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Friday, September 17, 2021

Easing curbs, low cases unlock sentiment: Car sales in fast lane

The country's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India's (MSI) domestic sales increased by 39 per cent to 1,41,238 units last month as against 1,01,307 units in July 2020, the company said in a statement.

By: ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi |
Updated: August 2, 2021 10:31:55 am
The Maruti Suziki factory in Manesar, Haryana. (Express Photo: Amit Mehra, File)

Car sales picked up pace in July in line with dip in Covid cases, relaxation in lockdowns across the country and improvement in macroeconomic conditions and consumer sentiment. Market leader Maruti Suzuki announced domestic passenger vehicle sales of 1,33,732 units in July, up 36 per cent over last year and 7.5 per cent higher than June 2021. Hyundai Motor India, too, announced a 25.8 per cent y-o-y jump in sales in July at 48,042 units.

Among other players, Tata Motors saw its domestic PV sale at 30,185 units in July, up 101 per cent over that of last July. Honda Cars announced sales of 6,055 units in the domestic market, up from 1,398 units in July 2020. Similarly, Nissan, MG Motor and Skoda reported healthy growth in sales last month, following improved market sentiment and despite supply constraints of semi-conductors.

With decline in Covid cases and relaxation in lockdowns across states, car manufacturers reported a month-on-month improvement in wholesale numbers in July. While sales dipped sharply in May, following stringent lockdown conditions on account of sharp rise in Covid cases, the situation has been improving over last couple of months.

While MSI saw its sales dip to 32,903 units in May, Hyundai Motor and Tata Motors had seen their sales fall to 25,001 units and 15,181 units, respectively, in May. As Covid cases jumped in May, several companies advanced their maintenance shutdown in May and shut production for a large part of the month. However, sales have picked up over the last two months and is rising progressively in line with opening up of dealer outlets.’

“A positive growth momentum is clearly visible in the passenger vehicle industry with the stabilisation of macro-economic factors, good monsoons and increase in consumer shift towards personal mobility,” said Tarun Garg, director, sales, marketing and service, Hyundai Motor India.

Rajesh Goel, sr VP and director, marketing & sales, Honda Cars India, said market sentiment has improved amid prevailing lower Covid infection rate, adding he expects the “upcoming festive period will help the industry to maintain this momentum”. He, however, said the industry will keep a closer watch on the challenges related to Covid and rising cost of acquisition of cars due to price hike from this month.

Maruti Suzuki witnessed sales growth across utility vehicles, compact segment and mini segments. While the sales in mini segment, comprising Alto and S-Presso, stood at 19,685 units, compared to 17,258 units in the year-ago month, the compact segment that includes models, such as WagonR, Swift, Celerio, Ignis, Baleno and Dzire, rose 36 per cent to 70,268 units as against 51,529 cars in July last year. The UV segment including Vitara Brezza, S-Cross and Ertiga witnessed a strong 68 per cent growth as it rose to 32,272 units last month as compared to 19,177 in July 2020.

While Nissan India reported a multi-fold jump in its domestic sales at 4,259 units in July, up from 784 units in year-ago month, MG Motor India reported a two-fold increase in retail sales at 4,225 units last month, compared to sold 2,105 units in July 2020. Skoda Auto India, too, saw three-fold increase in sales at 3,080 units compared to 922 units in July 2020.

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