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Auto sales inching back to peak-period figures; easing of supply-chain bottlenecks aids growth

“If you look at 2018-19, which was a peak sales year… April and May sales were about 5,99,000 units [for the industry] and April-May this year is 5,88,000 units…so overall numbers look pretty good. If you look at pre-COVID 2019-20, which was not a good year for the industry, passenger vehicle sales were about 4,86,000 units for April-May

“If you look at 2018-19, which was a peak sales year… April and May sales were about 5,99,000 units [for the industry] and April-May this year is 5,88,000 units…so overall numbers look pretty good. If you look at pre-COVID 2019-20, which was not a good year for the industry, passenger vehicle sales were about 4,86,000 units for April-May | Photo Credit: NAGARA GOPAL

Most automobile makers reported healthy growth in dispatches to the dealers in May, albeit on a low volume base of May 2021 when the country was dealing with the second wave of the pandemic.

Market leader Maruti Suzuki sold 124,474 passenger vehicles (PVs) in the domestic market last month. In the year-ago period the company had sold 32,903 units. The company said that the sales figures of May 2022 are not comparable with that seen a year earlier, when the operations of the company ‘were significantly affected due to COVID-19 related disruptions’.

“The shortage of electronic components had a minor impact on the production of vehicles, mainly on domestic models. The company took all possible measures to minimise the impact,” it added.

“If you look at 2018-19, which was a peak sales year… April and May sales were about 5,99,000 units [for the industry] and April-May this year is 5,88,000 units…so overall numbers look pretty good. If you look at pre-COVID 2019-20, which was not a good year for the industry, passenger vehicle sales were about 4,86,000 units for April-May,” Shashank Srivastava, senior executive director (Marketing & Sales), Maruti Suzuki India, told The Hindu.

He added that Maruti had about 295,000 bookings pending, and the number for the industry was about 550,000 bookings. “Booking and enquiries seem pretty ok… but we have to see how inflation and interest rate pan out, moving forward,” Mr. Srivastava added.

Hyundai Motor India, which on Wednesday unveiled the new Venue, said its wholesales grew 69% to 42,293 units. “Both HMI plants in Chennai observed the scheduled biannual maintenance shutdown leading to no production for 6 days in the month (16th May to 21st May). This reduced the vehicle availability in the month affecting May sales numbers,” the company said.

For Tata Motors, total PV sales in the domestic market stood at 43,341 units, as against 15,181 in May 2021. Meanwhile, Mahindra and Mahindra said its passenger vehicle sales were up at 26,904 units. Veejay Nakra, president, Automotive Division, M&M Ltd., “With sales of 26632 SUVs in May, we continued the growth momentum with all our brands performing well including XUV700 and Thar. We are witnessing strong bookings and have a robust pipeline.”

He added that M&M Commercial Vehicles had also registered ‘strong’ growth across segments. “We are closely monitoring supply-chain related issues, which continue to constraint volumes and are taking appropriate actions to mitigate the impact,” he said.

While Honda Cars India registered monthly domestic sales of 8,188 units, Škoda Auto India sold 4,604 units.

Yuichi Murata, director, Marketing and Sales, Honda Cars India Ltd. said, “The demand for Honda cars continued to stay strong as positive sentiment prevailed in the market but the prolonged supply chain-related issues still remain a hindrance and we are making all efforts to cater to the demand effectively.”

Toyota Kirloskar Motor sold 10,216 units and Kia India registered sales of 18,718 units. MG Motor said it retailed 4,008 units in May 2022 “demonstrating improvement in chip availability, and [we] hope the situation will improve further in the subsequent months”.

In the two-wheeler segment, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India sold a total of 3,53,188 units with 3,20,844 in domestic sales and 32,344 units exported.

Atsushi Ogata, managing director, president & CEO, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India, said, “The market is gaining back strength as disturbances in terms of supply side are subsiding coupled with rise in physical presence at office and educational institutions. The sales figures this month remain incomparable from May’21 as frequent lockdowns in wake of second wave marred the performance during this period last year. Growth in domestic as well as international trade continues to complement each other as we approach an early monsoon.”

Chennai-based two wheeler maker TVS Motor Company sold 191,482 units in the domestic market last month, up from 52,084 units in May 2021. “The shortage in the supply of semiconductors has impacted the production and sales of premium two-wheelers. We are working aggressively with [alternative] sources and taking every effort to improve supplies at the earliest. Some improvement has been seen this month. We are optimistic that volumes will revive to normal levels once the semiconductor supplies improve,” the company said.

Royal Enfield sales grew 167% to 53525 units.


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Printable version | Aug 10, 2022 9:44:42 am | https://www.thehindu.com/business/auto-sales-inching-back-to-peak-period-figures-easing-of-supply-chain-bottlenecks-aids-growth/article65484865.ece