Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers reported their sales figures for September earlier on Tuesday and there was not much to cheer about, but for the two-wheeler sector.
While passenger car sales did show some signs of improvement, gaining about 0.7 percent, two-wheeler sales, which had also hit the slow lane over the last several months, accelerated over 18 percent year-on-year in September. With a good monsoon this year, experts had predicted a pickup in demand, especially in the rural areas, and two-wheeler companies seem to be witnessing just that.
Put together, 12.65 lakh two-wheelers were sold last month, compared with 10.69 lakh units sold in September 2012. Navratri has begun, Ganesh festival is behind us and Diwali will come soon. Most two-wheeler firms would have been shipping scooters and motorcycles to the dealers in huge numbers.
Hero MotoCorp had reported earlier this month that the largest two-wheeler maker in India sold near 4.7 lakh units in September, up 16 percent from a year ago. Its rival and former partner Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India’s sales surged 35 percent to 3.29 lakh units.
Scooty maker TVS Motor’s sales in September also rose 16 percent and sports bike maker Yamaha’s sales jumped more than 40 percent.
Scooters, in particular, are seeing robust growth. The scooter market in India is dominated with Honda with its Activa, Dio, Aviator and Activa-i scooters. Hero too has seen good demand for its Maestro and Pleasure scooters.
TVS, which sells the Scooty and Wego scooters, recently launched the Jupiter scooter, which should also see good festive sales.
Bajaj Auto, in contrast, has seen its sales grow just 2 percent in September. Rajiv Bajaj, the company’s MD, recently told Economic Times that while its rivals would have been stockpiling dealerships, Bajaj has been reducing inventories for the last few months, essentially to make way for several new models it is launching in the festive season.
With Diwali up ahead, expect two wheeler companies to continue clocking good growth. Car sales should also pickup a little by then, but with interest rates on loans remaining high and the overall inflation also high, don’t expect a surge in car demand.