In the first half (H1) of the fiscal year 2023-24, spanning from April to September, the Indian automobile retail sector experienced a noteworthy year-on-year growth of 9%. This significant upswing was observed across all vehicle categories, encompassing two-wheelers (2W), three-wheelers (3W), commercial vehicles (CV), passenger vehicles (PV), and tractors. This data, sourced from the Federation of Automobile Dealers’ Associations (FADA), reflects a promising trend in the Indian automotive market. In addition to the overall growth, both the three-wheeler and passenger vehicle segments marked their highest-ever sales in an H1 period.
Robust Growth in Cumulative Sales
The cumulative sales for this period amounted to a staggering 11.07 million units, showcasing a substantial increase from the 10.17 million units recorded in H1 2022-23. Remarkably, this achievement represents a remarkable 38% surge in comparison to H1FY22 and an even more remarkable 82% leap over H1FY21. A closer look at individual segments reveals that 2Ws, 3Ws, CVs, PVs, and tractors registered growth rates of 7%, 66%, 3%, 6%, and 14%, respectively. This expansion is indicative of the resilience and adaptability displayed by India’s auto retail sector.
A Journey of Cautious Optimism
Manish Raj Singhania, President of FADA, noted that the Indian auto retail sector embarked on a journey of cautious optimism and resilience amid a myriad of challenges and successes. The initial modest 4% decline in vehicle retails in April was not only a reflection of the dynamic nature of the automotive market but also a prelude to a story of gradual recovery and growth. This story culminated in a robust 20% year-on-year growth in September, underlining the sector’s ability to adapt and thrive in ever-changing conditions.
Three-Wheelers Shine Bright
The star performer in this period was undoubtedly the three-wheeler segment, which achieved a record-breaking 533,353 unit sales in H1FY24. This impressive figure significantly outperformed the H1FY23 numbers of 321,964 units and even surpassed the H1FY19 figures of 358,187. Conversely, the two-wheeler segment witnessed a 7% increase in sales, totaling 7.82 million units compared to 7.31 million units during the same period in the previous fiscal year. However, it is important to note that the 2W segment is still under stress and has yet to reach its H1FY19 peak of 9,727,200 units, highlighting the diverse challenges and successes within India’s auto retail sector.
Passenger Vehicles Make a Steady Comeback
The passenger vehicle segment, while encountering its set of challenges, displayed a narrative of steady resurgence and growth. It not only grew by 6% year-on-year but also achieved record retails, with H1FY24 witnessing an all-time high in PV retails at 1,808,311 units. This surpasses the previous record set in H1FY23 at 1,702,905. This continued growth trajectory for two consecutive fiscal years reflects the resilient demand and the market’s positive response to the diverse and dynamic offerings in the segment.
Tractors and Commercial Vehicles on the Rise
During the first half of this year, the tractor segment experienced a remarkable 20% rise in sales, reaching 444,340 units, surpassing the sales figures of H1FY23, which stood at 389,815. The CV sector also saw robust sales, registering 465,097 units, coming in second only to its record in H1FY19 with 472,492 units.
Festive Season Prospects
As the festive season approaches, it carries with it the promise of renewed consumer interest and potential demand surge. Anticipations within the industry suggest a season of growth and prosperity for the auto retail sector. This transition from cautious optimism to a hopeful and positive outlook for the market underscores the industry’s resilience and adaptability in the face of challenges.
The Indian automobile retail sector’s performance in H1 2023-24 has been nothing short of impressive. With each vehicle category contributing to the overall growth, the industry has showcased resilience and adaptability. The record-breaking sales in the three-wheeler and passenger vehicle segments, coupled with the overall industry growth, paint a promising picture for the future. As the festive season approaches, there is an air of anticipation for further growth and prosperity in the Indian auto retail sector.