A clear picture on whether demand in the automobile industry has improved or not would only appear after data on sales in December, as sales in October were largely driven by festival season demand, Bajaj Auto Ltd Executive Director Rakesh Sharma told news channel CNBC-TV18.
Retail sales in November may be negative compared to the corresponding month last year, when Diwali was celebrated. "So one should take combined numbers of October and November where one might see marginal positive growth zone," Sharma said.
"October had a good growth as the customers came up and made purchases after postponing them ahead of the festival season in hopes of better deals and tax cuts.
However, the company does not expect the festival surge to continue during November," Sharma said, adding that the company would, therefore, not continue the discounts offered in October at the same level during the month.
The festival season was important for all the auto-makers to reduce the inventory pile-up, after a year of muted growth.
Bajaj Auto said its opening inventory in November stood lower at around 30 days, after an uptick in sales in October, and added that it would like to keep it asset-light ahead of the transition to Bharat Stage-VI emission norms.
The company also does not plan to offer huge discounts to drive massive sales in December, just before the new year starts, as it feels that the BS-VI factor has not seeped into customers, and it is likely a major change would be seen in consumer behaviour only after January and February.