The Indian automotive industry is going through one of its worst phases ever due to the complications that have arisen since the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic. However, it is the two-wheeler industry that has been the flag bearer of hope as it was here where the first signs of recovery were seen in the entire automotive industry in India. One of the key reasons as to why this happened is due to the increase in demand for personal mobility and two-wheelers coming across as the solution for that requirement. Now, however, when the entire automotive industry is getting back on its feet with improved sales numbers, the two-wheeler industry once again has jumped to the front with promising growth stories across the board.
Two-wheeler and commercial vehicle manufacturer TVS Motor Company said that it closed last month with a total sales of 394,724 units, logging a growth of 22 per cent. The company said that it sold 394,724 units (382,121 two-wheelers, and 12,603 three-wheelers) in October 2020, up from 323,368 units (308,161 two-wheelers, 15,207 three-wheelers) sold in October 2019.
In terms of the two-wheeler segment, Hero MotoCorp recorded its highest-ever monthly sales in October at over 8 lakh units of motorcycles and scooters. In total, it sold 8,06,848 units last month, 35 per cent higher than 5,99,248 units sold in October last year.
"A positive turnaround in customer sentiments, particularly for motorcycles across markets, continued government policy support and a credible resumption of the supply chain, logistics and business operations have enabled the company to achieve record numbers during the auspicious festive period," the company said in a statement.
Another two-wheeler major Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) reported positive YOY sales growth in October, the third consecutive month in FY21.
"After breaching the 5 lakh unit sales level in September'20, Honda total two-wheeler sales closed at a higher level of 527,180 units with a 2 per cent growth over 517,845 units sold in October'19," the company said in a statement.
"Buoyed by the increase in demand during festivals amidst a slew of its new BS-VI models now available in the market, Honda's domestic two-wheeler sales were up 1 per cent to 494,459 units in Oct'20 compared to the 487,819 units sold in the same month last year."
Similarly, Yamaha Motor India announced that the total sales have increased by 31 per cent to 60,176 units in October 2020 compared to 46,082 units in October 2019.
Additionally, the two-wheeler subsidiary of Suzuki Motor Corporation, Japan recorded 76,865 unit sales in October 2020. It broke last year's festive record by registering a 3 per cent jump in October 2020 overall monthly sales as compared to the same month in the previous year.
The company sold 67,225 units in the domestic market and exported 9,640 units in October 2020 amid the Covid-19 outbreak.
"A spectacular and energising month for the OEM both in PV and 2 wheeler segments showing a strong performance," said Sridhar V, Partner, Grant Thornton Bharat LLP.
"Two of the largest OEM in passenger vehicles have registered the highest volume ever. This is a combination of factors including the pace of the revival of the economy, new introductions, and festival season amongst others."
Shruti Saboo, Associate Director, Corporates, India Ratings & Research, said: "As per data released, most of the OEMs reported year on year growth in sales volume in October 2020, particularly in PV and 2W segment with the start of the festive season (Navratri) in October. While the rural segment continued to perform well, the urban segment has also started to pick up."
"The increasing preference for personal mobility continued to support PV and 2W sales. Part of this sales is also reflective of adequate inventory build-up to cater to the demand anticipated during Diwali in November. In the PV segment, lower-end cars continued to outperform the overall industry growth."
Suman Chowdhury, Chief Analytical Officer, Acuite Ratings & Research said: "We continue to believe that higher demand expectations in the ongoing festive season, greater need to own personal vehicles and avoid public transportation along with higher rural incomes are driving growth in the domestic automotive sector at this point in time."
Shamsher Dewan, Vice President, ICRA said: "October marked the beginning of the auspicious festive season in India and the pace of inventory restocking by OEMs reached its peak. Even as dealers remain cautiously optimistic about retail sales going into the festive season, the listed OEMs reported a 24 per cent YoY increase in their domestic sales volumes in October 2020."
"This indicates optimism regarding consumer sentiments, especially those in rural and semi-urban markets and continued preference for 2W as a personal mobility solution in urban areas. ICRA expects that sustainability of domestic demand would remain contingent upon the Covid-19 scenario following the festive season."
(With Inputs from IANS)