Domestic passenger vehicle sales dropped by around 7.61 cent to 251,516 units in February from 272,243 units in the same month a year ago, according to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) data.
Passenger car sales were down by 8.77 per cent to 156,285 units against 171,307 units in February last year. The decline in wholesale dispatches is primarily due to the economic slowdown and lower production of BS-IV vehicles.
Total two-wheeler sales in February fell 19.82 per cent to 12,94,791 units compared to 16,14,941 units in the same month last year. Sales of commercial vehicles were down 32.9 per cent to 58,670 units in February against 87,436 units in the same month last year, SIAM said.
Vehicle sales across categories registered a decline of 19.08 per cent to 1,646,332 units from 2,034,597 units in January 2019, it said.
Rajesh Menon, director general, SIAM said that the automobile industry continues to face hardship owing to steeper decline in production and wholesale dispatches in all segments in February 2020.
Rajan Wadhera, president, SIAM, said the decline in wholesale dispatches is primarily due to the economic slowdown and lower production of BS-IV vehicles. “Some upside on the registration numbers of VAHAN can be attributed to last minute purchases by customers trying to advance buying of BS-IV vehicles” Wadhera added.
On Thursday, the Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA), apex body of the automobile retail industry, released retail numbers.
The figures showed that after nearly 11 months, auto retail sales turned green, excluding passenger vehicles, from red in the month of February.
There was a 2.6 per cent growth in overall retail sales to 1,711,711 units in February 2020 compared to 1,668,268 units, a year ago.
“Supply chain disruptions from China are also a concern, which may impact the production plans of companies, going forward.
The auto industry is grateful to the government for issuing a notification of Force Majeure for coronavirus and 24×7 clearance of shipments at all customs formations,” said Wadhera.
Car makers have said that rural sales growth was higher than urban markets. This is owing to good monsoon, rabi and kharif crops which were better and increased rural income, which in turn is fuelling the positive sentiment. On the way forward, they said that while the sentiment is better and will improve, the challenge is converting enquiry into sales.
While domestic sales are in the red, exports continued to grow. In February, they rose by 11.05 per cent to 415,329 units. This was led by passenger vehicles, which reported 8.86 per cent growth in exports and two-wheelers, which grew by 15.64 per cent. Commercial vehicle exports were down 19.6 per cent. Passenger car exports declined by 4.5 per cent.
Across all categories, production was down 18.14 per cent in February to 2,025,931 against 2,475,018 units in February, 2019. The worst hit was medium and heavy commercial vehicle (M&HCV), which saw nearly 50 per cent drop in production, followed by LCVs (down by 33.7 per cent), three wheelers (down 23.72 per cent), two wheelers ( down 18.30 per cent) and passenger vehicles (9.43 per cent).
Commercial vehicle production, as a whole, declined 40.11 per cent. Passenger car production declined 13 per cent during the month at 189,783 units.