Affordability and convenience of two-wheelers seem to have overtaken that of cars in the state.
Going by the latest statistics furnished by the transport department for the financial year 2013-14, the sale of two-wheelers in Patna surged for the seventh consecutive year, while that of cars dipped for two years in a row, pointing to the trend.
A growth of 15 per cent in 2013-14 from a meagre 0.5 per cent in 2012-13 helped the two-wheeler market in the city boom in the past fiscal. Apparently, the sale of two-wheelers had witnessed a slump in the city over the past few years. From a 24 per cent surge in the financial year 2010-11, it slipped to 14 per cent in 2011-12 and further to 0.5 per cent in 2012-13. On the other hand, the reduced growth in the city’s car market increased from 9.18 per cent in 2012-13 to 11.9 per cent in 2013-14.
In terms of actual figures, the number of two-wheelers registered in the state increased from 58,134 in 2012-13 to 66,889 in the last financial year, 2013-14. The corresponding figures stood at 22,500 in 2006-07. Car sale in the city reduced from 12,537 in 2012-13 to 11,033 in 2013- 14.
The trend in Bihar is reflected through the countrywide sale figures across different automobile segments in the past six financial years by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers website, www.siamindia.com.
Dealers of two-wheelers echoed claims of having slightly benefited from the slide in car sale. “Though there is a recession in the market, the two-wheeler sector is still sustainable. However, even in that, the sale of scooters and mopeds were more than motorcycles. We sold around 250 vehicles per month on an average in the financial year 2013-14,” said Amar Pandey, managing director, Amarjyoti Auto Private Limited.
A similar rising trend in the sale of two-wheelers and dip in car sale was observed for the entire state in the financial year 2013-14 as compared to 2012-13. In holistic terms, the automobile sector in Bihar witnessed a growth of 11.44 per cent in terms of sale of vehicles in the financial year 2013-14.
An analysis of the vehicle registration figures suggests that the car markets across the state, including that of Patna, have been almost stagnant since 2011-12.
City car dealers attributed the declining sale to slowdown in the economy.
“The boom in the sale of car was good till 2010-11 and comparatively fair in the year 2011-12 as well. However, the industry started witnessing negative growth from the year 2012-13 and it continued in the last fiscal as well. Besides, the slowdown affects the high-end consumer durables or luxury items first, and in India cars come in this category itself. Consequently, the sale of car has plunged during the slowdown observed during the past couple of years,” said Narendra Kumar, director (plan), Alankar Auto Sale and Services Private Limited.
Narendra added that many people who could not afford to buy cars owing to the slowdown, bought two-wheelers with the extra money from savings and other sources.
Figures with the transport department also indicated that Muzaffarpur ranked second in terms of sale of cars and two-wheelers after Patna in the financial year 2013-14. Of total 23,413 cars sold in the state, 3,695 cars were sold in Muzaffarpur followed by Vaishali with 1,371 cars sold. In terms of two-wheelers, 55,575 two-wheelers were sold in Muzaffarpur in the financial year 2013-14 followed by 16,445 two-wheelers in Samastipur and 16,375 two-wheelers in Bettiah.
The figures also suggest that bus operations in the state capital expanded in the last financial year. The sale of buses in Patna surged from 244 in 2012-13 to 308 in 2013-14 and that of taxis slipped from 1,488 in 2012-13 to 1,242 in 2013-14.