The country's auto industry has been hit for the past two years. However, it looks forward to good sales during the ongoing festival season. So how are the sales this year? Despite the pandemic, the auto industry is betting big amid a bleak year. Car manufacturers and dealers are upbeat this festive season.
In Mumbai, a showroom in Prabhadevi has over 20 orders up for delivery this Dussehra and the sentiment is riding high for Diwali as well.
"Considering the market situation post-covid, the numbers we have gained and enquiries and deliveries that we had are exceptionally well," said Azmeen, a car sales consultant at this showroom.
And this sentiment is reflected across showrooms in Mumbai.
Amar Sheth, who manages three showrooms in the city, saw a 20 per cent increase in his enquiries between August and September, and a 10 per cent rise in actual deliveries during this period. He is hoping for a good festive season, but is also wary of what will happen post-Diwali.
"From whatever signals we are getting, sales will be good till Diwali but don't know what will happen post Diwali. Is this a pent-up demand or what, and if this is the case, then sales will drop post Diwali," said Mr Sheth, managing director, Shaman group.
The auto industry was reeling under pressure for two years now. But according to data released by the Federation of Automobile Dealers Association, overall vehicle registrations in September went up by 14 per cent compared to the previous month.
According to a government portal, vehicle registrations for all vehicles in Mumbai have reached 12,867 so far in October, compared to 10,765 in the previous month.
Industry experts say the main reasons for the uptick in sales are pent-up demand, personal mobility and Covid-19 induced fear of public transport.
Currently, the inventory for two-wheelers is at 45-60 days while the inventory pile-up for four-wheelers is about a month, says Mr Sheth.
Vinkesh Gulati, president Federation of Automobile Dealers Association, also attributes this to the need for cars that people feel because of the pandemic.
"If we talk about Mumbai, Mumbai local is still not functioning fully and public transport is not that great. So this is helping us see the growth in the auto sector," he says.
Whether and when the auto industry's dream run will begin is anybody's guess right now but the ongoing festive season is definitely providing some hope to the industry.