The new fiscal year 2016-17 has started with what seems like a decline in the sales of locally made automobiles. By average, the sales have fallen by 12% in the first month of FY2016-17 as compared to the first month of the previous fiscal year (FY2015-16). That is not a good sign. But on a closer inspection, you will find that the things might not be as bleak as they appear from the distance. Yes, the sales have dropped, but the drop is mostly attributed towards the end of Punjab Taxi Scheme that was fueling the sales of Suzuki cars.
The Punjab Taxi Scheme was an anomaly, and it skewed the sales graph. The numbers felt very unnatural. And it was understood that the scheme would end sooner or later, and with its demise, it will also bring down the sales of Suzuki vehicles back to normal. The scenario looks much more realistic now as compared to what it was earlier.
And among Pak Suzuki vehicles, Suzuki Bolan and Suzuki Ravi were sold at a number higher than what it has been in the past. Both Bolan and Ravi are commercial vehicles so it was understood that when the scheme would end, both these vehicles would not be able to sustain their unnatural sales. In full 2014-15, Pak Suzuki sold 23,582 units of Bolan. And in 2013-14, only 14,088 units of Bolan were sold. You can see how the sales almost doubled all of a sudden. Sales of Bolan went up as much as 30,154 per year in FY2015-16. The Ravi pickup went through the similar scenario.
Also, in some cases, automakers produced more cars than what they were able to sell. For example, in the segment of 800cc to 1000cc cars, 4,240 units were produced, but only 3,771 were sold in July 2016. There is always a gap, but it is quite minute, usually in tens or twenties. That has affected the sales data as well.
But it is not all doom and gloom. Besides, things are changing so rapidly that it was expected for the auto consumers to halt the purchase of new vehicles for some time. Things will most probably pick up in coming months. Let’s take a look at the automakers that were able to keep the sales graph upwards no matter how small the increase.
The first car in the list that outsold itself in July of 2016-17 as compared to July of 2015-16 is the Suzuki Swift. Suzuki sold 310 units of Swift in July of the previous fiscal year as compared to 346 units in July of current fiscal year. The second car in the list is also a Suzuki. Suzuki sold 1138 units of Cultus in July of the current fiscal year as compared to 970 units in July of previous fiscal year. WagonR, the third Suzuki in the list, did pretty well in this July. Sales doubled this July (1,093) as compared to last year’s July (529 units). Toyota Indus Motors and Honda Atlas car sales have dropped this July.
In other automotive segments, 583 units of trucks were sold in July of the current fiscal year as compared to 278 units in July of the previous fiscal year. Similarly, 117 buses were sold in this July whereas only 48 units were sold in previous July. Similarly, in motorcycle segment, 106,625 units of bikes were sold in July FY2016-17 as compared to 100,158 units in July FY2015-16. And we are still waiting for the numbers from Hero. It will only bump the July number higher.
So yes, the car sales have seen some decline. But as I mentioned earlier, it is not all doom and gloom. Things will start to pick up soon enough.