The country's largest car maker Maruti Suzuki India on Saturday reported a 1.3 per cent increase in domestic passenger vehicle sales in July while that of the second-biggest maker Hyundai Motor India fell by just 2 per cent, signalling recovery in the sector hit hard by COVID-19.
Other manufacturers, Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) and Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) reported huge declines in their domestic sales during the month. Maruti Suzuki India said its domestic sales in July stood at 1,01,307 units as against 1,00,006 units in July 2019 with sales of mini cars comprising Alto and S-Presso jumping 49.1 per cent to 17,258 units compared to 11,577 units in the same month last year.
The company further said its sales of compact cars, including models such as Swift, Celerio, Ignis, Baleno and Dzire, however, declined by 10.4 per cent to 51,529 units as against 57,512 cars in July last year. On the other hand, sales of utility vehicles, including Vitara Brezza, S-Cross and Ertiga, increased 26.3 per cent to 19,177 units as compared to 15,178 in the year-ago month.
MSI's total sales were down 1.1 per cent at 1,08,064 units in July as compared to 1,09,264 units in the same month last year. Rival Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) saw its domestic sales at 38,200 units last month as against 39,010 units in July 2019, down by 2 per cent. Its total sales were down 28 per cent at 41,300 units as against 57,310 units in the same month last year.
Commenting on the sales performance, HMIL Director (Sales, Marketing & Service) Tarun Garg said the company has been able to contribute towards triggering the country's economic revival. "With the changing trend of preference for personal mobility, our consistent efforts are towards fulfilling the customer needs and meeting the market demand," he said.
M&M reported a 35 per cent decline in domestic sales at 24,211 units last month compared to 37,474 units in July 2019. Its total sales were down 36 per cent at 25,678 units as against 40,142 units in the same month last year. "At Mahindra, we are happy to see a growing trend in our overall vehicle sales, buoyed by the continuing revival in demand, primarily in rural and semi urban India," M&M Ltd Chief Executive Officer, Automotive Division Veejay Ram Nakra said.
It is encouraging to see that the enquiry and booking levels in July are significantly higher compared to June, both for utility vehicles and small commercial vehicles, he added. "As we ramp up production, the biggest challenge is on the supply side and working around these challenges is our top priority," Nakra said.
Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) reported a 48.32 per cent decline in domestic vehicle sales to 5,386 units in July compared to 10,423 units in the same month last year. "Despite various challenges, the month of July witnessed better sales in terms of both retail and wholesales when compared to June," TKM Senior Vice-President, Sales and Service, Naveen Soni said.
In the two-wheeler segment, Hero MotoCorp reported a 3.97 per cent dip in sales to 5,14,509 units as compared to 5,35,810 units sold in July 2019. Despite the prevailing economic slowdown on account of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company registered a sequential growth of 14 per cent over June and reached more than 95 per cent of wholesale dispatch numbers of the corresponding month in the previous year, the two-wheeler major said.
"The robust volumes have been driven by strong retail sales due to the positive market demand," it added. Suzuki Motorcycle India Pvt Ltd (SMIPL), however, said its domestic sales were at 31,421 units last month, as against 62,366 units in July 2019, down 50 per cent.
"With the unlock phase, the automobile industry is now marching towards normalcy in terms of production, distribution and sales while continuing to adhere to all the precautionary measures. From August 2020, we will try our best to achieve pre-COVID-19 production and sales volume," SMIPL Managing Director Koichiro Hirao said.