India car sales
So it seems that the Indian car market is slowing down at the moment as new official figures show that passenger car sales fell by 17.7% last month versus the same month last year.
Two-wheeler sales were off by 16% and commercial vehicle sales were down by 6%.
Many see car sales as a proxy for economic health as high end urban consumption accounts for over a third of total consumption in India – so this represents the confidence of the affluent classes – sales of tractors and motorbikes reflect what’s going on in the rural economy and sales of commercial vehicles show what’s going on in small businesses.
Sales are down due to a clampdown on credit last year filtering down and news like this is going to be a bit embarrassing for current Prime Minister Modi, who’s in the middle of a general election campaign pushing the line that his government has presided over a period of economic growth.
India was on track to overtake both Japan and Germany as the world’s 3rd largest car market, but things are clearly slowing down, at least for the time being.
Next’s deal with Amazon
The other thing I wanted to mention today was Next’s deal with Amazon.
Basically, the two retailers have signed a agreement whereby Amazon customers can pick up their orders from branches of Next.
This is great for both sides, in my opinion, because it gives Amazon customers greater flexibility and it gives Next access to greater footfall, which should result in greater sales.
Amazon is looking to sign similar deals with other retailers, so this network is going to get larger.