Passenger vehicle retail sales fell 9% in October: FADA

‘Trend in sharp contrast to wholesales’

Retail sales of passenger vehicles (PVs) fell nearly 9% in October from a year earlier as factors such as lower discounts and supply chain-related issues dragged down demand, the Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA) said on Monday.

The numbers are in stark contrast to the strong growth posted by OEMs in dispatches to the dealers anticipating strong demand during Diwali. While market leader Maruti Suzuki had posted an 18% growth in wholesale sales, players such as Hyundai and Hero MotoCorp had witnessed record sales.

FADA said even though the nine-day Navratri period witnessed robust vehicle registrations, October retail sales were in the red compared to October 2019 when both Navratri and Diwali were in the same month.

“While new launches continued to be in demand in the passenger vehicle segment, entry level motorcycles witnessed lean demand in the two-wheeler segment,” FADA president Vinkesh Gulati said.

“With supply-side mismatch, most of the passenger vehicle dealers ended with limited stock of high selling items and odd variants which did not attract much demand. This, coupled with lower discounts compared to last [year’s] festivals also played spoilsport,” Mr. Gulati added.

He said that while small commercial vehicles were seeing robust demand due to local goods transportation back to pre-Covid levels, the medium and heavy commercial vehicles segment continued to bleed.

‘Demand for tractors’

As per data shared by the association, PV sales declined 8.8% to more than 2.49 lakh units, two-wheeler sales fell 26.82% to more than 10.41 lakh units, commercial vehicle sales slumped 30.32% to 44,480 units and three-wheeler sales slipped 64.5% to 22,381 units.

Tractor sales, however, continue to witness strong demand, growing 55% to 55,146 units.

Total sales across categories declined 24% to just over 14.13 lakh units in October 2020. FADA said there was “sense of cautiousness amongst customers” as the country enters the last leg of the festival season amid the third wave of COVID-19 in many cities.

It added that due to the lockdown announced in a few European countries, procurement of spares will also hinder smooth supply of vehicles in Indian markets.

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