The retail sale of passenger vehicles in September saw a year-on-year increase of 9.81%, data released by the Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations of India on Thursday showed. Total sales across different vehicle categories, however, declined 10.24% during the same period, PTI reported.

The retail sale figure for September 2020 stood at 1,95,665, as against 1,78,189 in the same month in 2019. This was the first time since March that passenger vehicles sales grew, according to The Hindu.

The increase in sales has been attributed to a growing demand for personal vehicles as people stayed away from public transport due to the coronavirus risks, The Economic Times reported.

“With social distancing in customer’s mind coupled with the government’s push to further normalise business conditions and banks becoming more considerate to finance vehicles, entry level passenger vehicles saw good demand thus indicating a preference for personal mobility over public transport,” Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations President Vinkesh Gulati said, according to PTI

“The top states which make up half of India’s economic output – Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat and West Bengal – are now showing signs of revival as economic activities in these states are at its peak since lockdown began in March. This has also helped in creating a demand for automobile sales.”

— Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations President Vinkesh Gulati

The sale of commercial vehicles in September 2020 reduced by 33.65% to 39,600 units, as compared to 59,683 units in September 2019. The sale of three wheelers in September, meanwhile, declined 58.86% year-on-year.

Two wheeler purchases reduced by 12.62% to 10,16,977 units last month, as against 11,63,918 units in September 2019.

The sale of tractors rose by 80.39% year-on-year in September. “Tractor sales in rural India continues its positive run as Kharif sowing witnessed record progress of area covered till date (1,116.88 lakh Ha [hectare] area sown compared to 1,066.06 lakh Ha area),” FADA said.

FADA President Vinkesh Gulati said that the association expected high growth in automobile sales during the festival season in October and November, and with no more planned lockdowns to tackle the coronavirus crisis, according to PTI.