A majority of vehicle manufacturers ended 2020 on a positive note, registering good wholesales growth, and entering the new year with ‘cautious optimism’ driven by expectations of a V-shaped economic recovery.
Four-wheeler market leader Maruti Suzuki India said it dispatched more than 1.4 lakh passenger vehicles (PVs) to dealers in December 2020, a growth of 14.6% year-on-year. In addition, the sales of the company’s light commercial vehicle Super Carry more than tripled to 5,726 units, while exports rose 31.4% to 9,938 units.
Mitul Shah, head, Research, Reliance Securities, said auto firms delivered better-than-expected volumes in December with continuation of a positive growth trajectory for most segments.
He added that he expected volume traction to continue in the coming months.
Rival Hyundai posted its highest-ever sales for the December month at 47,400 units, up 25%. S.S. Kim, MD & CEO, said the firm achieved the milestone of highest production in a single month with 71,178 units last month. “We are proceeding with cautious optimism and positively anticipate green shoots of recovery in 2021.”
M&M saw PV sales grow 3% to 16,182 units. Veejay Nakra, CEO, Automotive Division, said demand remained strong even after the festival season. “Our overall sales have been affected due to the continuing supply chain challenges specifically the supply shortage of (semiconductors) used in the Electronic Control Unit.”
Tata Motors’ domestic PV sales zoomed 84% to 23,545 units. Shailesh Chandra, president, Passenger Vehicles Business Unit, said, that in Q3, PVs posted a growth of 89% — the highest-ever sales in the last 33 quarters. adding that retail sales in December were 18% higher than wholesales and that pipeline inventory remained thin.
Honda Cars India sold 8,638 units in December as against 8,412 units.
In CVs, M&M sold 16,795 vehicles in India, a drop of 21.5%. Tata Motors saw CV sales fall 5% to 29,885. While Ashok Leyland saw 14% growth in domestic CV sales at 11,857 units, VE Commercial Vehicles sales declined 7.7% to 4,069 units.
Hero MotoCorp saw domestic sales grow 5% to 4.27 lakh vehicles. It said the December volumes indicated the continuously improving consumer sentiment. The company expected the positive trend to continue in the new year. “Hero MotoCorp [clocked] its best-ever third quarter, with a 19.7% growth over [a year earlier]” it said.
Yamaha Motor India saw total sales rise 33% to 39,224 units. Bikemaker Royal Enfield said its domestic sales rose 35% to 65,492 units.