Passenger Cars Clock Highest Retail Sales In Nearly Three Years
Newly manufactured Maruti Suzuki cars are seen parked inside the company factory in Manesar near Gurugram, on Wednesday, 4 September 2019. (PTI)

Passenger Cars Clock Highest Retail Sales In Nearly Three Years

Passenger car sales at dealerships jumped to the highest in nearly three years as demand picked up during the festival season.

Vehicle registrations—a measure of sales at dealerships—of passenger cars rose 2.6% year-on-year to 2.8 lakh units in November, according to data compiled by BloombergQuint from the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways’ Vahan website. The jump was mostly driven by Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. and two new entrants—MG and Kia Motors Corp.

That compares a 20.2% year-on-year drop and a 28.4% rise over the previous month in overall vehicle registrations in the reported month.

Recovery during the festive season was crucial for India’s automakers that were battling a slowdown even before the pandemic. The lockdown had completely stalled production, leading to a washout initially, and shut dealerships. Sales slowly improved from June after the nation, fighting the worst economic downturn in decades, restarted activities to revive the sentiment. The pick-up in volumes was mostly led by first-time buyers as people opted for personal mobility over public transport amid fears of contracting the infection. The optimism had even prompted companies to push more stocks to dealers before the festive season. Factory-gate shipments were significantly higher than retail sales in the last couple of months.

Wholesales of passenger cars even continued to improve in November over the year-ago period, corroborated by BloombergQuint’s compilation of estimates from three brokerages.

State-Wise Performance

Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat witnessed maximum retail sales of vehicles in November. These top five states account for 44-50% of sales for major vehicle makers.

Here’s a look at auto sales in each segment in November 2020...

Passenger Cars

Maruti Suzuki continued to outperform peers in November. Sales for the country’s largest carmaker rose 15.9% over the month earlier and 4.8% year-on-year. Kia Motors and MG are the only two carmakers, besides Maruti Suzuki, that witnessed an increase in sales over the year earlier. On a month-on-month basis, all automakers tracked by BloombergQuint witnessed a rise in sales.


Sales of two-wheeler makers remained lower on a yearly basis but jumped significantly over the preceding month on festive demand.

Commercial Vehicles

Commercial vehicles sales remained subdued. Demand for heavy commercial vehicles and buses were less as fewer schools reopened and on a slow pickup in industrial activity.


Tractors sales remained robust as they rose year-on-year for the sixth straight month in November. Sales, however, fell month-on-month.

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