Base effect along with a rebound in domestic demand led major automobile players to report healthy year-on-year and sequential sales numbers for September.
Analysts cited factors such as healthy monsoon, pent up demand and preference for personal mobility over public transport due to the pandemic as other key reasons for the upswing.
Leading the pack was automobile major Maruti Suzuki’s total sales in September rose over 30 per cent to 160,442 units from 122,640 units sold during the corresponding month of last year.
“This is a growth of 30.8 per cent over the same period previous year. The performance has to be seen in the context of lower base of September 2019. Total sales include domestic sales of 150,040 units and 2,568 units for other OEMs. In addition, the company exported 7,834 units in September 2020,” the company said in a statement.
“However, the company’s sales during the first half of FY21 declined by 36.6 per cent to 469,729 units over H1 April-September (FY2019-20).
Similarly, automobile major Hyundai Motor India’s cumulative sales rose during September. It increased by 3.8 per cent to 59,913 units from an offtake of 57,705 units sold during the like period of the previous year.
The company’s total domestic offtake during the month under review increased by 23.6 per cent to 50,313 units from 40,705 units sold during the corresponding month of last year.
However, the company’s exports fell by 43.5 per cent to 9,600 units during the month under review from 17,000 units shipped out during September 2019.
“In the changing business environment, the green shoots of recovery are clearly visible with sales improving on a month-on-month as well as year on year basis,” said Tarun Garg, Director (Sales, Marketing & Service), Hyundai Motor India Limited.
“We are confident that the coming festive season will drive the market on a steady recovery path with positive customer sentiments.”
However, auto majors such as Mahindra and Mahindra reported a fall of 17 per cent in its total sales during September, on a year-on-year basis.
The company sold 35,920 units, including exports, last month, compared to 43,343 vehicles sold during the same period last year.
It reported a fall of 16 per cent in domestic sales last month to 34,351 units from an offtake of 40,692 units in September 2019.
“With market sentiments indicating a robust festive demand across segments, both in rural and urban markets, we are positive that this festive season will augur well for us as well as the automotive industry,” said Veejay Nakra, Chief Executive Officer, Automotive Division, M&M.
Other auto giant Tata Motors’ domestic sales rose 37 per cent to 44,444 units from 32,376 sold during the corresponding period of 2019.
The total passenger vehicles segment of the company rose 163 per cent to 21,199 units from 8,097 units sold in September 2019.
In terms of two-wheelers, Hero MotoCorp’s sales rose 16.9 per cent in September to 715,718 units over the corresponding month of the previous year, when the company had sold 612,204 units.
Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) reported positive sales growth for the second consecutive month in FY21.
The company’s YoY domestic sales zoomed by double digit 10 per cent growth to close at 500,887 units compared to 455,896 units sold in September 2019).
“With additional 25,978 units’ export, Honda clocked total sales of 526,865 units in Sep’20 (vs 485,663 unit total sales in Sep’19),”.
Two-wheeler and commercial vehicle manufacturer Bajaj Auto too reported a healthy growth in total sales during September on a year-on-year basis.
Its total sales during the month under review grew by 10 per cent to 441,306 units from 402,035 units sold during the corresponding month of 2019.
Another two-and-three-wheeler major TVS Motor Company registered a sales growth of 14 per cent in September 2020 with 327,692 units as against 287,398 units in August 2020.
The company registered sales of 327,692 units in September 2020 as against 315,796 units registered in the month of September 2019.
Commenting on the sales numbers, Sridhar V, Partner, Grant Thornton Bharat LLP said: “Passenger vehicle wholesale sales numbers indicate a clear demand catchup happening and normalcy slowly returning to the industry.”
“The sentiments are turning positive and one is hoping it should strengthen during the festive season.”
Additionally, Suman Chowdhury, Chief Analytical Officer at Acuite Ratings and Research said: “In our opinion, the encouraging data on factory despatches by automobile companies reflect three factors – the continuing importance of personal mobility in a pandemic environment, improved demand environment in the rural and semi-urban areas vis-a-vis a lower base last year and the increased stocking by dealers in expectation of a pent up demand during the ensuing festive season.”
“Clearly, the need for personal mobility has got significantly enhanced in the wake of the pandemic and the continuing disruption in the public transportation system.”
According to Shamsher Dewan, Vice President, ICRA: “A strong performance by 2W OEMs in September 2020 likely reflects the channel filling before the upcoming festive season.”
“It is expected that a low base, upbeat rural sentiments and increased preference for personal mobility would support retail demand in the festive season. Nonetheless, the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic persists and recovery is expected to be gradual at best.”