‘Passenger vehicle sales to rise 9% in FY18’

Auto sector’s performance for February had been significantly strong, says Sridhar V, partner, Grant Thornton India.   | Photo Credit: Nagara Gopal

Expansion in other segments may turn out better than expected, says SIAM

The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) said the passenger vehicle segment should be able to achieve 9% growth during the current fiscal while the expansion in other segments should be better than expected.

“All segments, including passenger vehicles and two-wheelers have been showing growth,” said SIAM director general Vinod Mathur. “The only exception is heavy buses, which is a major concern for us.” The comments come in the backdrop of passenger vehicle sales growing at 7.7% in February. Sales of domestic passenger vehicles (PVs), which include cars, utility vehicles and vans, grew to more than 2.75 lakh units in February from 2.55 lakh units in the year-earlier period. The increase was driven mainly by a growth of 21.82% in the sales of utility vehicles to 80,254 units during the month, according SIAM data. Car sales rose 3.7% to more than 1.79 lakh units.

SIAM had forecast a growth of 9% for PVs, 13% for commercial vehicles, 7% for three wheelers and 12% for two-wheelers. As per the data released on Monday, in the 11-month period from April-February 2018, PV sales rose 8% while commercial vehicle sales grew 19.3%, three-wheelers 19.11% and two-wheelers 14.47%.

“Overall, performance of the auto sector across vehicle categories for February 2018 has been significantly strong and in line with the growth trajectory evidenced throughout the last 11 months,” said Sridhar V, partner, Grant Thornton India. “New launches post auto expo [and] a sector-motivating Budget has kept the momentum at a very high level especially with respect to commercial vehicles and two wheelers.”

Customs duty

He, however, added that the increase in customs duty on imports could impact those passenger vehicles which had high level of imported components and conversely, the decrease in duty is expected to charge up sales in high-powered two-wheelers. “2017-18 is expected to end up as a record year for the sector.” Total two-wheeler sales in February rose 23.77% to more than 16.85 lakh units. While motorcycle sales rose 26.48% to more than 10.53 lakh units, sales of scooters grew 23.96% to more than 5.60 lakh units.

In February, sales of commercial vehicles were up 31.13% to 87,777 units. While medium and heavy commercial vehicle segment saw a growth of 23% in sales, light commercial vehicles rose 37.91%.