New Delhi: In one of the clearest signs yet that an economic turnaround could indeed be under way, sales of medium and heavy commercial vehicles grew for the first time in 29 months in August after having contracted sharply in the past few months.
Passenger vehicle sales have already recovered in the past few months but commercial vehicle sales numbers are more closely tied to economic growth, which has shown signs of revival after two years in which it slumped to decadal lows of below 5%.
The April-June quarter saw GDP growth rise to 5.7%, the fastest in more than two years.
August M&HCV sales grew 9.61% to 16,955 units from 15,468 in the year earlier. “In anticipation of upcoming economic activities and infrastructure projects, transporters have started buying trucks, which has pushed the sales of M&HCVs,” said Sugato Sen, deputy director general, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).
He added that the automotive industry was in revival mode although the trend is still slow. Things are looking up for India’s vehicle makers, said Abdul Majeed, partner, automotive practices, at PwC.
“The Indian economy is slowly getting back on the track, the overall sentiments are very positive,” he said. “New investments in the economy are flowing through. The government is also working on plans to control inflation and fiscal deficit. This should definitely help the auto industry to grow to its potential.”
Overall automobile sales grew 17.54% in August to 1,660,437 units from 1,412,602 in the year earlier.
Within the M&HCV segment, truck sales grew 20.40% to 14,273 units from 11,855. Bus sales declined though by 25.77% to 2,682 units.
M&HCV sales last grew in February 2012, when it rose 5.33% to 32,933 units. In August 2013, sales fell 38% from the year before.
The overall commercial vehicles segment contracted 13.66% in April-August from the year earlier. M&HCVs shrank 5.39% and while light commercial vehicles declined 17.69%.
Passenger car sales registered double-digit growth in August at 153,758, up 15.16% from 133,513 in the year before. Utility vehicle sales rose 18% to 46,501 units.
Overall passenger vehicles grew 4.46% in April-August from the year before. Within this, passenger cars and utility vehicles grew 5.24% and 9.46%, respectively, while vans fell 13.89%.
Two-wheeler sales grew 19.22% in August to 1,345,506 units from 1,128,631 in the year earlier. Scooter sales jumped 30%, maintaining the uptrend, while motorcycle sales rose 14%.
Sales of two-wheelers rose 14.79% in April-August from the year before. Within the segment, scooters, motorcycles and mopeds grew 30.72%, 10% and 9.11%, respectively.
Three-wheeler rose 16.88% in April-August. Passenger carriers and goods carriers grew 18.42% and 9.94% respectively.
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