Automobile dealers body FADA said retail sales of passenger vehicles (PV) in April-December period this fiscal declined 2 per cent to 19,17,750 units. According to FADA, which collected vehicle registration data from 1,072 out of 1,431 Regional Transport Offices (RTOs), PV sales measured by registrations stood at 19,65,630 units in the year-ago period. Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA) also hoped that retail sales of passenger vehicles would improve in the fourth quarter to end the year on a positive note despite witnessing decline so far in 2018-19.
"PV retail sales have declined in April-December. So, in quarter four if we are able to arrest the de-growth and get into positive territory we hope that in the April-March period (2018-19 fiscal) it gets into positive zone, if not into double digits, at least in high single digits," FADA President Ashish Harsharaj Kale said.
At present, there are signs of improvement in consumer sentiment with footfall in showrooms increasing in the first few days of January, he said. After the festive season, fuel prices have gone down, while liquidity situation was a major constraint in December, positive impact of policy measures to address the issue will be felt in this quarter, he added.
"NBFC liquidity, which directly impacts the auto industry, is also getting due attention," Kale said adding FADA was hopeful of positive outcome of RBI Governor and NBFCs meet that would help further improve consumer sentiment.
After piling up of inventory ahead of festive season, he said PV manufacturers have now rectified it with levels coming down to 35-40 days from around 55-60 days. This, coupled with some reasonably good retail sales, towards the end of December helped in reducing the extremely high PV inventory, to reasonable levels in many markets, he said.
"Customer interest is still healthy, indicating sales will come back in its previous growth trajectory sooner than later," he added. In December, PV retail sales stood at 2,02,585 units as against 2,17,922 units in the same month a year ago, down 3 per cent.
In the two-wheeler category, FADA said retail sales stood at 1,10,71,352 units in April-December as against 1,05,37,542 units in the corresponding period last fiscal, up 5 per cent. For December, two-wheeler retail sales were at 11,41,209 units as against 10,29,311 units in December 2017, up 11 per cent. The current inventory level of two-wheelers continues to be 55-60 days, which is high, Kale said, adding the same for commercial vehicles (CV) ranges from 35-40 days.
"As far as two-wheelers and CVs are concerned, we hope that towards the year-end it will be positive because the growth this year has been quite good overall, although the third quarter was bad," he said.