Auto sales up despite BS6 Phase 2. What's the next hurdle

A total of 16.65 lakh vehicles were sold in the country in April

Automobile sales Representative image | Reuters

India’s automobile industry got the new financial year off to a stable start, overcoming apprehensions whatsoever over the implementation of Phase 2 of the BS6 emission norms, which kicked in from April 1st. The month’s overall vehicle sales data is in, and is a healthy 13 percent compared to April last year.

Next hurdle for an industry just about coming out of the shadow of the pandemic’s impact? The monsoon.

“All the segments viz. Passenger vehicles, two-wheelers and three-wheelers have posted growth in April 2023, compared to April 2022, which clearly indicates that industry has been able to transit very smoothly to BS6 Phase 3 emission norms from 1st April 2023,” said Vinod Aggarwal, president of the Society of Indian Automobile Association (SIAM). SIAM, the industry body, came out with the production and sales data for the month on Friday morning.

“As we gradually get into the monsoon season, among other factors, good rainfall can also help the auto industry sustain its growth,” Aggarwal added. Meanwhile, SIAM director general Rajesh Menon chipped in pointing out how the sales of passenger vehicles last month has been the highest ever for the month of April, while two-wheelers hit a growth rate of more than 15%.

A total of 16.65 lakh vehicles were sold in the country in April, compared to 14.35 lakh in the corresponding month last year. A vast majority of these, as much as 13.38 lakh, were two-wheelers.

The auto industry could also feel encouraged with the data that the sales growth percentage is much higher than the growth in total vehicle production. However, exports of vehicles did show a drop, from 4.87 lakh units in April 2022 to just 3.22 lakh last month – a drop seen across passenger cars, two-wheelers and three-wheelers.

The best performer, interestingly, is the three-wheeler segment, which saw a doubling of sales, buoyed by auto-rickshaws and e-rickshaws. The sale of autos (billed passenger carrier three-wheeler in industry parlance), in fact, went up nearly three times between the two Aprils.

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