Passenger Vehicle Sales Rise For The Fourth Straight Month
A sport utility vehicle (SUV) moves along the assembly line. (Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg)

Passenger Vehicle Sales Rise For The Fourth Straight Month

Factory-gate shipments of cars and utility vehicles continued to rise, albeit at a slower pace than earlier months, on account of automakers’ efforts to keep inventory at dealers in check as the festive season concludes.

Domestic wholesales of passenger vehicles rose 4.65% year-on-year to 2.64 lakh units in November, according to data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers. While car sales saw a dip for the first time in three months, falling 2.77% over the year earlier to 1.49 lakh units, sales of utility vehicles jumped 17.16% to 1.03 lakh units—also the fourth straight month of pick-up for the segment.

On a month-on-month basis, however, automakers shipped 14.6% less passenger vehicles from their factories. Shipments of cars, too, fell 17.9%.

Total two-wheeler sales rose year-on-year in November but dropped 22% over the preceding month.

Also read: How Maruti Suzuki Plans To Tackle SUV Challenge

“We have witnessed an increase in wholesale numbers in November over the corresponding month of last year, primarily on account of the festive season,” Rajesh Menon, director general at SIAM, was quoted as saying in a statement. “The retail sales of two-wheelers lag the wholesale numbers but would even out over a period as original equipment manufacturers engage with their dealers.”

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. While the optimism prompted companies to push more stocks to dealers, retail demand failed to meet expectations.

Also read: Pandemic Reveals The Turnaround At Tata Motors

Auto sales in November 2020: Segment-wise breakup (year-on-year)

  • Scooter sales rose 9.29% to 5.02 lakh units.

  • Motorcycle sales rose 14.90% to 10.26 lakh units.

  • Total two-wheeler sales increased 13.43% to 16 lakh vehicles.

  • Total three-wheeler sales slumped 57.64% to 23,626 units.

SIAM releases sales data for commercial vehicles only on a quarterly basis.

While the festive season brought back some fervor in specific segments, the overall economic scenario would determine the industry’s performance going forward, Menon said in the statement.

Also read: Passenger Cars Clock Highest Retail Sales In Nearly Three Years

(Updates an earlier version after SIAM revised its data.)

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