Passenger vehicle sales soar 47 per cent in July


Passenger vehicle sales soared 47% year on year in July, driven by pent-up demand as state governments eased Covid-induced restrictions as well as low base a year ago.

Industry estimates that carmakers dispatched around 290,000 passenger vehicles last month, up from 197,791 units in July 2020.

Automakers in India report wholesale dispatches from factories and not retail sales made by dealers.

Market leader sold 133,732 units last month, up 37% compared to July 2020. The company, however, said the year-on-year comparison “is not meaningful because July ’20 had a much lower base due to pandemic-related disruptions”.

But then, the overall market condition has improved.

“After the unlock, which started in the middle of June, there has been a sharp increase in enquiries, bookings and retail sales,” Shashank Srivastava, senior executive director (marketing and sales) at Maruti Suzuki, had told ET last week. “Of course, there is an element of pent-up demand as markets were shut for about one-and-a-half months,” he had said.

Hyundai Motor India (HMIL), the country’s second-largest carmaker, reported a 26% year-on-year increase in volumes in July at 48,042 units.

“A positive growth momentum is clearly visible in the passenger vehicle industry with the stabilisation of macro-economic factors, good monsoons and increase in consumer shift towards personal mobility,” said Tarun Garg, director (sales, marketing & service) at HMIL.

Homegrown

doubled its passenger vehicle sales last month at 30,185 units while its Japanese rival Toyota dispatched 13,105 passenger vehicles – more than double of 5,386 units it sold in July 2020.

“July has been a good month for us as we have witnessed a significant surge in both demand as well as wholesales numbers for a second month in a row,” said V Wiseline Sigamani, associate general manager (sales and strategic marketing) at Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM). “Our pending orders were already very encouraging since June and in July, our retail sales have also been promising, thereby drastically bringing down the gap between wholesale and retail figures.”

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Its compatriot Honda sold 6,055 cars last month against 5,383 units a year earlier.

With market sentiments improving with Covid-19 infections staying low, the company hopes the upcoming festive period will help the industry to maintain this momentum, said Rajesh Goel, senior vice president and director (marketing & sales) at Honda Cars India. “However, we will keep a closer watch on the challenges related to pandemic and rising cost of acquisition of cars due to price hike from this month,” he said.

Nissan – which saw a more than a five-fold increase in monthly sales at 4,259 units on back of demand for its compact SUV Magnite – said challenges persist due to global shortage of semi-conductors and components.

MG Motor, which doubled sales to 4,225 units last month, too, expressed concern over chips availability.

“The severe shortage of chips is expected to continue for some time and will lead to supply constraints,” said Rakesh Sidana, director (sales) at MG Motor India. “While we expect overall consumer demand to rise, we should also remain cautious of the potential threats posed by the third wave.”

In the commercial vehicle segment, market leader Tata Motors registered 81% increase in volumes at 21,796 units, albeit on a low base. VECV more than doubled its sales year on year in July at 3,631 units.



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