Automobile wholesales clocked 4.97% growth y-o-y, in January, with passenger vehicles (PVs) contributing the most with 11.14% growth and two-wheelers registering an increase of 6.63% when the data on wholesale automobile despatches from the factory gate to the dealers was released on Thursday by Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (Siam). Industry experts say that the wholesale volume numbers for January were mixed amid supply-chain constraints and price hikes taken during the month.
The retail sales of automobile slipped into negative territory in January, falling nearly 10% year-on-year after registering an increase in December. Sales of passenger vehicles (PVs), which have shown growth in some months during the fiscal, declined by 4.46% y-o-y. The fall has been attributed to a shortage of vehicles with manufacturers running out of semiconductors and other components, fading pent-up demand and recent price hikes.
In the wholesales, three-wheeler sales continue to remain in the negative territory, clocking a de-growth of 56.76%. The total production of passenger vehicles, three wheelers and two wheelers, however, marked a growth of 7.67%.
The automakers’ body said supply chain challenges, including rising price of steel, unavailability of semi-conductors and higher container charges, continue to hinder smooth functioning of the industry.
Rajesh Menon, director general of Siam, said : “In January 2021, 2.77 lakh passenger vehicles were sold, clocking a CAGR growth of 1.61% over the previous highest sales in January 2018 of 2.64 lakh, while in January 2020 the total sales were 2.49 lakh. As far as two-wheelers are concerned 14.30 lakh units were sold in January 2021, which results in a de-growth of 5.32% CAGR from the highest sales in January 2018 of 16.85 lakh, while in January 2020, the sales of two-wheelers were 13.41 lakh units.”
However. TVS Motor emerged clear winner among the lot, with notching up a 26% volume increase.
Mahindra reported a 4% increase in volumes sent to domestic dealerships.
Analysts observed that demand trends remained better in higher transaction price segments such as SUVs and premium bikes, with inventory in PV’s lower at 3 to 4 weeks and 2Ws between 4 to -6 weeks. Passenger vehicle OEMs are still grappling with supply-side issues likes semi-conductor shortages, leading to below-normal inventory.
However, marriage demand in February and March may remain stunted due to various restrictions on gatherings and events, according to ICICI Securities.
Tarun Garg, director, sales, marketing & service, Hyundai Motor India, said : “The growth momentum has been achieved on account of great customer pull for our most innovative recently launched products like the new Creta, Verna and i20 showcasing brand supremacy in their respective segments.”
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