Mumbai: In November, the automotive sector witnessed a remarkable surge in sales, marking an 18% year-on-year growth, according to data released by the Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA). The total number of vehicles sold during the month reached an unprecedented 28.54 lakh, breaking the previous record set in March 2020 when 25.69 lakh vehicles were sold due to the industry’s transition from BS-4 to BS-6 emission norms.
The growth was widespread across various categories, with two-wheelers, three-wheelers, and passenger vehicles experiencing substantial increases of 21%, 23%, and 17%, respectively. Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai Motor, and Tata Motors emerged as the top sellers in the passenger vehicle segment, while Tata Motors and Mahindra dominated the commercial vehicle market.
Two-wheeler and passenger vehicle sales set new records, reaching all-time highs for both categories. In November, 22.47 lakh two-wheelers and 3.6 lakh passenger vehicles were sold. Two-wheeler sales saw an impressive 49% month-on-month growth, driven by heightened demand during the festive season. Passenger vehicle sales, on the other hand, grew by 2%, contributing to an overall industry-wide growth of 35% on a monthly basis.
FADA President Manish Raj Singhania attributed the growth in two-wheeler sales to Diwali festivities and strong rural sentiments. He noted that the introduction of new products and improved model supply played a significant role in fueling market growth, and electric vehicle sales exhibited a positive upward trajectory.
For passenger vehicles, Singhania highlighted the influence of Diwali celebrations and the launch of new models. The combination of improved supply chains and new launches effectively met festive demand, resulting in peak sales. However, post-festive periods experienced a noticeable slowdown, coupled with challenges related to slow-moving inventory due to a mismatch in demand and supply.
Leading the two-wheeler segment were Hero Motocorp with 8,02,234 units and Honda Motorcycle and Scooter with 5,12,865 units sold. In the passenger vehicle category, Maruti Suzuki led with 1,49,929 units, followed by Tata Motors with 53,539 units and Hyundai Motor with 49,716 units sold.
While overall sales witnessed an 18% year-on-year growth, two-wheelers, three-wheelers, and passenger vehicles outperformed with growth rates of 21%, 23%, and 17%, respectively. In contrast, tractors and commercial vehicles experienced a decline of 21% and 2%, respectively.
The commercial vehicle category faced challenges in November, characterized by poor market sentiments. Seasonal slumps, unseasonal rains damaging crops, and issues related to liquidity and delayed deliveries compounded the industry’s difficulties. State elections further added to the challenges, overshadowing the brief uplift from festive sales and a slight increase in tourism benefiting bus sales. Tata Motors and Mahindra and Mahindra emerged as the top commercial vehicle sellers.
Looking ahead, the ongoing wedding season, marked by approximately 38 lakh marriages, is anticipated to drive two-wheeler sales. However, challenges such as adverse weather conditions affecting rabi cultivation could potentially dampen sales. The commercial vehicle category is expected to recover, driven by renewed business activities after the elections.
In terms of passenger vehicles, the sector holds potential for growth with year-end offers, discounts, and improved vehicle supply expected to stimulate sales. However, challenges include a preference for 2024-manufactured vehicles and a noticeable slowdown in demand and bookings post-festivities. Singhania noted that the passenger vehicle inventory still exceeds 60 days, indicating a need for strategic inventory management in the industry.