Pas­sen­ger ve­hi­cles sales skid 2.46% in Au­gust

Financial Chronicle - - PLAN, POLICY - MICHAEL GON­SALVES

WITH 2.46 per cent drop in Au­gust, pas­sen­ger ve­hi­cle sales in Asia’s third big­gest car mart de­clined for the sec­ond month in a row due to high base ef­fect and par­tial im­pact of floods in Ker­ala.

The lat­est re­port from the So­ci­ety of In­dian Au­to­mo­bile Man­u­fac­tur­ers (Siam), au­to­mo­bile in­dus­try body, said on Tues­day that the pas­sen­ger ve­hi­cles, which in­clude cars, util­ity ve­hi­cles and vans, stood at 2,87,186 units last month against 2,94,416 units in Au­gust 2017.

Car sales also fell 1.03 per cent to 1,96,847 units last month against 1,98,892 units in Au­gust last year. Pas­sen­ger ve­hi­cle sales in July had also de­clined by 2.71 per cent to 2,90,960 units from 2,99,066 units in the same month previous year. Car sales had also fallen to 1,91,979 units in July against 1,92,845 in the year-ago month.

The de­cline in sales, is “be­cause of the im­pact of high base ef­fect, as sales last year from July to Septem­ber were high af­ter the goods and ser­vice tax (GST) im­ple­men­ta­tion,” said Vishnu Mathur, di­rec­tor gen­eral at Siam. Floods, espe­cially in Ker­ala that is a big au­to­mo­tive mar­ket, had also hit sales, he added.

Mathur, how­ever, said the cur­rent high fuel prices had lit­tle im­pact on ve­hi­cle sales. “Fuel prices keep fluc­tu­at­ing and it does not have an im­me­di­ate im­pact on sales, although in the long term it can have some im­pact,” he said.

In Au­gust, mar­ket leader Maruti Suzuki In­dia, which sells one car out of two bought in the coun­try, posted 3.55 per cent de­cline in pas­sen­ger ve­hi­cle sales at 1,45,895 units. Its ri­val brand Hyundai Mo­tor In­dia also saw 2.76 per cent de­cline at 45,801 units. Tata Mo­tors, how­ever, posted 24.98 per cent jump in pas­sen­ger ve­hi­cles sales in Au­gust at 20,323 units.

Ac­cord­ing to Siam, sales of com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles in the coun­try jumped by 29.56 per cent to 84,668 units in Au­gust, up from 65,350 units sold in the year-ago month. “Con­sid­er­ing how this seg­ment has grown above ex­pec­ta­tions we are look­ing at hav­ing a re-look at our forecast for an up­ward re­vi­sion,” said Su­gato Sen, deputy di­rec­tor gen­eral at Siam.

Siam had ear­lier pro­jected that the com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle seg­ment could grow around 10-12 per cent this fi­nan­cial year.

How­ever, in April-Au­gust, the seg­ment has grown by 41.67 per cent to 3,91,260 units against 2,76,182 units in the year­ago pe­riod. Siam said mo­tor­cy­cle sales last month grew by 6.18 per cent to 12,06,512 units com­pared with 11,36,322 units in Au­gust 2017. But Scooter sales were marginally down at 6,69,416 units against 6,73,444 units in Au­gust last year.

To­tal two-wheeler sales in Au­gust were higher by 2.91 per cent to 19,46,811 units against 18,91,685 units in the year-ago month. “Two-wheeler sales were par­tially af­fected by the re­stric­tion im­posed in West Ben­gal on new pur­chases with­out driv­ing li­cence,” Mathur ex­plained. Ve­hi­cle sales across cat­e­gories in Au­gust reg­is­tered a growth of 3.43 per cent to 23,81,931 units from 23,02,902 units in the same month last year.

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