Lockdown brake on March auto sales; Maruti sales skid 47%

S Ronendra Singh New Delhi | Updated on April 01, 2020 Published on April 01, 2020

Transition to BS-VI emission standards too affects auto majors’ performance

Amid the nation-wide lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the transition from BS-IV to BS-VI emission standards, major auto companies on Wednesday reported steep fall in their domestic sales in March.

For the country’s largest passenger car maker Maruti Suzuki India, the sales declined to 76,240 units during the month, down 47 per cent year-on-year (YoY) compared with 1,45,031 units in March 2019.

“The sales during March 2020 are not comparable with sales in March 2019 due to the suspension of operations with effect from March 22,, in line with national policy,” the company said.

Similarly, Hyundai Motor India, sold only 26,300 units in the domestic market, down 41 per cent y-o-y in March compared with 44,350 units in the corresponding month last year.

Toyota Kirloskar Motor also reported a decline of 55 per cent y-oy in sales to 7,023 units during last month as against 12,818 units in March 2019.

Home-grown companies, including Mahindra & Mahindra and Tata Motors, have also seen a drastic fall in their sales during March. While Tata Motors recorded sale of 5,676 units in March as against 17,810 units (-68 per cent), M&M recorded sale of only 3,384 units as against 27,646 units in March 2019 (-88 per cent).

“Vehicle sales was affected by the Covid-19 outbreak and the subsequent nationwide lockdown. However, the customer response to our newly launched models — the Altroz and the refreshed BS-VI range is encouraging. Our BS-IV vehicle stock is near-zero in the entire network,” said Mayank Pareek, president, Passenger Vehicles Business Unit, Tata Motors.

Veejay Ram Nakra, Chief Executive Officer, Automotive Division, M&M, said that the sales performance in March was muted due to the lockdown and the disruption in BS-VI ramp-up plan.


Supply of parts

“The latter was planned between February and March, but was affected due to the challenges of parts supply from global and local suppliers. We have been able to clear our BS-IV inventory, but for fewer than 100 vehicles. However, there are many vehicles that are sold, but not yet registered because of the closure of RTOs,” he added.

In the commercial vehicle segment, too, companies including Tata Motors, Ashok Leyland, Volvo Eicher and M&M reported a decline in sales of around 90 per cent y-o-y.

Two-wheeler companies, which are also likely to be hit, did not release numbers till the time of going to press.

Published on April 01, 2020

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