Automobile companies across segments reported a multi-fold decline in dispatches in May over April because of lockdowns imposed in most States to combat the Covid second wave.
Passenger vehicles market leader Maruti Suzuki India reported a 76 per cent decline month-on-month (MoM) in May to 32,903 units compared with 1,35,879 units dispatched in April. The No.2 manufacturer, Hyundai Motor India, also reported a decline of 49 per cent in May, dispatching 25,001 units compared to 49,002 units in April.
‘Nexon’ maker Tata Motors reported 39 per cent M-o-M sales drop to 15,181 units in May (25,095 units in April). M&M, Honda Cars India, Kia India and MG Motors sales also declined in double digits on a monthly basis.
Tae-Jin Park, Chief Sales and Business Strategy Officer, Kia India, said that the Covid-19 second wave had made things tough for all businesses and the automobile industry was no exception, as normal business operations got disturbed. “We are confident that the need for personal mobility and pent-up demand will drive the recovery for the entire industry in the months to come,” he said.
Two-wheeler sales down
In the two-wheelers segment, market leader Hero MotoCorp reported a decline of 53 per cent in May at 1,59,561 units against 3,42,614 units dispatched in April. Bajaj Auto, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India, TVS Motor and Royal Enfield also reported double-digit decline in sales in may over April.
“May witnessed a 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. We are closely monitoring the situation,” said Yadvinder Singh Guleria, Director – Sales & Marketing, HMSI.
The commercial vehicle segment also saw decline in numbers on a sequential basis in may, with companies such as Ashok Leyland, Volvo Eicher, Tata Motors and M&M reporting lower sales.
In the tractor/farm equipment segment, both M&M and Escorts reported a dip in sales.
However, with cases coming down, and gradual unlocking, the industry expects a strong demand rebound.
“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,” said Veejay Nakra, Chief Executive Officer, Automotive Division, Mahindra & Mahindra.
Naveen Soni, Senior Vice-President, Toyota Kirloskar Motor, said that the overall market situation as well as consumer sentiments are better than May 2020. “In fact, we have even registered a 104 per cent growth in cumulative wholesale clocked from January to May this year compared to the same period last year,” he said.