Commercial vehicle sales rise, cars flat

Written by fe Bureau | Updated: Oct 14 2014, 07:02am hrs
In a sign of economic recovery, domestic commercial vehicle (CV) volumes rose almost 9% in September to 56,140 units after falling for 16 consecutive months since a small growth in April 2013. While the growth come off a very low base, automakers like Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland now expect incentives, such as the cash-for-clunkers programme, to give a strong boost to the demand for heavy trucks.

Click here for graph

CV sales were marginally up in April last year by 1%, so one could say the rise has come after 16 months. But, in reality, we last saw strong CV demand about 30 months back. There is pick-up in mining and infrastructure and I think the economic recovery has started. But it will be a gradual process, so don't expect a sudden pick-up like in 2008-09, Vishnu Mathur, director general of the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, said.

While heavy and medium truck volumes had started picking up from the previous month of August 2014 (up 10% y-o-y), in September even light CV sales grew 2.42% to 37,105 units.

In September, heavy and medium truck sales were up a strong 23% to 19,035 units.

Ahead of the festive season, when consumer demand usually jumps,

total passenger vehicle (PVs includes cars, utility vehicles and vans) sales in September were up 3.26% to 2.23 lakh units. However, car sales fell 1% to 1.54 lakh units, though utility vehicle sales went up 25% to 53,003 units.

I would not be too much worried about a dip in car sales for a month since PV is up overall. I think companies have built up inventory in the past few months when there was strong growth, so this month they probably decided to reduce despatches. I expect better numbers in October, Mathur said.