Car sales rise sharply in July; 80% jump for top 5 companies over June
Car and SUV sales reported a sharp jump in July compared to June powered by a continued uptick in demand from the rural and semi-urban markets even as urban pockets witnessed sporadic lockdowns.
Wholesale (company to dealers) volumes of four of India’s top five passenger vehicle (PV) makers recorded a jump of 80 percent in July to 152,379 units as against 84,535 units sold in June. The sequential comparison is made because many dealerships are still nonoperational due to the COVID-19 disruption.
When compared to July of last year the four PV makers, who control more than 70 percent of India’s car and SUV market, clocked a 6 percent drop in volumes. Manufacturers consider this as a faster than expected recovery as it comes on the back of zero sales in April.
Maruti Suzuki, India’s largest carmaker, saw its wholesale volumes of domestic PVs nearly double to 97,768 units during July compared to June. The Delhi-based maker of Baleno and Swift still bettered its July sales of last year recording a growth of 1.3 percent.
The company’s most affordable category made up of Alto and S-Presso saw 49 percent jump in volumes in July compared to July 2019. In a recent analyst conference call Maruti’s senior executives stated that there is a strong demand for small hatchbacks and the trend is expected to continue.
Korean car brand Hyundai recorded wholesale volume jump of nearly 80 percent in July to 38,200 units as against June on the back of strong demand for the Creta SUV which has garnered over 55,000 bookings since launch. When compared to July of last year Hyundai recorded a fall of 2 percent.
SUV-specialist Mahindra & Mahindra sold 11,025 passenger vehicles to its dealers during July which was an increase of 37 percent compared to June. When compared to July of 2019 M&M recorded a decline of 35 percent.
In a media statement Veejay Nakra, Chief Executive Officer, Automotive Division, M&M said, “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. It is encouraging to see that the enquiry and booking levels in July are significantly higher compared to June.”
Japanese car brand Toyota sold 5,386 units to its dealers during July, a growth of 39 percent compared to June. But when compared to July 2019 Toyota recorded a fall of 48 percent in volumes.
Naveen Soni, Sr Vice President, Sales & Service, Toyota Kirloskar said, “Despite various challenges, the month of July witnessed better sales in terms of both retail and wholesales when compared to June. The first month of unlock (June) witnessed demand rekindling and retails being very good due to several factors including pending customer orders as well as pent up demand accumulated as a result of the extended lockdown.”
MG Motor India, the SAIC-owned SUV making company saw its volumes grow nearly 5 percent in July to 2,105 units compared to June. But the growth was much higher at 40 percent when compared to July 2019.
Suman Chowdhury, Chief Analytical Officer, Acuité Ratings & Research said, “While the growth figures are partly a play of the base effect, there is a significant undercurrent of recovery in the domestic automobile sector driven by the increased need for personal mobility, particularly given the increased risk as well as continuing unavailability of public transportation mechanisms in the wake of COVID-19. We believe that healthy growth in the agricultural sector has led to better demand accruing from the semi-urban and the rural areas.”