial year. PVs comprise cars, SUVs and vans
PV sales grew 24 percent in December to 271,249 units as against 218,775 units recorded in the same month last year, as per data sourced from 86 percent of the regional transport offices (RTOs), shared by the Federation of Automobile Dealers Association (FADA).
Wholesales (dispatches to dealers) by 14 PV manufacturers during December stood at 276,544 units, a growth of 18 percent compared to the same month last year. The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) will issue sales later this week.
The inventory days for PVs currently ranges between 15-20 days while for two-wheelers it ranges between 30-35 days, according to FADA.
The two-wheeler segment scored better posting the best monthly retail sales this year in December. A total of 1.42 million two-wheelers were sold in December, marking a growth of 12 percent compared to 1.27 million units sold in the same month last year.
“A good crop season, better offers in 2W segment, new launches both in PV as well as 2W and fear of price increase in the month of January kept the demand going. Supply-side issues in passenger vehicles continued for the second straight month thus making waiting period as high as 8 months in select OEM vehicles,” Vinkesh Gulati, president, FADA said.
While December saw good spillover demand continuing from the festive season and pre-buying due to price hike announcement, demand for vehicles in January appears bleak. PVs may witness growth if the demand-supply mismatch is resolved. FADA expects a temporary blip in demand as customers will take time to absorb recent price increases announced by all OEMs.
Almost every carmaker raised prices from the start of January in the range of 1-5 percent across segments due to depreciation in value of the Indian currency, increase in input prices, hike in logistics costs, to name a few.
Commercial vehicles (CV) segment, which has been one of the worst-hit segments of the Indian automobile market this year, posted its highest retail sales in any month in December. Though the segment recorded a 14 percent it was the smallest monthly fall this year. The CV segment clocked retail sales of 51,454 units in December as compared to 59,497 units posted in the same month last year.
In total India’s automotive sector (all segments put together) recorded a growth of 11 percent in sales (a first in a month this year) to 1.84 million in December as against 1.66 million units clocked in the same month last year.