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Sunday, May 16, 2021

Car sales enter the slow lane as lockdowns hit sentiment

The country’s largest car manufacturer, Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL) reported sale of 1,35,879 units in April — the lowest sale in last five months.

By: ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi |
May 2, 2021 12:34:25 am
A year back, in April 2020, all passenger vehicle manufacturers had recorded nil sales on account of the stringent lockdown announced by the Central government, in a bid to control the spread of coronavirus.

As state-announced lockdowns, in varying proportions across the country in the wake of a sharp spike in Covid cases in April, hit sentiment and logistics, passenger vehicle sales witnessed a slowdown. The country’s largest car manufacturer, Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL) reported sale of 1,35,879 units in April — the lowest sale in last five months. Hyundai Motor India, too, announced a decline in sale, as it reported sale of 49,002 units in the domestic market, which is a four-month low.

Tata Motors, the third largest passenger vehicle manufacturer in the country, also witnessed a dip in domestic sales in April as it sold 25,095 units, as against 29,654 units in the previous month. Mahindra & Mahindra, however, announced sales of 18,285 units which was more than what it reported last month. Honda too announced growth in m-o-m sales at 9,072 units in April.

Toyota Kirloskar Motors announced a sharp dip in dispatches to dealers in April. It fell to 9,622 units, compared to 15,001 units in the previous month. MG Motor India, too, witnessed a sharp decline in sales over the previous month. While the company sold 5,528 units in March, it sold 2,565 units in April.

A year back, in April 2020, all passenger vehicle manufacturers had recorded nil sales on account of the stringent lockdown announced by the Central government, in a bid to control the spread of coronavirus.

While companies continued to witness good demand in April, industry insiders say the demand is driven by the growing need of personal mobility in times of a healthcare crisis that demands social distancing and a personal transport.

“Despite the challenges, we continue to witness good demand owing to personal mobility needs,” said Naveen Soni, Sr VP, TKM.

Sales are, however, expected to remain impacted in May too, as states are extending the lockdowns and some companies are going for production shutdowns in May.

Soni added that sporadic lockdowns impacting different states & cities for varying durations has increased logistical challenges.

Rajesh Goel, Sr VP and director, marketing & sales, Honda Cars India Ltd, said the current health calamity has struck the entire nation and has had an impact on the business and deliveries in the marketplace. “Many parts of the country have been on safety related lockdowns in the last couple of weeks and we see this continuing in the month of May, 2021,” said Goel.

Maruti Suzuki India Limited announced a shut down its factories in Haryana for nine days beginning May 1, 2021, in a bid to make oxygen available for medical needs. The company said while it goes for maintenance shutdown in June, it has advanced the same from May 1 to May 9.

Earlier, Hero MotoCorp, announced halt of operations at all its manufacturing facilities for four days, in a staggered manner between April 22 and May 1. It did so, taking into account the escalation in the spread of Covid-19 across the country.

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