Domestic PV sales likely to outperform in October, Maruti leads the pack

With passenger vehicle (PV) sales garnering strong numbers this Navratra, automakers are looking to get into the upcoming festive season in top gear. As per industry estimates, October 2020 is likely to throw up a record monthly sale in PVs, signalling a turnaround of fortunes for the auto industry.

According to estimates the, PV sales is expected to be around 3.32-3.35 lakh units in October, a growth of around 15% over September 2020. Interestingly this could be the highest ever monthly sale for PVs. The last highest was 3.1 lakh PV units recorded in September 2017. Sustained demand for personal mobility post Covid and a higher offtake from rural markets are also helping the automakers clock good wholesale numbers , say experts.

Leading the PV sales would be the country’s largest car maker Maruti Suzuki on the back of improved sourcing supplies and an upbeat customer confidence. While Shashank Srivastava, ED, Maruti Suzuki refused to comment on the PV volumes this month, he mentioned that the growth is due to pent up demand and a good Navratra sales leading upto the festive season. In addition, this industry has seen higher capacity utilisation of auto majors over the last month.

Behind market leaders Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai Motors, what is also interesting to note is the fight for the number 3 position by Tata Motors and Kia Motors. Industry estimates for both stand over 22,000 units in a neck and neck race with Kia having being buoyed by the runaway success of their Sonet which has surpassed 50,000 bookings till date. SUV player, Mahindra looks likely to be at the 5thposition in spite of a robust demand of their all new Thar which seems to have captured the imagination of car lovers and off roaders alike.

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However what is perking up Kia is their ability to translate the bookings into quick deliveries around the festive season. “Deliveries are critical, there is no use over hyping a product and not being able to meet customer expectation”, said a UV dealer. This Navratra saw Market leader Maruti Suzuki delivering its best performance in five years by delivering 95,000 cars. Hyundai, Kia and Tata Motors registered record numbers, cashing in upon the pent up demand.

Toyota Kirloskar delivered a 13% rise in retail sales during the period. Naveen Soni, Sr VP of Toyota Kirloskar which recently launched the sub compact SUV Urban Cruiser agrees that wholesales are better as a build up to the festival season.

Manohar Bhat, Head, Marketing, Kia Motors mentions that new launches in the market are adding to the numbers and auto makers are going all out for the festive season. “From January to August 2020, if there was an overall decline of 39%, clearly segments like the mid SUVs have shown growth while segments like compact SUVs have seen a lower de-growth”, added Bhat.

Post the lockdown being lifted auto companies and ancillary companies saw demand bounce back. This resulted in retail sales doing better in the subsequent months , thereby bringing down inventory positions at the dealerships.

Experts said retail numbers reflect the mood of the consumers while wholesale numbers amounts to companies maximising billing, building inventory and getting a better market share. Till recently, wholesale numbers matched retail sales or were higher to retail. However, with constraints in supplies and production schedules, auto companies have been despatching lesser number of vehicles to the dealerships.

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