India’s leading passenger vehicle manufacturers increased production and dispatches to dealerships in July, compared to the preceding month, as states eased lockdown restrictions further following a sustained decline in Covid-19 cases. Most dealerships resumed operations across India and manufacturers moved in to fill the inventory levels.
Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, the largest car maker, increased domestic dispatches on a sequential basis by 9.83% to 136,500 units, up from 124,280 units in June. Its passenger car sales rose 30.40% to 914,03 units, while sales for utility vehicles jumped 8.28% to 32,272 units. The second-largest vehicle manufacturer, Hyundai Motor India Ltd, reported a 18.63% month-on-month rise in wholesales to 48,042 units in July, from 25,001 units in June.
Mumbai-based Tata Motors saw passenger vehicle wholesales grow 25.19% to 30,185 units as demand for its new products, such as the Altroz, witnessed steady demand. MG Motor India reported an 18.74% increase in sales to 4,225 units, while Toyota Kirloskar Motors increased dispatches by 48.7% to 13,105 units.
“The Hector and ZS EV have further gained momentum during the month. However, the severe shortage of chips is expected to continue for some time and will lead to supply constraints,” Rakesh Sidana, director, sales, MG Motor India, said.
The auto industry has been under pressure since the first week of April when Maharashtra began imposing strict lockdown measures. Subsequently, Delhi, Haryana, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu, among others, also clamped down on movement.
Consequently, vehicle manufacturers, including Maruti Suzuki, Hero MotoCorp Ltd, and Hyundai, stopped production or cut down on output significantly. Some others, such as Bajaj Auto Ltd, however, continued to operate with limited capacity to meet export demand. With a steady drop in infections, especially in north and south India, most automakers have resumed operations from mid-May.
Vehicle sales are usually compared on a year-on-year basis, but as companies had to close their factories and showrooms in May 2020, with the government imposing a stringent nationwide lockdown from March 25 to contain the spread of coronavirus, the month-on-month comparison hints at a recovery in the automotive industry.