The retail automobile sales continued to decline in August — even though the pace of decline showed some improvement, with overall sales witnessing 26.81% contraction year-on-year to over 11.88 lakh units, Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA).Tractors continued to be the only segment showing a positive retail sales trend with a growth of 27.80% to 67,406 units as against the same month of 2019. While passenger vehicles sales in August 2020 fell by 7.12% to over 1.78 lakh units, the two-wheeler sales declined nearly 28.71% to about 8.98 lakh units. The commercial vehicle retail sales tumbled 57.39% to 26,536 units and three-wheeler category sales were down 69.51% to 16,857 units.In July 2020, the total retail sales had fallen 36.27% year-on-year to about 11.42 lakh units, with passenger vehicles sales down 25.19% to over 1.57 lakh units, two-wheeler sales down 37.47% to 8.74 units and Commercial vehicles sales down 72.18% to 19,292 units, as per the data by FADA.Noting that the passenger vehicle segment saw a single digit decline after five months, the newly elected FADA President Vinkesh Gulati said, “customers who were sitting on the fence, finally concluded their purchase during ongoing festivals of Janmashtami and Ganesh Chaturthi. Entry level Passenger Vehicles were in high demand as personal mobility is being preferred with the current pandemic showing no signs of reduction.”He added that while the rural market was already showing revival signs, urban centres for the first time have also showed initial signs of demand pullback.Overall demand is still not back to pre-covid levels as Banks and NBFCs continue to have a cautious approach towards funding, which is negatively impacting the commercial vehicle segment.He added that while OEM’s are dispatching vehicles to dealers with a purpose of stocking-up inventory for the upcoming festival season, retail sales are still at 70-75% levels despite the low base of last year. “FADA advises extreme caution to all OEMs and our dealer fraternity to avoid excessive Inventory build-up thus leading to unmanageable interest cost which could further result in dealership closures,” Mr Gulati said.
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