Auto sales advance 17.5% to 2,379,718 vehicles in April, says Siam

Kick-starting the new financial year on a strong note, automobile sales in India (all categories) rose by a sharp 17.44 per cent to 2,379,718 vehicles in April over a year-ago, auto industry body Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (Siam) said on Thursday. 

Passenger vehicle sales rose by 7.5 per cent, driven by robust sales of utility vehicles, cars, and vans.

While the dispatches jumped across all categories, commercial vehicles advanced at the fastest pace rising 76 per cent on account of last year’s low-base effect. Following a March 29 order of the Supreme Court that banned the  sale of Bharat Stage-III vehicles, commercial vehicles sales in April 2017 had dropped 22.93 per cent over a year-ago period.

Last month, the two-wheeler sales were led by motorcycles, which grew 19.38 per cent over a year ago on the back of a resurgence in rural demand.

Dispatches across all the segments are expected to remain strong in the coming months. The prospect of a good monsoon holds out hopes of better economic growth, boosting overall sentiment in the country, one of the fastest-growing auto markets in the world. 

Auto firms in India count dispatches to dealers as sales. New model launches are likely to keep up the sales momentum in the in the cars and utility vehicles segment. 

Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has projected rainfall in June-September at 97 per cent of the long period average (LPA), with a model error of plus and minus 5 per cent, it said on 17 April. 

International Monetary Fund has projected India’s economy to grow 7.4 per cent in the current financial year and accelerate further to 7.8 per cent as it recovers from the impact of demonetisation and goods and services tax. This, too, will drive the auto sales into the fast lane.  Minor hiccups from inflation, rising crude prices, and uneven distribution of rainfall can slow sales in some of the months.

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