Domestic passenger vehicle sales slipped into negative territory once again in November after registering a slight recovery in the preceding month, as muted demand conditions forced companies to reduce their dispatches to dealers.
According to data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), passenger vehicle (PV) sales declined 0.84 per cent to 2,63,773 units in November from 2,66,000 units in the year-ago period.
The PV sales figure would have been much lower during the period under consideration, if it had not been aided by the utility vehicle segment, which saw despatches grow by 32.7 per cent to 92,739 units in November as compared with 69,884 units a year-ago.
Domestic car sales were down 10.83 per cent to 1,60,306 units as against 1,79,783 units in the year-ago period while van sales were down 34.32 per cent to 10,728 units as compared to 16,333 in November 2018.
"Challenges continue in the passenger vehicle segment. we have to remember that the current numbers are on a comparatively low base of last November," SIAM Director General Rajesh Menon told reporters here. New launches in the utility vehicle segment has helped prop up sales in October and November, he added. PV sales had risen marginally in October aided by positive festive season sentiment and introduction of new models in utility vehicle space, just about managing to snap 11 continuous months of decline in sales.
However, vehicle sales across categories remained in the negative territory for over a year now. Menon said, sales in PV sector would in all probability continue in the slow lane during the remaining months of the ongoing fiscal. He added that SIAM was in talks with the government to introduce BS-VI fuel across the country from February itself in order to push the sales of BS-VI emission norms compliant models. As of now the government has kept April 1, 2020 as the date of introducing upgraded fuel across the country.
The BS-VI fuel is available currently in only the NCR region. Total two-wheeler sales in November fell 14.27 per cent to 14,10,939 units compared to 16,45,783 units in the year-ago month. Motorcycle sales last month were down 14.87 per cent to 8,93,538 units as against 10,49,651 units a year earlier. Similarly, scooter sales last month declined 11.83 per cent to 4,59,851 units as compared with 5,21,542 units in November 2018. Commercial vehicle sales were down 14.98 per cent to 61,907 units in November, SIAM said.
"It is worrisome that commercial vehicles and two wheelers sales continue to be in the negative zone. Commercial vehicle segment continue to suffer because of low demand in the infrastructure sector while two wheeler sales remain muted due to low demand in the rural areas," Menon said. In the PV segment, Maruti Suzuki India reported a 3.31 per cent decline in its November sales at 1,39,133 units.