Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations' (FADA) registrations for January indicated a slowdown in auto sales. Maruti Suzuki, too, reported growth in low single digit sales in January. This after their third quarter earnings were under pressure due to higher raw material prices.
Shashank Srivastava, ED-Marketing and Sales at Maruti Suzuki, said the Vaahan data comes with a lag and so one needs to read it with caution. "As far as registrations data of FADA which was released yesterday, the Vaahan based statement. We have to look at that data with a little bit of caution. There is a lag in the Vaahan data and we have seen it previously. In October-November it was said that dealers are carrying very high inventories based on the Vaahan data which on the ground was incorrect. So something similar is what you find here,” he said in an interview to CNBC-TV18.
He said that states like Telangana and Andhra Pradesh which contribute about 12% sales are not part of Vaahan numbers. "About 14% of the RTOs are not part of the Vaahan data. The states of Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, and Andhra Pradesh, these are not part of Vaahan and they comprise of about 12% of sales,” he said.
He added that there are 18 states where registration happens 2-3 weeks after actual sales. "This is a phenomena in the month end, especially in December to January where people want to beat the price hike or they want to take advantage of higher promo schemes of December get the vehicles delivered but registrations happen a little later. Vaahan shows registration and that lag can be as high as 3 weeks in many states. There are about 18 states where you can deliver the vehicle with temporary registration and the actual registration happens after 3 weeks. They are about 47% of the total sales," he said.
Srivastava said Maruti was not impacted by the shortage in semi-conductors. He said that production was normal in January and continues to be so in February as well. "As far as our factory is concerned, we went through a normal production in January and also we are going through a normal production in February. However, it is a global issue where a lot of manufacturers have got affected and we are watching the situation very closely,” he said.
He added that sales continue to recover and that they are only 15% below last year's levels. "Things are getting better month-on-month (MoM). April was zero for the industry as also for Maruti Suzuki. So, Q1 it was minus 78% or something. But H1 ended with minus 34%. We had good growth in Q2 and Q3 as well. So we have now come to about minus 15% in January,” he said.Watch video for more.