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Friday, April 16, 2021

Auto sales jump in March on low base effect, personal mobility demand

While Maruti Suzuki posted a 92% rise in sales at 1.46 lakh units over that in March 2020, Hyundai and Tata Motors announced growth of 100% and 422%, respectively.

By: ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi |
April 2, 2021 5:15:28 am
Both dispatches and production were hit last year due to the Covid pandemic. (Reuters Photo/File)

Almost all leading car manufacturers posted a strong year-on-year sales growth in March on account of low base and demand for personal mobility. The companies benefitted from low base as sales in March 2020 were impacted by spread of Covid-19 and the stringent nationwide lockdown announcement in the last week of that month, which impacted production and sales of cars.

While Maruti Suzuki posted a 92 per cent rise in sales at 1.46 lakh units over that in March 2020, Hyundai Motor India (52,600 units) and Tata Motors (29,654 units) announced growth of 100 per cent and 422 per cent, respectively, in their sales last month.

Mahindra & Mahindra (16,700 units) and Toyota Kirloskar Motors (15,001 units), saw 393 per cent and 113 per cent jump in sales.

Even as companies have reported strong growth, industry insiders say that Covid fears loom large on the industry and the future remains unpredictable.

While automakers started posting improvement in sales from July 2020, when lockdown restrictions were relaxed, they continued to report strong numbers last month despite a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases.

Companies say that due to the rise in cases, there is a preference for personal mobility, leading to demand from consumers. At the same time, there has been a softening of demand in states that have seen sharp spikes in Covid infections and have imposed fresh measures to curb the spread.

“The PV (passenger vehicle) industry witnessed a strong growth in Q4FY21 on a low base with robust demand for personal mobility and new launches driving demand,” said Shailesh Chandra, president, PV business unit, Tata Motors. In FY21, Tata Motors reported its highest sales in last eight years.

Naveen Soni, senior VP, Toyota Kirloskar Motors, said that while the demand is there on account of preference for personal mobility, the future is unpredictable due to rising Covid cases across India.

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