The automobile sales shrunk further during the month of August, a prolonged timeframe as consumer sentiments are still weak when it comes to purchasing a new vehicle. The passenger car sales declined by 41 percent year-on-year (YoY) in August to 1,15,957 units as compared with 1,96,847 units in the same month last year. As per the latest report shared by Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), the passenger vehicle sales domestic market also declined by around 32 percent to 1,96,524 units during last month as against 2,87,198 units in the corresponding month last year. Market leader Maruti Suzuki India had reported a 36 percent YoY decline in sales during August to 93,173 units (1,45,895 units). Hyundai Motor India also reported a double-digit YoY decline in sales (17 percent) to 38,205 units (45,801 units in the same month last year). Honda Cars India and Tata Motors, in particular, reported the most dismal numbers, selling less than half of the units they sold last year in August.
In the commercial vehicle segment, the sales declined by 39 percent to 51,897 units in August, a drop of 39 percent YoY as compared with 84,668 units in August 2018. In the two-wheeler segment, both scooter and motorcycle sales declined by a little more than 22 percent YoY. While the scooter sales during the month were recorded at 5,20,898 units (versus 6,69,416 units), the motorcycle sales fell to 9,37,486 units (against 12,07,005 units). Two-wheeler makers including Hero MotoCorp, Honda Motorcycle, and Scooters India, Bajaj Auto and TVS Motor also had reported a decline in sales during August. Three-wheeler sales also declined by 7 percent YoY to 58,818 in August as compared with 63,199 units in the same month last year. According to the companies and industry leaders, the sector required an immediate decision from the government on GST reduction (from 28 percent to 18 percent) which may help boost sales during the festive season. Recently, at the SIAM and ACMA conventions, the industry demanded a quick intervention from the government on reducing GST, at least for some time, to gain back the sentiments in consumers. However, the GST fitment committee that held a meeting for two consecutive days last week suggested no assurance for any GST cut for the automobile sector. The industry has to wait for the GST Council meet on September 20 for a holistic picture and if they get any relief from the decisions that are made on the day.