While passenger vehicle (PV) manufacturers seem to have done good business during the Navaratri festival and are looking forward to even better sales during Diwali, business has been dull for two-wheeler players.
Rajiv Bajaj, MD, Bajaj Auto, said in an interview to CNBCTV18 that sales had been disappointing during Navaratri, especially in the entry-level 100 cc segment. “The mass consumer is not coming back in a hurry as this end of the market is under a lot of pressure,” he said on Monday. While domestic motorcycle sales were down 3 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y), the 100-cc portfolio of CT100 and Platina motorcycle sales fell by 30 per cent y-o-y, Bajaj indicated.The company has seen a spurt in demand in premium segment, with Pulsar sales rising 28 per cent y-o-y and the KTM and Husqvarna sales going up 25 per cent.
Rough estimates by the Federation of Auto Dealers Association (FADA) see sales of two-wheelers recording a double-digit decline in the current month, on a y-o-y basis, as Navaratri sales were tepid. Typically, there has not been such a divergence between sales of PVs and two-wheelers and, therefore, analysts are still hoping that two-wheeler sales will pick up during Diwali.
Retail sales of PVs grew about 10 per cent y-o-y in September, while those of two-wheelers reported a 13 per cent decline. Data from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) on October 16 showed PV sales grew 17.02 per cent y-o-y in the September quarter while sales of two-wheelers remained almost flat at 0.17 per cent.
Analysts attributed several reasons for poor two-wheeler sales even during the festival season, including fewer new launches, low institutional buying and low sales of entry-level two-wheelers. —FE
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