Base-effect drives March auto sales to new ‘highs’

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on April 02, 2021

Automobile companies posted exponential growth in their year-on-year wholesale numbers in March mainly because of the low base effect due to Covid-related disruptions last year.

In the passenger vehicle segment, market leader Maruti Suzuki India Ltd (MSIL) reported despatch of 1,46,203 units in the domestic market in March compared with 76,240 units in the same month last year. However, on a yearly basis, its sales fell by more than 8 per cent to 12.94 lakh units compared with 14.14 lakh units in 2019-20.

“Domestic sales in March 2020 had dropped about 48 per cent due to Covid-19-related disruptions. However, domestic sales in March 2021 have only recovered to March 2019 levels,” the company said.


No 2 PV manufacturer Hyundai Motor India sold 52,600 units in in the domestic market; doubling that sold in March 2020 (26,300 units). Tata Motors recorded domestic sales of 29,654 units in March against 5,676 units in the same month last year.

Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) said the company sold 15,001 units in March compared with 7,023 units in the corresponding month last year. “Last month witnessed the highest-ever domestic sales since 2013, helping us clock 114 per cent growth over March 2020,” Naveen Soni, Senior Vice-President at TKM, said.

Honda Cars India also recorded a 92 per cent YoY growth at 7,103 units in March against 3,697 units in March last year. Rajesh Goel, Senior Vice-President and Director, Marketing & Sales, Honda Cars India, said, “The supply constraints due to continuing global shortage of semiconductors have impacted production volume and dispatches, particularly for Honda City in March.”

In the two-wheeler and commercial vehicle segments, too, companies recorded higher growth on a yearly basis. Hero MotoCorp recorded a 72 per cent growth YoY at 5,44,340 units compared with 3,16,685 units in March 2020.

Like others, the company also recorded a decline of 10 per cent in yearly sales to around 55.60 lakh units in FY21 compared with 62.31 lakh units in FY20.

According to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), March 2020 sales were unusually low due to the lockdown. Hence, comparing March 2021 sales figures with 2020 March figures may not portray a correct picture.

Published on April 01, 2021

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