Car, two-wheeler sales come down in October

Express News Service | Published: 11th November 2017 08:25 AM

CHENNAI: Domestic passenger vehicle sales dropped marginally in October, the first decline in four months, as dealers held back on adding to their inventory as festive sales in the August- September period were not as robust as expected. Light commercial vehicles (LCV) and three-wheelers, however, reported double-digit growth.

Within the passenger vehicles segment, car sales plunged 5.32 per cent to 1,84,666 units last month against 1,95,036 units in October last year, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) data showed. The decline was also reflected in the overall vehicle sales across categories, which stood at 21,62,164 units against 22,01,489 units in October 2016, down 1.79 per cent.

“The festive season could have been a lot better but this is not necessarily a reflection of market sentiment. It is a temporary blip...The decline in sales is more to do with inventory correction by the manufacturers,” said Siam director-general Vishnu Mathur. From July to September, there was inventory build-up by manufacturers at dealerships ahead of the festival purchases and in October they have reduced dispatches, he added.

Barring the likes of Maruti and Tata Motors, other automakers posted either flat or decline in sales largely on the back of tepid festive sales. Maruti Suzuki India clocked a growth of 9.25 per cent at 1,35,413 units. Hyundai Motor India sales, too, was down 0.86 per cent at 49,588 units. Other players like Mahindra & Mahindra also posted a decline of 5.35 per cent at 23,413 units, although homegrown rival Tata Motors saw a growth of 3.22 per cent at 18,314 units in October this year.

Utility vehicle sales, however, registered double-digit increase of 12.44 per cent to 79,323 units. While sales of medium and heavy commercial vehicles expanded close to one per cent, dispatch of LCV grew at 10 per cent to 43,635 units. Total commercial vehicles and three-wheelers volume rose 6.44 per cent to 69,793 units and 1.3 per cent, respectively, in October, Siam said. On the two-wheeler front, sales declined by almost three per cent to 1.75 million units in October. This is the first decline in the segment since February.

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