Retail Auto Sales In June Point To Demand Revival In Rural Areas
A customer sits in a General Motors Co. Buick Velite 6 electric vehicle (EV) at the company’s dealership in Shanghai, China. (Photographer: Gilles Sabrie/Bloomberg)

Retail Auto Sales In June Point To Demand Revival In Rural Areas

Sales of passenger vehicles and tractors rose at dealerships but overall retail demand contracted for the third consecutive month in June even as the government unveiled measures to open up the economy following a stringent national lockdown lasting for more than two months.

Vehicle registrations, a measure of sales at dealerships, rose sequentially but was down 42.9 percent year-on-year to 9.74 lakh units in June, according to data from 1,225 regional transport offices in 32 states and union territories, collated by BloombergQuint from the website of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.

Most automakers, while showing decline in year-on-year factory gate sales, have witnessed recovery on a month-on-month basis. Tractors continue to outshine other vehicle categories. Demand for passenger cars and two-wheeler, too, witnessed a recovery over the previous month but is largely skewed toward semi-urban and rural markets. Urban demand remains muted owing to stricter curbs.

Two-wheeler and passenger car sales have recovered but are still at half the levels seen in June 2019. Commercial vehicles continue to be substantially impacted as fleets remain underutilised over a partial lifting of lockdown restrictions and lack of manpower to drive them after many people migrated to their hometowns.

Two Wheelers

Two-wheeler makers pushed sales to dealerships as easing of travel restrictions saw rise in demand for personal vehicles. As many as 3.1 lakh vehicles of Hero MotoCorp Ltd. were registered in June.

Passenger Cars

Among passenger car companies, recovery in retail sales was the highest for Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. and Hyundai Motor India Ltd.

Commercial Vehicles

Truck and bus makers continued to struggle in the absence of demand from fleet operators.

Tractors

Sales of most tractor makers recovered in June and crossed levels seen a year ago. Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.’s sales rose 17.5 percent year-on-year last month.

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