Signalling a slowdown, domestic vehicle sales across categories fell 8.6% year-on-year (YoY) to 20,86,358 units in May from 22,83,262 units in the year-ago period, according to data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (Siam).
Domestic passenger vehicle sales fell the most, by a fifth on year to 2,39,347 units in May.
Vehicle output also declined, with production down 8% at 2,515,999 units in May. Total exports last month, however, declined a marginal half a percent YoY to 396,833 units.
Commercial vehicle (CV) sales registered a decline of 10% YoY at 68,847 units last month, while two- and three-wheeler sales declined 6.7% and 5.7%, respectively. The two-wheeler domestic wholesales stood at 1,726,206 units in May compared with 1,850,698 units in the year-ago period. The three-wheeler segment reported total domestic wholesales of 51,650 units for May as against 54,809 units in the corresponding period last year.
Production cuts at manufacturing plants to correct inventory of unsold stock at dealerships have resulted in a fall of 12.2% YoY in passenger vehicles, 10.5% YoY in CVs, 9.4% YoY in three-wheelers and 7.1% YoY in two-wheeler segments.
Utility vehicles (UVs) were the only outliers, with production in the segment growing in May. Total production of UVs grew 3.7% YoY to 97,968 units in May 2019. The growth in the segment can be largely attributed to launch of Hyundai’s new compact SUV Venue last month.
On domestic wholesale front, passenger cars recorded a steep fall of 26% YoY or 51,933 units at 147,546 units in May 2019. Motorcycles and scooters too saw steep wholesale volume cuts of 59,791 units (-5% YoY) and 43,743 units (-8% YoY) respectively. Wholesale dispatches of motorcycles and scooters stood at 1,162,373 units and 511,724 units in May, respectively.
“The automobile industry has been moving towards inventory correction," said Vishnu Mathur, director general, Siam while releasing the wholesale data earlier today.
On the export front, overseas sales of passenger cars and motorcycles grew 8% and 5%, respectively. According to data from Siam, total passenger car and motorcycle exports stood at 48,447 units and 265,585 units, respectively, in May.