How was retail vehicle sales in October? When the data came out, it seemed like a bit of a decline in terms of the sales there, but was the festive season good?
Comparing this October to last October is not exactly comparing Apple to Apple because last year in October, we had Navratra and Diwali in one month. So, overall that retail was pretty high, but overall if you look at the 42-festive-day period that we calculated at FADA, that started from the first day of Navratra till the 10 days after Dhanteras, vahan (automobile) numbers need to settle down. So, that is the period we calculate and overall auto retail trade is looking very good.
All these segments are firing up. We were pretty worried about the two-wheeler segment and we have been talking about the rural distress that we have been seeing and the need for recovery of the rural market. But during festival times, even the rural customer has come out and spent some money on auto – be it two-wheelers or four-wheelers. You will find an overall growth across these segments whether it is two-wheeler, four-wheeler, commercial, three-wheelers, tractors and everywhere, you will see the numbers growing. It is just another week to go, but probably this would be the best-ever festive season that we have ever seen.In the two-wheelers, where have we seen most interest? Has it been in the premium segment or in the entry-level motorcycles?
The market has been telling us that the premium segment has been doing pretty well and there has been no cause of worry – be it two-wheelers or four-wheelers. SUVs have been going like crazy numbers and last year, SUVs reached almost 60% penetration in passenger cars. What is unique about two-wheelers is the kind of double-digit growth we see. I can confidently say that we will be seeing a growth of somewhere between 20% and 25% in the two-wheeler segment. That can only happen when the entry-level has delivered the requisite numbers. So, that is the good part.
The two-wheeler dealers have been suffering quite a lot and the retails were not coming. And it is really good that Navratras and Diwali have done pretty well this year. The entry-level two-wheeler has also performed well and that is a very good sign for the auto retail trade.
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