Vehicle sales continued to grow at a quick pace, with overall volume expanding 12.13% in May with new launches, higher infrastructure expenditure and a favourable base effect helping boost the performance.
While the passenger vehicle segment comprising cars, SUVs and vans grew 19.65% in the past month to 301,238 units, riding on new launches from Honda and Toyota, commercial vehicle sales increased at a faster pace of 43.06% to 76,478 units. These are wholesale numbers as manufactures usually declare only shipments to dealerships and not retail sales.
Last year, sales were hit by the implementation of new emission rules and uncertainty over the GST.
Manufacturers had offered heavy discounts on BS-III models in March 2017, before the adoption of the next emission standard of BS VI from April 1. This boosted March numbers, especially in commercial vehicles and two-wheelers, but killed the numbers the following months. Also, expecting that the rollout of GST from July 1, 2017 would lower car prices, consumers had postponed purchases, which hurt sales in May and June last year.
Sales of the newly-launched Toyota Yaris and Honda Amaze, besides strong numbers from market leader Maruti Suzuki, added to the spike in passenger car numbers. Exports of passenger cars, however, declined 1.69% to 44,904 units.
Sales of utility vehicles rose 17.53% to 82,086 units. Exports outpaced sales — with shipments of 14,492 units, exports grew 21.23%.
In the two-wheeler space, the industry saw a reverse in trend, with scooter sales declining after nearly 15 months by 1.40% to 555,467 units in May.
Overall, two-wheeler sales, however, rose 9.19% to 1,850,093, in an indication of a shift in consumer preference back to motorcycles.
In the commercial vehicle space, medium and heavy commercial vehicles posted a massive 80% jump in sales at 30,128 units. The light commercial vehicles segment grew 26.15% to 46,350 units in the past month.
In the three-wheeler segment, exports remained the main driver, growing 70.32% to 46,243 units. Domestic sales also gained momentum with sales expanding 51.97% to 54,809 units.
Overall, vehicle exports grew 23.84% to 398,798 units in May 2018, with a majority of that coming from two-wheelers. Total two-wheeler exports during the month were 284,573 units.