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Sept auto sales preview: Did the festive season drive strong wholesales? Analysts divided

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Sept auto sales preview: Did the festive season drive strong wholesales? Analysts divided

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Automakers are set to release September sales data from Saturday. Brokerage firm Nomura estimates four-wheelers will see their best-ever sales while the demand for trucks and two-wheelers will remain healthy. Only two-wheelers might suffer. But some analysts think otherwise.

Automakers in India are all geared up to release September sales data from Saturday onwards. Brokerage firm Nomura feels the early festive season could have managed to drive strong wholesales for the auto sector in India. But some experts feel otherwise.  

Ahead of the sales numbers, Nomura estimated that four-wheeler firms would see their best-ever sales. The passenger vehicle space saw a slew of new launches, such as from Mahindra & Mahindra and Maruti Suzuki India, which are expected to have boosted sales.
Commercial vehicle sales would also see healthy growth, as per the firm's estimates, which might benefit Ashok Leyland and Tata Motors the most.
Though there was domestic demand for two-wheelers, according to the brokerage firm, the segment might see poor numbers on the exports front. Bajaj Auto might report a 5.7 percent fall, according to Nomura. This could be due to poor sales in the rural markets.
Hero MotoCorp had posted a 1.92 percent rise in sales in August against the year-ago period but had anticipated the growth momentum to go up in the coming months as a consequence of a typical festive season after a two-year hiatus, a stronger monsoon resulting in a fair agricultural crop and positive consumer attitudes, as well as a robust rise in the country's GDP.
In an exclusive chat with CNBC-TV18, Jay Kale, Senior Vice President-Research at Elara Capital, said overall volumes during Ganesh Chaturthi and Onam festivals in Maharashtra and Karnataka were 20 percent lower compared to the FY19 volumes.
"There hasn’t been much improvement in September demand versus what was going on from April to August," Kale told CNBC-TV18. 
Echoing the same sentiment, Samir Arora, founder and fund manager at Helios Capital, told CNBC-TV18 that in 2022 overall auto sales might be lower than in 2019 (pre-pandemic levels). 
“Auto sales have been low because of not getting semiconductors or because of confusion amongst buyers for EV cars. It is all pent-up because you are not producing enough, so it looks a bit of a shortfall, but otherwise, it's just normal numbers,” Arora said. 
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