Rising two-wheeler sales continued to make domestic sales of automobiles (across all categories) look positive, even as other vehicle categories continued to be in the negative zone in April.

While passenger car sales declined by over 10 per cent to 1.35 lakh units during the month (1.51 lakh units in April 2013), two-wheeler sales grew 12 per cent to 13.04 lakh units (11.68 lakh units), the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers’ (SIAM) monthly report said on Friday.

Biggest dip since May

“This is the biggest decline since May 2013, when car sales had dropped by 11.7 per cent,” said Sugato Sen, Deputy Director-General, SIAM.

He said despite the excise duty cuts in the Interim Budget and the subsequent price cuts by companies, sales could not revive because of negative buyer sentiment.

Footfalls up

The only positive development was that footfalls at dealerships increased, but they have not converted into sales, he added.

“We need a trigger to change the sentiment. The current rate of 4-5 per cent growth is not enough,” he said, adding that the change would be possible only after the new Government announces measures to kick-start economic growth during the full-fledged Budget (2014-15) in July.

As per SIAM data, total passenger vehicle (including utility and vans) sales also declined by 9.50 per cent to 1.88 lakh units in April, compared with 2.08 lakh units in the corresponding month last year.

Heavy vehicles sluggish

Similarly, total medium and heavy commercial vehicles’ sales declined by 17 per cent year-on-year to 15,429 units (18,610 units).

Total commercial vehicles sales dropped by 24 per cent to 43,080 units during the month (56,683 units).

Three-wheeler (passenger and goods carrier) sales also declined by 2 per cent at 33,602 units last month (34,348 units).

However, in the two-wheeler segment, scooter sales grew by 26 per cent to around 3.29 lakh units, against around 2.61 lakh units during April 2013.

Motorcycle sales also rose 8 per cent to around 9.20 lakh units in April (8.44 lakh units).

(This article was published on May 9, 2014)
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