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Festive season takes passenger vehicle, 2W retail sales to record highs

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Almost 2.9 million vehicles were sold in India in November, topping the previous record of 2.6 million in March 2020 when the automobile industry was shifting to stricter emission norms. Sales improved 18 per cent compared to 2.409 million in November 2022.

Sales last month were helped by the festive season and 3.8 million weddings between November 23 and December 15, according to the Federation of Automobile Dealers’ Association (FADA). In November 2023, two-wheeler, three-wheeler, and passenger vehicle categories grew by 21 per cent, 23 per cent, and 17 per cent respectively year-on-year. Tractor and commercial vehicles dropped 21 per cent and 2 per cent.

Two-wheeler (2W) and passenger vehicle (PV) sales hit new highs. As many as 2.247 million two-wheelers were sold in November exceeding the March 2020 number of 2.07 million. As many as 360,000 PV were sold in November, topping October 2022 sales of 357,000. The PV category sold 4,000 units more when compared to previous highs in October 2022.

“This is a record month (November) and we expect the momentum to continue. However, passenger vehicle inventory is a cause of concern,” said Manish Raj Singhania, president of FADA. After touching a higher inventory rate of 63-66 days in October, stock came marginally down to 61-64 days. “Stocks came down in only two days. We have written to SIAM, seeking inventory correction. During the October to November period, wholesale has gone down by only 56,000, but retail has grown only by 6,700 units,” he said, referring to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers.

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Two-wheeler sales had “all-time high retails” in November, helped by Diwali celebrations and rural demand, said FADA. New product launches and better supply helped the two-wheeler market and electric vehicle sales “demonstrated an encouraging upward trajectory”.

“The CV [commercial vehicle] category saw a challenging November, driven by poor market sentiment. Seasonal slumps, exacerbated by unseasonal rains damaging crops and impacting transport demand, coupled with liquidity issues and delayed deliveries, further strained the industry. States going into elections also added to the woes, overshadowing the brief uplift from festive sales and the slight increase in tourism that helped in sales of buses,” said Singhania.

November 2023 witnessed a surge in PV sales, helped by Diwali and the launch of new models. “The PV sector shows potential for growth with year-end offers and discounts expected to stimulate sales, along with an improved vehicle supply and new product launches. However, the market faces hurdles in terms of a preference for 2024 manufactured vehicles and a notable slowdown in demand and bookings post festivities,” he said.

ALSO READ: Higher production, festival season drive domestic car sales in November

Among two-wheeler manufacturers, Hero Motocorp posted a 26 per cent rise in sales in November compared to the same time last financial year. Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India grew 11 per cent and TVS Motor by 34 per cent. Among PV manufacturers, Maruti Suzuki India’s sales increased 20 per cent, Hyundai Motor India by 8 per cent and Tata Motors by 30 per cent.

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