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Total sales in the domestic market improved to 2,15,916 passenger vehicles last month, from 1,89,129 in August 2019, according to industry body SIAM. The number includes sales of passenger cars, utility vehicles and vans. The latest data brings some hope for the auto industry, which has struggled against weak demand and shrinking production due to the fallout from COVID-19 and related restrictions.
The improvement in the overall sales indicates trends of recovery for the automobile industry, the industry body said in a statement.
“After a period of lull owing to the COVID-19-imposed lockdowns, the month of August 2020 has witnessed improvement in the sales figures of two-wheelers and passenger vehicles... Industry is positive that the coming festive season will pave the way for a faster revival," said Rajesh Menon, director general, SIAM.
Passenger car sales in the domestic market picked up 14.13 per cent to 1,24,715 vehicles, from 1,09,277 in August 2019.
Sales of two-wheelers - including scooters, motorcycles, and mopeds - rose 3 per cent to 1,559,665 units, data showed.
"We are beginning to observe growth which is instilling the confidence back into the industry, especially in the two-wheeler and the passenger vehicle segments," SIAM president Kenichi Ayukawa said.
Total production of passenger vehicles, however, declined 3.09 per cent in August.
In the first five months of current financial year (April-August), passenger vehicle sales stood at 5,52,429 units, down 49.41 per cent compared to the year-ago period.
Industry body SIAM said in July that the country's auto sales volumes would take another 3-4 years to reach 2018 levels as the coronavirus pandemic affected the sector already reeling under poor demand.
Meanwhile, the country's economy shrank a record 23.9 per cent in the quarter ended June 30, as the coronavirus pandemic-triggered restrictions impacted economic activity, forcing businesses across industries to trim operations.