Hindustan Times (Lucknow)

Auto sales take the slow lane in May

- Malyaban Ghosh malyaban.g@livemint.com

DELHI: Automakers reported a sharp sequential fall in wholesale dispatches in May as production and vehicle supplies took a hit due to the explosive rise in Covid-19 infections and related lockdown measures across the country.

Maruti Suzuki India Ltd—the country’s largest car maker— reported a 74.2% decline in sales to just 35,293 units during the month. The second largest manufactur­er, Hyundai Motor India Ltd, also reported a drop by 48.9% to 25,001 units.

Mumbai-based Tata Motors saw passenger vehicle wholesales fall by 39.5% to 15,181 units, while Mahindra and Mahindra’s dispatches dropped by 56.2% to 8,002 units.

Some manufactur­ers like Tata Motors and Bajaj Auto Ltd have been continuing with production with limited capacity to meet their export orders. Some companies also shut down plants after deliveries stopped. Sales are expected to remain subdued for the next two months.

But Veejay Nakra, chief executive officer, automotive division, M&M, was optimistic about the future.

“We are seeing a strong growth momentum for our entire product portfolio. The Thar is clocking robust bookings despite extended waiting periods. Our power brands (Scorpio and Bolero) continue to do well. With the cases coming down and gradual opening up of markets, we foresee strong demand rebound. We are working closely with our supplier partners to manage supply chain issues and meet the market demand,” he said.

On the commercial vehicle front, dispatches at Tata Motors slipped by 35% to 9,371 units. Ashok Leyland also reported a 65.6% decline in sales to just 2,738 units.

Commercial vehicle sales showed signs of a recovery from the third quarter of FY21 and automakers were expecting demand to grow substantia­lly in FY22 as manufactur­ing activity and constructi­on of infrastruc­ture projects gathered pace.

 ?? BLOOMBERG ?? Maruti reported a 74.2% month-on-month decline.
BLOOMBERG Maruti reported a 74.2% month-on-month decline.

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