Passenger vehicle wholesale takes a hit in October due to semiconductor shortage even as customers throng showrooms

Passenger vehicle wholesale takes a hit in October due to semiconductor shortage even as customers throng showrooms

The wholesale of passenger vehicles (PV), or cars dropped by more than a fifth in October despite growing consumer demand and months-long waiting periods at showrooms, as a shortage of semiconductors limited production.
and Hyundai, the largest two carmakers in the domestic market, reported a decline in sales of over 30% year-on-year each – dragging the entire market into the red. Tata Motors, meanwhile, reported 44% growth, outpacing the entire market.

The PV companies that revealed October data on Monday cumulatively reported a decline of 20% year-on-year in wholesale numbers to 260,098 units.

Automakers in India report wholesale dispatches from factories to showrooms and not retail sales made to customers.

In the two-wheeler segment, demand at the entry-level continued to be a cause of concern. The three companies which revealed sales figures on Monday reported a cumulative decline of 19% in domestic sales.

Meanwhile, commercial vehicle (CV) makers saw marginal signs of growth, as demand for trucks and smaller pick-up vehicles slowly inched upwards from the lows of last year. Cumulatively, CV makers reported sales growth of 2.1% in the domestic market in October.

“As far as the commercial vehicle recovery is concerned it is more gradual than we would have liked. Where we see challenges at this point in time is the retail segment of the fleet or people who buy one or two trucks,” said PB Balaji, the group chief financial officer at Tata Motors.

PV market leader Maruti Suzuki in a statement said the decline in production could have been higher if not for the measures it took to minimise the impact. “Accordingly, the company sold more vehicles than the sales volume expected at the start of the month,” the Delhi-based carmaker said.

Executives across PV companies said demand continued to remain robust, but it was supply that was an issue.

“Demand in the market has been robust in the last few months and this can be attributed to various factors besides pent-up demand. Customer orders too have been on a constant rise, restoring normalcy in demand trends when compared to pre-Covid times,” said V Wiseline Sigamani, associate general manager, sales and strategic marketing, Toyota Kirloskar Motor.

The high demand and low production meant that waiting periods for popular models have become as high as 5-6 months. In extreme cases, customers may have to wait for a year to get their new car.

MG Motor in a press statement said “the challenge to ensure timely deliveries is likely to persist through November and December and we expect this to get better in Q1 next year.”

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