Covid, fuel cost sequentially slows auto sales (Roundup)


Mumbai, June 1 (IANS) Covid's second wave, along with high fuel prices, dented the sequential growth of major automobile manufacturers in May.

Sales growth momentum slowed down from April to May but was faster on the year-on-year basis due to base effect.

Last year, the pandemic-triggered national lockdown from late March 2020 had a massive impact on the sector. It was only on June 1, 2020, that the partial unlock measures were implemented.

Auto major Maruti Suzuki reported total sales of 46,555 units in May 2021.

The auto major's total sales in the month included domestic sales of 33,771 units, sales to other OEMs 1,522 units and exports of 11,262 units.

It had sold 159,691 vehicles during April 2021 and 18,539 units in 2019.

"In May 2021, the Company shut production from 1 to 16 so as to divert oxygen from industrial use for medical purposes," Maruti Suzuki said.

"In May 2020, the company witnessed production disruption owing to lockdowns. Since neither of the two months had normal production, the sales volume of May 2021 are not comparable with May 2020."

Hyundai Motor India also reported an exponential increase in its May cumulative sales.

The company cumulatively sold 30,703 units in May 2021. It had reported an off-take of 12,583 units in May 2020.

Last month, its cumulative sales stood at 59,203 units.

Geography-wise, the domestic sales rose to 25,001 units from 6,883 units reported for the corresponding period of last year.

However, exports remained flat.

The company shipped out 5,702 units in May, a marginal rise from 5,700 units sold abroad in the like month of 2020.

Another auto giant, Mahindra & Mahindra's May overall auto sales rose to 17,447 units.

The total sales including passenger and commercial vehicles along with exports had stood at 9,560 units in May 2020.

It sold a total of 40,403 units of its vehicles last month, both in the domestic and the international markets.

In the utility vehicles segment, Mahindra sold 7,748 vehicles in May 2021, and in the passenger vehicles segment, it sold 8,004 vehicles.

M&M's Automotive Division CEO Veejay Nakra said: "We are seeing a strong growth momentum for our entire product portfolio. The Thar is clocking robust bookings, despite extended waiting periods. XUV300 has been a tremendous success and continues to see strong demand. Our power brands (Scorpio and Bolero) continue to do well."

"With the cases coming down and gradual opening up of markets, we foresee strong demand rebound. We are working closely with our supplier partners to manage supply chain issues and meet the market demand."

Another auto giant, Tata Motors'' domestic total sales for May rose to 24,552 vehicles sold, compared to an off-take of 4,418 units during the corresponding month of 2020.

In April, the company's total domestic sales stood at 39,530 units.

"Tata Motors Limited sales in the domestic and international market for May 2021 stood at 26,661 vehicles," the company said in a statement.

Furthermore, two- and three-wheeler manufacturer TVS Motor Company closed last month selling 166,889 units up from 58,906 units sold in May 2020.

In a statement, the company said it sold 166,889 units (two-wheelers 154,416 units, three-wheelers 12,473 units) as against 58,906 units (two-wheelers 56,218 units, three-wheelers 2,688 units) sold in May 2020.

Last month, the company shipped 114,674 units as against 17,707 units in May 2020.

In terms of the two-wheeler segment, Hero MotoCorp reported total sales of 1,83,044 units from 1,12,68 units sold during the corresponding period of last year.

The motorcycles and scooters manufacturer had sold 372,285 units in April 2021.

In addition, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India closed May 2021 with 58,168 unit sales.

This includes 38,763 domestic dispatches and 19,405 two-wheeler exports.

In April, Honda's total sales closed at 283,045 units, with 240,100 two-wheeler sales in domestic market.

"May''21 witnessed further slowdown in sales momentum with close to 80 per cent of the network being non-operational due to local lockdowns. The situation on ground is very dynamic with weekly announcement of lockdown extensions," Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India's Director, Sales & Marketing, Yadvinder Singh Guleria said.

"We are closely monitoring the situation and with some relaxations in economic activities visible across towns as per new guidelines, we are optimistic on gradual resumption in our dealership operations caring safety and convenience of the customers. Moving forward, we shall be aligning our production to meet the market demand accordingly," he added.

Acuite Ratings & Research's Chief Analytical Officer Suman Chowdhury said: "The sequential trajectory in auto sector sales is on a substantial decline in the face of the second Covid wave. Since a large number of states in India had imposed fairly strict lockdowns to contain the threatening rise in infections and mortalities, auto dealerships were either closed or partially operated during the month."

"Consequently, OEMs were not in a position to send fresh stocks to their dealers, leading to a severe drop in domestic despatches of both PVs and 2Ws."





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