New Delhi: Domestic passenger vehicle sales declined in November, the fourth monthly decline since July, as spike in interest rates and high fuel prices crimped consumer demand.
According to the latest data released by Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (Siam), passenger vehicle (PV) sales in November stood at 2,66,000 units as against 2,75,440 units in the year-ago month, down 3.43 per cent.
PV sales had risen 1.55 per cent in October, snapping three months of consecutive decline. In July, August and September PV sales have declined by 2.71 per cent, 2.46 per cent and 5.61 per cent, respectively.
"We have been witnessing flat growth in PV sales for last couple of months due to factors like high interest rates and rising fuel prices. However, fuel prices have started to come down and we expect to see its positive impact going ahead," SIAM director general Vishnu Mathur told reporters here.
In November, particularly, consumer sentiments remained low due to all these factors leading to a muted sales growth during the month, he added.
Mathur, however, said that overall sales across various segments during the month remained robust.
Vehicle sales across categories registered a rise of 5.03 per cent to 20,38,015 units from 19,40,462 units in November 2017.
"Even during the April-November period of this fiscal, PVs have grown by 5 per cent, commercial vehicles by over 31 per cent, three-wheelers by over 21 per cent and two-wheelers by over 10 per cent. So the overall sales growth during the period has been around 11 per cent," Mathur said.
He, however, admitted that it would be difficult to meet growth of 7-8 per cent (earlier forecast) in the PV segment with just three months remaining in the current fiscal.
During the month, market leader Maruti Suzuki India posted a marginal decline in PV sales at 1,43,890 units. Rival Hyundai Motor India also reported marginal decline at 43,709 units.
Homegrown utility vehicle major Mahindra & Mahindra posted 1.26 per cent increase in its PV sales at 16,191 units in November. Tata Motors saw sales dip 3.26 per cent at 18,226 units during the month.
Car sales declined marginally to 1,79,783 units last month as against 1,81,435 units in the same month last year.
Robust motorcycle sales
Siam said total two-wheeler sales in November were up 7.15 per cent to 16,45,791 units as against 15,36,015 units in the year-ago month.
The growth was mainly on the back of good motorcycle sales, which increased 9.36 per cent last month to 10,49,659 units compared to 9,59,860 units in November 2017.
"Three consecutive years of good monsoon have led to a strong demand coming from rural markets for motorcycles which is driving the sales growth to a large extent," Siam deputy director general Sugato Sen said.
During the month, market leader Hero MotoCorp saw its bike sales grow by 4.98 per cent to 5,36,193 units. Rival Bajaj Auto also witnessed a 44.6 per cent jump at 2,05,259 units, while Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) saw motorcycle sales dip 14.97 per cent at 1,27,896 units in November.
Scooter sales in November were at 5,21,542 units as against 5,06,267 units in the same month last year.
Market leader HMSI's scooter sales were at 2,66,350 units in November, down 5.45 per cent.
Chennai-based TVS Motor Co posted 38.76 per cent jump in its scooter sales at 1,05,576 units, while Hero MotoCorp witnessed a decline of 16.62 per cent at 64,852 units in November this year.
Sales of commercial vehicles jumped 5.71 per cent to 72,812 units in November as against 68,876 units in the year-ago month, Siam said.