August car dispatches set to be highest ever at 3.55 lakh units
Indian car makers ready themselves for a record festive season as the stock at dealership swells to over a month. Close to 1 million units are likely to be delivered in the coming three months.
The Indian passenger vehicle market continues to scale to a new peak.
Having posted highest ever monthly sales for respective months of April, May, June and July, the dispatches this month too are expected to be the highest ever, for any August so far.
Autocar Professional learns that not only are the dispatches going to be the highest ever this month, but it is likely to be better than September 2022, when car makers delivered over 3.55 lakh units.
According to several people in the know, the dispatches could be anywhere between 3.55 to 3.58 lakh units - a few hundred to few thousands higher then the peak of September 2022.
The record numbers can be attributed to the inventory filing by various vehicle makers, ahead of the key festive season. There is also a ramp up in production of models, which are in very high demand, say industry players.
Shashank Srivastava, Senior Executive Officer, Sales and Marketing at Maruti Suzuki said, "The industry has been improving its output and stock month on month since the beginning of the year, and the inventory has reached about 30 days on an average at about 3-3.1 lakh units. However, the stocks may vary from model to model - the divergence may be 5 to 50 days of stock. The momentum appears to be strong and industry is on course for a record Q2 of FY24."
The festive season according to Srivastava has started on a positive note with Onam, and he expects this positivity across the country with Ganesh Chaturthi and peak festive of Navratri and Diwali.
September too appears to be healthy, say industry players. If one were to look at just July to September - car makers are set to dispatch over a million vehicles. If one were to look at the 6 months of this fiscal year, the car makers would have dispatched over 2 million units and if one were to look at a 9 month period in 2023, the 3 million mark is likely to be breached by the end of September.
Higher supplies of new Maruti SUVs along with Hyundai Exter, facelifted Tata SUVs, Honda Elevate, Citroen C3 Aircross amongst others is likely to fuel the momentum in the coming months.
Manish Raj Singhania, President of Federation of Automotive Dealers Association says the festive season has got off to a very good start with Onam and there is traction across segments.
"The PV stock at the dealership has already hit 50-55 days with a hope of a very good festive season. Last year, dealers could not capitalise on the festivities due to lack of supply. This year, the auspicious days are well spread out over four months, which augurs well for the market and hence we are hopeful of a good season this year," added Singhania.
Unlike last year, the festive season is spread out over four months from August to November, hence the healthy momentum of over 3.25 to 3.5 lakh units in the coming months is likely to sustain before the correction in December.
Singhania assured that while the stock is high, the deliveries so far are keeping pace, he however cautioned that the erratic monsoon and inflation continue to remain the biggest concerns.
The market has grown by 7-8% so far this year - but as the base catches up, the growth rate is likely to slip to low single digit - yet hit a new peak of over 4-4.1 million this year.
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