With social distancing in customer's mind coupled with the government's push to further normalise business conditions and banks becoming more considerate to finance vehicles, entry level passenger vehicles saw good demand.
Automobile dealers' body FADA on Thursday said passenger vehicle (PV) retail sales in September witnessed year-on-year increase of 9.81 per cent to 1,95,665 units, amid shift in customer preference for personal mobility over public transport.
According to the Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA), which collected vehicle registration data from 1,254 out of the 1,461 regional transport offices (RTOs), PV sales stood at 1,78,189 units in September 2019.
Two-wheeler sales, however, declined 12.62 per cent to 10,16,977 units last month, as compared to 11,63,918 units in September 2019.
Commercial vehicle sales also declined 33.65 per cent to 39,600 units, as compared to 59,683 units a year ago.
Similarly, three-wheeler sales fell 58.86 per cent to 24,060 units last month, as against 58,485 units in the year-ago period.
Tractor sales grew by 80.39 per cent to 68,564 units last month, as compared to 38,008 units in the same month last year.
Total sales across categories declined 10.24 per cent to 13,44,866 units, last month as against 14,98,283 units in the year-ago period.
"With social distancing in customer's mind coupled with the government's push to further normalise business conditions and banks becoming more considerate to finance vehicles, entry level passenger vehicles saw good demand thus indicating a preference for personal mobility over public transport," FADA president Vinkesh Gulati said.
New launches and availability of vehicles played their part as a catalyst while a lower base during the last fiscal also helped the cause, he added.
Tractor sales continued its dream run as Kharif sowing witnessed record progress of area covered till date when compared to last year, Gulati said.
With good rabi season resulting in good disposable income, the rural market also saw its rub off effect on two-wheeler, small passenger vehicle and small commercial vehicle sales, he added.
Till recently, the economic revival was mostly limited to rural India and the impact of COVID-19 was still felt on larger states and urban centres, Gulati said.
"The top states which make up half of India's economic output -- Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat and West Bengal, are now showing signs of revival as economic activities in these states are at its peak since lockdown began in March. This has also helped in creating a demand for automobile sales," he noted.
With no more lockdowns in sight, FADA anticipates a high growth period during October and November for automobile sales in the country, Gulati said.
Photograph: PTI Photo