Slowdown Saga: Nov auto sales decline by 12%

New Delhi: Domestic automobile sales continued to decline in November with the overall sectoral off-take plunging 12.05 per cent on a year-on-year basis, data showed on Tuesday.As per the data furnished by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), the sector’s total sales declined to 17,92,415 units in November from 20,38,007 units sold during the corresponding month of the previous year.

In October, the overall sectoral off-take had declined by 12.76 per cent to 21,76,136 units. Segment wise, the off-take of passenger vehicle sales during the month under review slipped by 0.84 per cent to 2,63,773 units this November on a year-on-year basis.Passenger cars’ sales de-grew by 10.83 per cent to 1,60,306 units from 1,79,783 units sold during November 2018.

But the utility vehicle sales grew by 32.70 per cent to 92,739 units, whereas vans’ off-take went down by 34.32 per cent to 10,728 units against that in the same month a year ago.On the other hand, sales of the key indicator of economic activity — commercial vehicle — went down by 14.98 per cent to 61,907 units.

The sale of three-wheelers in November rose by 4.45 per cent to 55,778 units.In the case of two-wheelers, which include scooters, motorcycles and mopeds, the sales edged lower by 14.27 per cent to 14,10,939 units.However, exports across categories were higher by 17.60 per cent at 4,11,470 units.

The overall sales decline dented production levels which went down by 1.41 per cent to 2,336,711 units. Conversely, the domestic passenger vehicle production grew 4.06 per cent to 290,727 units from 279,382 units.Besides, commercial vehicle production came down by 16.37 per cent to 68,460 units, and two-wheeler production inched lower by 2.01 per cent to 1,870,629 units.

“For the first time in the current fiscal, PV production witnessed growth (4.1 per cent YoY), thanks to strong (43.5 per cent YoY) production volume growth in UV segment,” said Ashish Modani, Vice President, Corporate Sector Ratings, ICRA.

“ICRA believes that the UV segment will continue to outperform industry growth in the medium term. While overall demand environment continues to remain muted, the expectation of further discounts ahead of BS VI rollout impacts consumer vehicle purchase decision, thereby resulting in some sales deferment at retail level,” Modani added.

According to Grant Thornton India LLP Partner Sridhar V., “November after the festival season has mostly shown a declining trend and this year is no different in an otherwise year of slow down for the sector.

“Passenger vehicles have, however, recorded the second highest monthly sales in the current fiscal and is negligently lower than the YoY sales in November 2018. UVs, especially due to the new entrants in the market, have significantly bucked the trend.

“Passenger vehicle OEMs continue with discounts to get the interest level high and move the inventories. Overall, the auto sector continues to be weak and under strain with two wheelers and commercial vehicles mirroring the weak sentiments. Systemic weakness continues to impact sales overall. Measures taken by the government are yet to take effect.”