Base effect, fuel prices dent September passenger vehicles’ sales

New Delhi: Unfavourable base effect, along with high fuel and interest costs dented the sales of domestic passenger vehicles in September 2018, data showed on Friday.

According to the data furnished by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), sales of passenger vehicles — cars, utility vehicles and vans — declined by 5.61 per cent to 292,658 units from 310,041 units sold in the corresponding period of last year.

The off-take of the sub-segment such as passenger cars dipped by 5.57 per cent during the month under review to 197,124 units.

Similarly, utility vehicles’ sales edged-lower last month. The off-take was lower by 8.29 per cent during the month under review to 77,378 units.

However, sales of vans increased by 7.27 per cent to 18,156 units.

Similarly, sales of overall commercial vehicles zoomed. It rose by 24.14 per cent to 95,867 units in September. The segment is a key indicator of economic activity.

The data pointed-out that off-take of three-wheelers accelerated by 11.65 per cent to 69,066 units during the month.

In addition, overall sales of two-wheelers, which include scooters, motorcycles and mopeds, climbed by 4.12 per cent to 2,126,484 units.

As per the data, total sales of the Indian automobile sector rose by 3.72 per cent during September 2018 to 2,584,096 units across segments and categories.

The overall exports of vehicles across categories also edged higher by 17.05 per cent to 414,428 units.

“PV sales decline of 5.6 per cent YoY during September-2018 came on very high base of September-2017, when industry clocked its highest ever monthly wholesale dispatches of 3.1 lakh units,” said Ashish Modani, Assistant Vice President, Corporate Sector ratings, ICRA.

“Weaker Q2 sales in FY2019 was expected, given high base of last fiscal and delayed festive season in current fiscal. Volume should recover in subsequent months with onset of festive season; however, higher fuel prices remain a drag on customer sentiments.”

Sridhar V, Partner, Grant Thornton India said: “The commercial vehicles are still on a roll this September and the enablers have been the road infrastructure and state of the economy. CV’s have achieved the second highest volume in the last 30 months.”

“Two Wheelers have also shown a healthy growth and probably their best performance yet in the last 30 months with motorcycles sales doing well.”

“However, while passenger vehicles have shown a YoY decline the numbers remain healthy. The decline is only due to the highest number ever hit in September 2017 coupled with rise in fuel rates, interest rates and deferment of some buys on account of expectation of new introductions, updates and price cuts expected during the ensuing festival season.”