Even as the overall automobile retail sales declined by 18% during the 42 days of festive season comprising October and the first 10 days of November, three-wheeler and commercial vehicle (CV) sales witnessed a year-on-year rise on the back of low base of last year, infrastructure thrust by government, increased e-commerce activities, and opening up of malls and other commercial establishments. As per Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (Fada) data, three-wheeler and CV retail sales rose by 53% and 10%, respectively, during the 42 days of festive season, while all the other categories were in the red. In October 2021, on a y-o-y basis, the retail sales of three-wheelers went up by 74% and CVs by 26%.
Fada president Vinkesh Gulati said: “In CVs, while entry-level and SCVs have already grown after unlocking, and due to intra city goods movement, M&HCV is now showing strength due to low base and infrastructure projects coming up in different states.” The wholesales of major CV makers such as Tata Motors, Ashok Leyland and Mahindra & Mahindra reported double-digit growth in October 2021.
Ashok Leyland registered a growth of 13% in domestic wholesales in October 2021 while Tata Motors’ domestic CV sales increased by 20%. M&M’s M&HCV plus above 3.5 tonne LCV segment registered a growth of 35% in wholesales. With business returning to normal, the 3W category has started to see usual demand. This, aided by an extreme low base of last year, is helping the segment post a healthy growth. “We are witnessing a tactical shift from ICE to EVs as the EV share in 3W has now crossed the 45% mark,” Gulati added.
Vipin Sondhi, MD & CEO, Ashok Leyland, recently told mediapersons that the demand for CVs was expected to further pick up on the back of infrastructure thrust by the government, and added that there were also other positives such as the scrappage policy and the PLI scheme. “Our focus will be to continuously improve our market share and gain it profitably and sustainably. Our global market expansion strategy is also in place, as we continue to focus on achieving our vision of being among the top 10 global CV makers, ” he said.
Analysts tracking the sector said low base and infrastructure projects coming up in different states are triggering the uptick in sales. Emkay Global Financial Services said in a note that the overall wholesale CV volumes improved in October 2021, aided by improving freight availability and better freight rates.
Releasing the October sales numbers, Veejay Nakra, CEO, automotive division, M&M, said, “Demand for vehicles across our product portfolio remains robust. The supply chain issues around semiconductor related parts continue to be dynamic as we focus on managing the situation in the short term.”
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