Maruti Suzuki reported sales of over 2 lakh cars through the online channel, while Tata Motors said its bookings have increased by around 95%.

Dhanteras 2020: Maruti, Tata Motors, Toyota witness strong growth in car salesPTI
Money Automobiles Tuesday, November 17, 2020 - 17:34

The country’s largest carmaker, Maruti Suzuki, along with Tata Motors and Toyota Kirloskar Motor, have all reported a strong growth in sales during this Dhanteras. Dhanteras, which was observed last week, is considered an auspicious occasion for purchasing consumer durables, utensils, automobiles, etc. Maruti Suzuki on Monday announced sales of over two lakh cars through the online channel. The online channel was started around 2 years back and now encompasses nearly 1000 dealerships across the country.

"Since the introduction of this new digital channel in 2018, we have witnessed three times increase in digital enquiries and recorded sales of over 2 lakh units since April 2019. This digital channel has helped to generate over 21 lakh customer enquiries," Maruti Suzuki India Executive Director (Marketing & Sales) Shashank Srivastava told Economic Times in a statement. “Customers who conduct enquiries through our digital channel end up purchasing a car within 10 days, thereby re-enforcing that a robust online to offline platform can help convert digital enquiries into sales,” he added. 

Tata Motors said it has witnessed strong growth for their “New Forever” range of products during this festive season. “Our bookings have increased by ~95% and retails have increased by ~90% as compared to FY20 festive period. Our cars and UVs (utility vehicles) have seen equal traction from the market. Harrier retails have seen the highest growth at 141%,” said a Tata Motors spokesperson. 

Tata Motors is providing lucrative finance schemes which include low EMIs, easy pay options, 100% on-road funding, long tenure loans etc, which are facilitating the buying procedure for customers. “We have updated existing variants of our products to provide customers a variety of options to choose from; all while having the ability to take advantage of premium features at an attractive price point,” the spokesperson added. 

Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) said that, as far as TKM sales and customer orders this festive season are concerned, there has been a 10%-13% increase in orders taken this Dhanteras when compared to the same period last year. “Dhanteras in 2020 has been celebrated over two days in various parts of the country and hence in terms of retail sales (dealer's sale to customers) also, we have witnessed a 12% growth when compared to Dhanteras in 2019. We are hoping that sales in November will be more bullish when compared to October sales,” said Naveen Soni, Senior Vice President, Sales & Service, TKM.

TKM said that it is witnessing a gradual but steady recovery over the last few months. “This can be attributed to a few factors, including pent-up demand from the last few months, festive demand that has contributed to the overall sales in the month of October and November, consolidation of the market at the lower end due to personal mobility issues and finally, the kind of offers and schemes that OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) have been offering to customers to push demand,” Soni said. “The first two factors being topical are bound to gradually taper, beginning next month. Therefore, what is more prone to sustain are factors like consolidation of the market at the lower end due to personal mobility issues and the variety of schemes and offers that OEMs can come up with,” he added. 

However, the picture is not all rosy. The Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA) President Vinkesh Gulati said that it is too early to give the exact position. “Whatever inputs we are getting from the dealers, it hasn’t been that great. But some manufacturers in passenger vehicles have done well. But overall, things were not as great as last year. Two-wheelers were a bit challenging while passenger vehicles would have been similar or +/- 5%,” he said. 

“In passenger vehicles, there are only two segments that are selling. One is the entry segment and the other segment consists of models which have been launched recently. Any product which has been launched within the last year or so is seeing the required momentum,” he added. 

Carmakers have been reporting healthy sales, with Hyundai Motor India Ltd recording its highest-ever monthly domestic sales in October at 56,605 units. This translates to 13% growth compared to the same period last year. Maruti Suzuki India had reported 18.9% growth in its total sales for the month of October. 

However, as TNM had reported earlier, while this may be seen as a recovery in demand after a prolonged economic slowdown, the on-ground situation seems to be different. It must be kept in mind that the sales reported by carmakers are wholesale numbers, which implies that this is what was dispatched to automobile dealers, and doesn’t necessarily mean that end-customers actually bought these vehicles.