Passenger vehicle wholesales in India crossed the 10-lakh quarterly mark for the first time in the September quarter as automakers pushed units to dealers to cater to the festive demand, the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers said on Thursday.

As per the latest data by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), passenger vehicle wholesales in the September quarter increased by 38% to 10,26,309 units, as against 7,41,442 units in the similar period of the last fiscal.

“More than half of the overall passenger vehicle dispatches are utility vehicles so there is a strong demand for models in this particular segment,” SIAM president Vinod Aggarwal told reporters here.

While the utility vehicles comprising popular sport utility vehicles continue to do well, other segments like entry-level cars and sedans continue to struggle with tapering demand, he added.

Utility vehicle dispatches in the September quarter stood at 5,17,898 units; passenger cars at 4,68,513 units and vans at 29,904 units.

The passenger vehicle segment had recorded the previous best quarterly figures in the fourth quarter of 2020-21 with dispatch of 9.33 lakh units to dealers.

“We are hopeful that the industry will do well in the month of October as well, which has two major festivals of Dussehra and Diwali,” Mr. Aggarwal stated.

Total two-wheeler sales rose 13% to 46,73,931 units in the July-September period this fiscal, as compared with 41,36,484 units in the September quarter of the last fiscal.

Mr. Aggarwal said the two wheeler segment had witnessed some recovery but still remained away from the previous peak of 2018-19.

“There is stress in the entry-level two-wheeler segment. There is the impact of inflation and the requirement to buy insurance for five years at one go at the time of purchase. With all this, the cost of models has gone up significantly and that has affected the segment. Hopefully with good monsoon, it should witness some improvement,” he noted.

The industry body had asked the government to keep the segment away from a fresh set of regulations for the time being as all of that adds to the overall cost of acquisition, he said.

“In fact, both entry level cars and two wheelers continue to witness challenges in the marketplace,” he added.

Speaking about other challenges in the market, Mr. Aggarwal said: “Interest rates are going up, CNG rates are going up, inflation rate is high and then of course there are geopolitical challenges. So there are uncertainties which continue to be there.”

He, however, noted that with the government focusing on the overall growth of the economy, the auto industry should continue to grow in the years to come.

When asked about chip shortage, he said that the situation had improved from last year and is expected to get even better going ahead.

Besides, commodity and precious metal prices have also moderated but still remain higher than the pre-COVID period.

Total commercial vehicles wholesales rose by 39% to 2,31,880 units, as against 1,66,251 units in the year-ago period.

Total sales across categories in the July-September period rose to 60,52,628 units. The same stood at 51,15,112 units in the previous year.

Last month, domestic passenger vehicle wholesales increased 92 per cent to 3,07,389 units last month as against a year ago.

Passenger Vehicle (PV) dispatches from factories to dealerships in September 2021 stood at 1,60,212 units.

Two-wheeler wholesales also rose 13% to 17,35,199 units over 15,37,604 vehicles in September 2021.

Motorcycle sales rose 18% to 11,14,667 units against 9,48,161 units in September 2021.

Scooter sales were up 9% to 5,72,919 units, from 5,27,779 vehicles in the preceding year.



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By Dipak

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