Passenger Vehicle Sales Rise For Third Straight Month
Maruti Suzuki vehicles stand lined up at the Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. Brand Center in New Delhi. (Photographer: Nishant Sharma/BloombergQuint)

Passenger Vehicle Sales Rise For Third Straight Month

Factory-gate shipments of cars and utility vehicles rose for the third straight month as automakers continued to push stocks to dealers ahead of the festive season, and on low base.

Domestic wholesales of passenger vehicles rose 14.19% year-on-year to 3,10,294 units in October, according to data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers. While car sales rose 9.68% over the year ago to 1,82,692 units, sales of utility vehicles jumped 20.45% to 1,13,990 units—the fourth straight month of uptick.

Total two-wheeler sales, too, rose in October.

This comes as India, fighting the worst economic downturn in decades, restarted most activities to revive sentiment and growth after imposing one of the world’s strictest coronavirus lockdowns. Recovery during the festive season is crucial for automakers as they were battling a prolonged slowdown even before the pandemic. The lockdown stalled production and led to a washout in the initial months. Sales gradually recovered from July, mostly led by first-time buyers as people opted for personal mobility over public transport amid fears of contracting the infection.

“The month of October saw continuity in sales growth trajectory, drawing on from the previous month. There were marked improvements witnessed across certain segments due to very good festive demand,” Rajesh Menon, director general at SIAM, said in a statement. “October wholesale numbers have also been good on account of dealers preparing to serve demand for the upcoming Diwali festival, which is in November this year.”

But automakers’ heightened optimism has worried dealers of two-wheelers and four-wheelers about aggressive inventory dumping, BloombergQuint had reported.

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

  • Scooter sales rose 1.79% to 5,90,507 units
  • Motorcycle sales rose 23.80% to 13,82,749 units.
  • Total two-wheeler sales rose 16.88% to 20,53,814 units.
  • Total three-wheeler sales slumped 60.91% to 26,187 units.

SIAM, however, releases sales data for commercial vehicles only quarterly.

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