In the end, the Shradh month of September did not turn out too badly for car companies, which recorded a monthly growth just short of 10 per cent. According to sales statistics released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), car sales grew 9.7 per cent in September at 77,411 units compared to 70,507 units in the year-ago month.
With a strong navratra, car makers expect the festival season to wipe out stock pileup at the dealer end and take overall growth for the industry to a respectable, albeit single digit figure.
Part of the September recovery was fuelled by the decent growth recorded by top volume players. Market leader Maruti, grew nearly 16% at 40,047 units while arch rival Hyundai was up 22% at 14,283 units. The first six months, though, continued to be lacklustre with cars clocking a just-over 6% growth (4.09 lakh units), while UVs registering an 12.4% (89,362 units) increase. Total passenger vehicles, at 5.31 lakh units, were up 7% in the April-September period. After a negative June-July period, car sales have recovered somewhat though not enough to propel the industry growth graph into double digit territory.
Commercial vehicles clocked a smart growth of 14% (31,737 units) though the six month tally isn't quite so promising. Although total CV sales is up 7% in H1, it is mostly on the back of a strong 20.5% growth in LCVs. Sales of both medium and heavy goods carriers as well as buses were flat to negative.
In two-wheelers, motorcycles continued to vroom with 2.7m units in the April-September period, up 20.5%. In September, sales were perkier - up nearly 26% at 5.38 lakh units compared to 4.28 lakh units last year.