The passenger vehicle (PV) sales in India have already surpassed the 2020 calendar year numbers by October this year. The industry is now looking at surpassing the 2019 figures and although the companies suffered a lot because of the semiconductor shortage, they are hoping for the best in the coming months.

They are also positive to end 2021 with at least similar or a bit higher number in the sales as compared to 2019 numbers, industry veterans told BusinessLine.

In the 2019 calendar year, the PV sales were at 29,62,052 units, which dropped to 24,33,464 units in 2020. But, this year by November (January-November) the industry has already seen sales of 27,63,276 units as per the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) data.

‘Hard to predict’

“The situation seems to be improving and better now. September was around 40 per cent of our total production at plants, October was around 60 per cent, November was 82-83 per cent and in December also, it should be 85-86 per cent. However, it is quite dynamic and it is difficult to predict when things would be normal...it is not just Maruti Suzuki and one vendor on India but all original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) around the globe,” Shashank Srivastava, Senior Executive Director (Marketing & Sales), Maruti Suzuki India told BusinessLine .

He said the company has an order book of around 2.50 lakh vehicles right now and if the chip shortages issue is solved, then delivery to customers would also be quicker.

Similarly, Hyundai Motor India (HMIL) also has an order book of around one-lakh vehicles at the moment, SS Kim, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, HMIL, said.

Also read: Total EV sales may see triple-digit growth this fiscal, led by e-2Ws: Report

“The demand is still strong and customers want quick delivery of their purchase...it is quite a dynamic market right now and changed a lot over the last two years. But, if the supply issues are solved and stabilised in the coming year, the automotive industry will see strong growth. Hyundai Motor India is expected to grow by around 20 per cent this year over the last year (2020),” Kim said. The company had sold around 4.23 lakh vehicles last year.

On new launches both the companies said there shouldn’t be any effect because of the current situation unless it becomes a really bad and a big drop in production levels.

“If there is a situation like the first wave and second wave of Covid-19, where there are localised lockdowns, then of course, it will get affected surely. But, we are yet to see that situation and carefully watch how Omicron spreads,” Srivastava said.

Semiconductor supply concerns

Tata Motors, which has grown strong with its electric vehicles (EVs) line-up this year said, the company expects the demand for passenger vehicles – both in internal combustion engine (ICE) and EVs – to remain strong even as concerns about the supply of semiconductors and high input costs continue alongside the uncertainties connected with the Omicron variant.

“We are taking definitive actions in the near term to mitigate the effects of the said supply chain impediments through an agile, multi-pronged approach to address supply bottlenecks and drive our savings programme that much more efficiently. In parallel, we continue to progress our future-fit initiatives of transforming customer experience digitally and strengthening our leadership in sustainable mobility,” Shailesh Chandra, President, Passenger Vehicle Business Unit, Tata Motors, said.

Also read: Chip crunch forces carmakers to cut down on bells and whistles

He said the company was sure to have a wide appeal across consumer segments, which is also reflected in its market share of 11 (year to date), up from 7.1 per cent same period last year. According to analysts also, OEMs are looking at such product mixes to gain market share and would see more in 2022.

“Creative heads in automotive companies are re-juggling the product mix both at model and variant level. This will help them to cut on long waiting periods and convert bookings into sales. In 2022 we do feel demand will remain strong however industry will still be away from 2018 volumes primarily due to the chip crisis especially in the first half of 2022,” Puneet Gupta, Director, Automotive Sales Forecasting at IHS Markit said.

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