New Delhi: High-speed electric two-wheeler registrations rose 17% over a year ago in July, to 54,232 units, or up 19% from the previous month.
In June, e-two-wheeler sales took a hit following the government’s decision to significantly slash subsidies on electric vehicles (EVs) under FAME-II scheme. As a result, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) were compelled to raise vehicle prices.
Despite the sales growth, registrations in July were short of the monthly sales average so far this financial year at 68,000 units. Moreover, it also trails the FY23 average monthly sales of 60,500 units. Electric vehicles accounted for 4.4% of two-wheeler sales at the end of July, compared to 3.5% in the month of June. “Recovery in electric two-wheeler sales, despite price increases after June, is impressive. With the expected lower-priced product launches in this segment, we expect sales to recover further," Jay Kale, senior vice president, Elara Capital, said.
Ola Electric led the volumes in July with 19,237 units, accounting for 35.5% market share, followed by TVS Motor Co. with 10,330 units and a 19% market share. Ather Energy with a 12.2% share (6,607 units), Bajaj Auto (7.5%; 4,089 units) and Okinawa (4.2%; and 2,263 units), also aided the growth in e-two-wheeler sales in July.
In the case of passenger vehicles, factory-gate dispatches (PVs) rose 3% to 352,492 units in July, compared to 341,971 units in the previous year. Despite the industry clocking its highest-ever PV wholesale dispatches last month, growth was muted at just 3% because of the high base during the Q2FY23, when PV sales had peaked.
Maruti Suzuki, the country’s largest carmaker, saw 6.5% growth in sales to 152,126 units in July compared to 142,850 units a year ago. However, growth in the PV sector, barring Maruti Suzuki, was just at 0.6%.
A major contributor to the PV industry growth was sport utility vehicle (SUV) maker Mahindra & Mahindra, with its UV sales witnessing a 30% rise at 36205 units. Rival Tata Motors saw a flat month compared to June, with PV dispatches, including EVs up by just 0.1% over a year ago to 47,689 units. However, its EVs sales grew 52.9% year-on-year in July to 6,329 units, while shipment of its internal combustion engine (ICE) passenger vehicles contracted 5% from a year earlier to 41,360 units.
South Korean carmaker Hyundai, too, saw flat sales, with shipments up by just 0.45 to 50,701 units, compared to 50,500 units a year ago.
“If you look at the cumulative wholesale figure from April to July, for the passenger vehicle industry, sales stood at 13,48,466 against 12,52,407 units in a year ago. That’s a growth of 7.7%. Maruti Suzuki’s PV sales in the domestic market (for the April-July period) was at 566,000 units against 512,000 units in the year-ago. That’s a growth of 10.6%. Again, Maruti’s growth has been faster than the industry," Shashank Srivastava, senior executive director, Maruti Suzuki, said.
“Our market share grew by 1.1% over last year, and is now at 43.3% compared to 41.8%. However, industry retail was at 319,000 units against wholesale volumes of 362,500 units, which means a 33,500 unit difference between retail and wholesale. Stock levels in the industry are up. We started July with a stock of 260,000 units (industry-wide), which is now gone up to 294,000. This is almost 30 days of inventory for the industry. If you consider pre-covid, this is the highest stock in four years."
“In terms of SUV sales, Maruti Suzuki became the number one player in July. But on a cumulative basis, we are equal with Mahindra. In July, our SUV sales were at 42,620 against 36,124 for the next-placed OEM, Mahindra," he said.
SUVs now account for just over 49% of all passenger vehicle sales in India.
Meanwhile, sales of two-wheelers remained muted in July, with Hero MotoCorp and Bajaj Auto reporting a sharp dip in sales, with domestic dispatches shrinking 13.8% (371,204 units) and 13.6% (141,990 units) for the two OEMs respectively in July, compared to the same month last year. TVS Motor Company, however, clocked a better-than-expected 16.5% growth in domestic two-wheeler dispatches at 235,230 units in July. Royal Enfield’s sales were up 42% but missed industry estimates. “A large part of inventory addition by two-wheeler makers will start from August due to the delayed festive season, while last year it has started from July . Additionally, heavy rainfall impacted retails in many places, especially the North of India", Jay Kale, senior vice president, Elara Capital told Mint.