Auto Sales In India Grow For The First Time Since January 2019: SIAM Data

While auto sales came off a low base last month, data still indicates trends of recovery for the industry, SIAM President says.

Cars in a parking lot. (Photographer: Bing Guan/Bloomberg)
Cars in a parking lot. (Photographer: Bing Guan/Bloomberg)

Factory-gate shipments of cars and utility vehicles rebounded in August due to pent-up demand and the onset of the festive season.

Domestic wholesales of passenger vehicles increased 14.16% year-on-year to 215,916 units last month, according to data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers. While monthly factory-gate car shipments rose 14.13% over the year ago to 124,715 units in August, sales of utility vehicles jumped 15.54% to 81,842 units—the second straight month of uptick.

Overall two-wheeler sales rose for the first time in 20 months, SIAM data showed.

India’s auto sector, which contributes more than 7% to the nation's gross domestic product, was grappling with a protracted lowdown when the coronavirus lockdown completely stalled operations. After a washout in April, sales revived in subsequent months as the nation eased restrictions. August, which marked the beginning of the festive season with Onam and Ganesh Chaturthi, was the best month since June 2018.

“We are beginning to observe growth which is instilling confidence back into the industry, especially in the two-wheeler and the passenger vehicle segments. Even though the industry witnessed year-on-year growth in August, it is to be recognised that the base figures in August 2019 was very low,” Kenichi Ayukawa, president at SIAM, said in a media statement. “Still, 14% growth of passenger vehicles and 3% growth in two-wheelers in August 2020 indicates trends of recovery for the industry, though it is against the backdrop of pent-up demand and beginning of festive season.”

SIAM Director-General Rajesh Menon said the industry is positive that the upcoming festive season will pave the way for its faster revival.

Auto sales in August 2020: Segment-wise breakup (year-on-year)

  • Scooter sales declined 12.30% to 456,848 units.
  • Motorcycle sales rose 10.13% to 1,032,476 units.
  • Total two-wheeler sales rose 3% to 1,559,665 units.
  • Total three-wheeler sales slumped 75.29% to 14,534 units.

SIAM had in June said it would report sales of commercial vehicles on quarterly basis.

Also, Tata Motors Ltd. has stopped reporting monthly production figures but will release the data quarterly. However, according to the company, its retail data for August showed 36,472 vehicles sold in the domestic and international market compared to 32,166 units a year ago.