January 2021: Motown musings

Passenger vehicle sales in India increased for the sixth straight month in January, driven by pent-up demand and preference for personal vehicle amid the pandemic. However, cumulative sales of automobiles in the local market continued to lag due to the impact of the Covid-induced lockdown at the start of the year.

As many as 276,554 passenger vehicles were sold in January 2021—up 11.14% from the year-ago month, according to data available with industry body Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers. The growth figure would have been 16% if we were to include sales of Tata Motors (26,978 units), which has stopped reporting data to SIAM on a monthly basis.

Automakers in India report wholesale dispatches from factories to dealers and not retail sales to customers.

Two-wheeler sales were 6.63% higher than that in January 2020 at 1,429,928 units. The number of scooters sold was 9% higher at 454,315 units, while motorcycle sales were 5.1% higher at 916,365 units.

Passenger vehicle sales declined 13.2% to 2,054,428 units in the 10 months to January FY21. Two-wheeler sales in the period fell 20% to 12,195,716 units.

Additionally, inadequate availability of semiconductors, increase in price of steel and container charges have emerged as challenges for the automotive industry, which has been working at recovering volumes lost over the last two years due to the protracted slowdown and the Covid-induced lockdown.

Meanwhile, demand for three-wheelers continued to remain muted and fell by 56.8% to 25,335 units in January.

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