New Delhi : Passenger vehicles (PV) sales grew at a moderate 6.88 per cent in the first half of 2018-19 hit by a slump in July-September that prompted auto makers body SIAM to take a conservative outlook for the fiscal signalling a slowdown in the sector. PV sales contracted by 5.61 per cent in September — the biggest monthly slump in this fiscal — marking the third straight month of decline. In total, PV sales dropped by 3.6 per cent in July-September 2018 after a stellar 20 per cent growth in the April-June quarter. Sales dropped 2.71 per cent in July followed by a 2.46 per cent contraction in August. The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) contained its growth forecast for 2018-19 to 9 per cent from earlier spread of 9-11 per cent.
Passenger vehicle sales during the April-September period stood at 17,44,305 units as against 16,32,006 units in the year-ago period, showing a moderate growth of 6.88 per cent largely backed by new launches and rural demand. In the first half of the fiscal, PV sales have grown 6.88 per cent and for the second half also while the outlook is positive, sales will be “slightly” higher or similar, SIAM President Rajan Wadhera said. “For the entire fiscal, we had a forecast of 9-11 per cent growth but we are now looking more at the lower end of around 9 per cent,” he added. Domestic car sales also grew 6.8 per cent to 11,69,497 units in the April-September period of 2018-19 as compared with 10,95,077 units in the same period of 2017-18, according to data released by SIAM on Friday. PV sales during the first half of the fiscal were mainly driven by rural demand and new model launches, Wadhera said. He hoped that sales growth would further improve with the onset of festive season. “In the next six months, the growth story of automotive industry will continue to be on the positive side based on strong rural demand and festive season,” Wadhera said.
Two-wheeler sales during the period under review rose 10.07 per cent to 1,15,69,770 units. Similarly, total commercial vehicle sales also grew 37.82 per cent to 4,87,316 units. PV exports during the April-September period declined 2.96 per cent to 3,49,951 units, SIAM said. In September, PV sales declined 5.61 per cent to 2,92,658 units from 3,10,041 units in the same month of the previous year. Domestic car sales also declined 5.57 per cent to 1,97,124 units compared to 2,08,742 units in September 2017, SIAM data showed. Car market leader Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) reported marginal increase in sales at 1,51,512 units in September. Rival Hyundai Motor India reported 4.49 per cent decline in sales at 47,781 units.