Diwali has not ended, but just got a lot sweeter for India’s automobile industry this season. For the first time in four years, sales during the festive period have shown growth.
When compared to October 2019, the last ‘normal’ sales month before Covid (and the lesser evil called BS 6), all categories of vehicles except three-wheelers showed an increase for the first time.
Even in three-wheeler segment, the dip was a minor 0.6 per cent.
During the total 42 days considered India’s peak festive period, vehicle sales were up a healthy 28 per cent year-on-year. Cars grew 28 per cent while bikes and scooter sales went up 26 per cent. The peak festive period is essentially marked from the start of Navaratras to 15 days after Dhanteras.
A total of 28.88 lakh vehicles were sold during the 42-day festive period this year—this was just 22.42 lakh last year. Before Covid in 2019, the sales figure was 27.29 lakh, which was finally breached four years down the line.
Commenting on sales in October and the whole festive period performance, Federation of Automobile Dealers Association (FADA) president Manish Raj Singhania said, “The sentiments were extremely positive across all categories of dealership outlets. Auto Retail for the month of October 2022 saw an overall growth of 48 per cent.”
“Festive'22 brings cheers to the auto industry as for the first time (as) customers of every category came out in good numbers and took part in festive purchases, thus making it the best in the last four years,” a statement by FADA on Monday said.
The two-wheeler segment showed a huge growth of 51 per cent year-on-year and for the first time, 6 per cent compared to October 19, a pre-covid year. With both Navratri and Deepavali majorly falling in a single month, the month of October saw double footfall at dealerships. Dealers say sentiments have also started improving at the rural level but the same needs to sustain for at least next three-four months. Apart from this, new launches and good customer schemes also played a pivotal role in helping revival in demand.
The passenger vehicle segment showed a growth of 41 per cent compared to the previous year and 18 per cent when compared to 2019. This segment saw high demand especially due to the ongoing craze for SUV and Compact SUV cars.
However, worries abound, particularly in relation to rural demand
Near Term Outlook. “For auto retails to show strength, the 2W segment will have to grow for at least three-four months over pre-covid months to come out of the woods,” said the statement.
“FADA hence remains cautious as the auto industry approaches the year-end period.”