Passenger vehicle retail sales in India witnessed an 11 % year-on-year decline in December as semiconductor shortage continued to impact the segment, automobile dealers' body FADA said on Wednesday.
The passenger vehicle (PV) retail sales last month fell 10.91 % to 2,44,639 units from 2,74,605 units in December 2020.
"The month of December is usually seen as a high sales month where OEMs continue to offer best discounts to clear the inventory due to change of the year. It was, however, not the case this time around as retail sales continued to disappoint, thus wrapping up an underperforming calendar year," FADA President Vinkesh Gulati noted.
With semiconductor shortage continuing to play spoil-sport, passenger vehicle sales in spite of huge bookings in December closed in red, he added.
Dealers, however, saw slight ease in vehicle supply, thus giving some hope of improvement, Mr. Gulati stated.
Two-wheeler sales also continued to remain in the slow lane last month, with sales of 11,48,732 units, down 19.86 % from 14,33,334 units in December 2020.
"High cost of ownership, bad rural sentiment, work from home and the latest threat of Omicron continued to impact sales," Mr. Gulati noted.
Commercial vehicle retail sales, however, rose 13.72 % last month to 58,847 units, as against 51,749 units in December 2020.
"The government's push for infrastructure spending especially in road infrastructure, better freight rates, price hike announcement in January and a low base helped the overall segment close in positive double digits," Mr. Gulati stated.
Overall retail sales across segments last month stood at 15,58,756 units, down 16.05 % from 18,56,869 units in December 2020.
The Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA), which collated data from 1,379 out of 1,590 RTOs across the country, said it remains extremely cautious over the next 2-3 months with yet another wave of COVID impacting the business.
"Various state governments have once again announced COVID restrictions. Work and education from home have resumed and will have a negative effect on auto retail. With the fear of healthcare expenses rising again, the customers are shying away from closing their purchase decisions," Mr. Gulati noted.
FADA represents over 15,000 automobile dealers having 26,500 dealerships across the country.