Domestic passenger vehicle sales grew 13.76 per cent in August as consumers tried to make the most out of price cuts after GST implementation ahead of an imminent hike in cess rates. According to the data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), passenger vehicle sales were at 2,94,335 units in August as compared to 2,58,737 units in the same month last year. Car sales were up 11.8 per cent to 1,98,811 units as against 1,77,829 units in August last year, the SIAM said.
Last month, the utility vehicles segment clocked the second highest monthly sales for the ongoing fiscal at 78,664 units as against 65,760 units in the year-ago month, up by 19.62 per cent. In July this year, the segment saw the biggest sales for 2017-18 at 86,874 units with 35.5 per cent growth. “Overall the market is coming back, whether it is sustainable or not, we will have to wait and see,” SIAM Director General Vishnu Mathur told reporters here. Elaborating on the reasons for growth in passenger vehicles sales in August, he said: “Besides pent up demand continuing from July post-GST price cuts, many consumers also advanced purchasing vehicles as reports came about the imminent hike in GST cess rates.”
Earlier this month, the government notified hike in GST cess on a range of cars to a maximum of 25 per cent, from earlier 15 per cent. On Saturday, the GST Council approved increasing cess on mid-sized cars by 2 per cent, large cars by 5 per cent and SUVs by 7 per cent and it has come into effect from today. In August, market leader Maruti Suzuki India’s passenger vehicle sales grew by 26.16 per cent at 1,51,270 units. Its car sales were at 1,15,897 units during the month, a growth of 28.39 per cent, while that of utility vehicles (UVs) grew by 27.59 per cent at 21,442 units in August. Rival Hyundai Motor India’s passenger vehicles sales rose by 9.03 per cent at 47,103 units. The company’s car sales were at 36,639 units, up 5.5 per cent, and UVs clocked 10,410 units, up 22.86 per cent. Homegrown utility vehicle major Mahindra & Mahindra clocked a growth of 5.91 per cent in its passenger vehicle sales at 19,325 units during the month.
The SIAM said total two-wheeler sales in August grew 14.69 per cent to 18,91,062 units compared to 16,48,871 units in the year-ago month. “The growth in the two-wheeler segment is a reflection of the rural market coming back to normalcy with the impact of demonetisation wearing off,” Mathur said. Motorcycle sales last month jumped by 12.93 per cent to 11,35,699 units as against 10,05,654 units in August 2016. Market leader Hero MotoCorp posted 12.23 per cent increase in its motorcycle sales at 5,83,852 units as against 5,20,226 units in August last year. Rival Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India’s (HMSI) bike sales were at 1,91,949 units as compared to 1,29,926 units in the same month last year, a jump of up 47.74 per cent. Bajaj Auto’s motorcycle sales were down 1.75 per cent at 1,71,664 units as against 1,74,719 units in the corresponding month last year.
In the scooters segment, total sales were at 6,73,444 units last month as against 5,67,782 units in August last year, a growth of 18.61 per cent. Segment leader HMSI’s scooter sales rose by 17.22 per cent during August at 3,94,288 units as against 3,36,363 units in the year-ago month. Chennai-based TVS Motor Co sold 1,09,465 units of scooters last month as compared to 73,761 units in August last year, a growth of 48.4 per cent. Hero MotoCorp followed with 77,638 units as compared to 81,015 units in the corresponding month a year ago, down 4.17 per cent. Sales of commercial vehicles rose by 23.22 per cent to 65,310 units in August, the SIAM said. Vehicle sales across categories registered a growth of 14.49 per cent to 23,02,158 units from 20,01,802 units in August 2016, it added.