November automobile sales up 24% on low base


In a rare show, all segments of the automobile industry showed double-digit sales growth in November, thanks to the demonetisation-led low base of November 2016.

Passenger vehicles (PVs), usually the star performer, grew 14 per cent, lowest among all segments. Two-wheelers grew 23 per cent.

"December data will also reflect the impact of last year's low base," said Sugato Sen, deputy director general at the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (Siam).

Data issued by Siam on Monday shows sale of PVs (cars, vans and utility vehicles) grew 14.3 per cent to 275,417 vehicles. Growth was driven by Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai and Mahindra & Mahindra, all with double-digit volume rises.

Total two-wheeler sales in November rose 23.5 per cent to 15,35,277 units from a year before. Motorcycle sales last month increased 23.25 per cent to 959,122 units. Market leader Hero MotoCorp had domestic sales of 510,749 units as against 414,709 units in the year-ago month, up 23.1 per cent.

Scooters, the fastest growing two-wheeler product, grew a little over 30 per cent to 506,267 units. Segment leader Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India sold 281,704 units, up 38.7 per cent. "Rural demand is driving sales, especially for two-wheelers," said Sen.

Sales of commercial vehicles (CVs) were up by a sharp 50.4 per cent to 68,846 units. Sales of medium and heavy CVs expanded 62 per cent to 28,459 units; those of light CVs grew 43 per cent to 40,387 units. "The goods carrier segment and trucks have grown mainly on enhanced spending by the government on infrastructure projects. However, the bus segment remains impacted, as government buying remains on a slow pace," said Vishnu Mathur, director general at Siam.

Three-wheelers stole the show with 78 per cent volume growth over last November, at 60,131 vehicles. Vehicle sales across categories rose 24.1 per cent to 19,39,671 units.

"The performance of companies across categories, though commendable, will have to be seen in the light of the performance in November 2016, a low base. Having said that, the companies have still shown growth which is closer to the highest average monthly sales in the previous financial year," said Sridhar V, partner at Grant Thornton India.