COVID-19 halts auto sales recovery: Maruti, Hyundai, others see decline in April sales

Honda Cars India was one of the few exceptions, which reported a 28% month-on-month growth in April.
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The second wave of the coronavirus pandemic has interrupted the recovery in the automobile industry, with most major players registering a decline in sequential sales for April 2021. Automobile major Maruti Suzuki India reported passenger vehicle sales of 1,35,879 units in April, which is a 7% decline compared to 1,46,203 units sold in March. Similarly, Hyundai Motor India said its domestic market sales had declined 7% to 49,002 units in April 2021 from 52,600 units sold in March 2021.

Tata Motors registered total domestic sales of 39,530 units in April 2021 which represents a 41% decline from the 66,609 units sold in March 2021. In terms of domestic passenger vehicle sales, the company sold 25,095 in April 2021 compared to 29,654 in March 2021. This represents a decline of 15%. 

Toyota Kirloskar Motor reported a decline of 36% in sales to 9,622 units in April from 15,001 units sold in March. MG Motor India and Kia India also recorded decline in sales of 16% and 53% respectively. While Kia sold 16,111 units in April, down from 19,100 in March, MG Motor sold 2,565 units in April as compared to 5,528 units in March. 

Honda Cars India was one of the few exceptions, which reported a 28% month-on-month growth in April. It sold 9,072 units compared to 7,103 units in March. Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) also recorded a growth of 9.5% in April at 18,285 units compared to 16,700 units sold in March.

Commercial vehicles major Ashok Leyland sold 8,340 vehicles in April. On a month-on-month basis, sales declined significantly from 17,231 units sold in March. The decline can be attributed to the severe second wave of COVID-19 and the resultant restrictions and lockdowns, the company said in a statement. 

In the two-wheeler segment, market leader Hero MotoCorp sold 3,42,614 units in April as against 5,44,340 units sold in March, which is a decline of 37%. Two-wheeler major Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India reported domestic sales of 240,100 units in April, which is down 39% from 3,95,037 vehicles sold in March. The domestic sales were nil during the same period last year due to the national lockdown.

"With stricter lockdowns being announced across regions amidst the second wave of Covid, Honda prioritised the safety of all its stakeholders and pro-actively controlled its dispatches to avoid inventory build-up across its network Pan-India," it said in a statement.

Two-wheel majors, TVS and Bajaj too, witnessed a decline in sales of 35% and 30% respectively in April. While TVS sold 1,31,386 units in April vis-a-vis 2,02,155 sold in March, Bajaj sold 1,26,570 units in April compared to 1,81,393 units sold in March. 

The auto industry is likely to see limited benefit from pent-up demand as a result of the second wave, as per a report by Motilal Oswal. Analysts are of the opinion that after the second wave subsides, the possibility of a third wave could have an impact on auto sales throughout this year. 

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