Sales of passenger vehicles in India jumped 11 percent in April, the highest jump in five months, thanks to a solid demand for utility vehicles.
According to data provided by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, sales of passenger vehicles rose to 242,060 units last month, marking the strongest momentum this year. While sales of cars only increased by 1.87 percent to 162,566 units, the first gain in four months for this sector, the big sales driver was the sport utility vehicles segment. With a 42.83 percent growth to 62,170 units, it was the fastest pace since November 2012, said Vishnu Mathur, director general of the group. According to him, rural customers bought about 35 percent of cars, SUVs and vans sold in the country, as they are preparing for the upcoming rainy monsoon season. The overall commercial vehicles segment registered a growth of 17.36 percent in April, while sales of two-wheelers including scooters, motorcycles and mopeds increased 21 percent last month, the biggest gain since September 2014.
Despite these gains, the sales trend is seen to be slightly hampered for the year started in April, as large diesels keep being banned from registration in New Delhi. India’s automaker association lowered down its sales expectations two months in a row and it said the demand for passenger vehicles and commercial ones may grow up to 8 percent this year, down from the initial 11 percent forecast.