BENGALURU:Growth momentum continued in February 2015 as passenger car sales was up 6.85%. Even though growth will remain in single digits, the passenger car sales is inching toward the lower end of the growth guidance given by automobile trade body of 5-10% in Fy15 (2014-15).
In November 2014, auto trade body, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) had stated that the car segment is unlikely to hit the 5% mark. “This is a reflection of the improving consumer sentiments. With the Budget addressing issues that will lead to overall economic growth, we expect car sales this fiscal to be in positive territory with single digit growth,” Sugato Sen, Deputy Director General at SIAM said.
Car sales stood at 1,71,727 units in February 2015 when compared to 1,60,717 in the year ago period. Sen said that they expect March sales to be better than February sales. But this remains to be seen as the recently presented Budget has not given any real relief to the automobile sector in terms of excise duty cuts among other demands by the industry. However, Sen said that measures announced to fix the overall economy will have a positive impact on the industry. But deteriorating sentiments in rural areas affected the two wheeler segment which had shouldered the entire auto sector last fiscal and most part of the ongoing fiscal.
Two wheeler sales were down 0.99% in February at 1208084 units from 1220141 in the year ago period. Sen said that low funds under MNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) coupled with poor harvest had impacted two wheeler demand in rural areas. The rural market accounts for nearly half of the two wheeler demand. Commercial Vehicle sales continued to recover as it grew 10.13% in February 2015 with sales of 52843 units.