Sales of passenger vehicles (cars, utility vehicles, and vans) in the domestic market grew 7.57 per cent in January, much lower than the double-digit sales growth clocked by two-wheelers, commercial vehicles, and three-wheelers.
Higher growth in sales this January could also be a result of a lower base effect. In the first month of 2017, sales were lower because of a cash crunch in the economy induced by the demonetisation of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes on November 8, 2016. Even then, year-on-year growth was 11 per cent.
According to the data released by industry body Society of Indian Automobile Manufactures (Siam), the industry sold 285,477 passenger vehicles in January this year. These sales are wholesale dispatches to dealerships.
Sales of cars (the biggest segment) fell 1.25 per cent to 184,264 units, while utility vehicle sales expanded 38 per cent to 85,850 units. For utility vehicles, this was the highest since July last year. Vans, the smallest segment, also declined 7 per cent to 15,363 units.
“The figures are in line with expectation, reflecting the mood ahead of the Auto Expo,” said Vishnu Mathur, director general, Siam.
The Siam data shows two-wheeler sales in January expanded by 33.43 per cent to 1.7 million units, compared to 1.3 million units in January last year. Mathur said this reflected strong demand for motorcycles and scooters in rural and urban markets.
Motorcycles, the largest segment, grew 28.64 per cent to 1.1 million units. Leading players — Hero MotoCorp and Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India — reported growth of 24.39 per cent and 21.82 per cent, respectively.
Scooter sales grew 48 per cent to 553,695 units. Market leader Honda’s sales jumped 40 per cent to 319,318 units. TVS Motor sold 84,140 units, registering growth of 26 per cent. Hero MotoCorp more than doubled its scooter sales to 76,062 units in January.
Commercial vehicle sales expanded 40 per cent to 85,660 units in January. In this segment, sales of medium and heavy commercial vehicles grew at 19 per cent to 34,170 units and light commercial vehicles grew 58 per cent to 51,490 units. Three-wheelers stole the show with 99 per cent growth last month to 62,543 units.