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Automobile sales brush aside COVID blues, post record growth in February

Market leader Maruti Suzuki saw a 8.3 per cent growth at 144,761 units while Hyundai witnessed a 29 per cent jump at 51,600 units

twitter-logoSumant Banerji | March 1, 2021 | Updated 18:23 IST
Automobile sales brush aside COVID blues, post record growth in February
Barring Ford and Skoda, every car maker in the country witnessed a growth in sales year on year

Highlights

  • Passenger vehicle segment posts strong 23 per cent growth to log highest ever sales for the month of February.
  • Tally was only a shade lower than the all-time high monthly sales achieved during the festive month of October last yea.
  • The strong growth comes despite supply-side issues due to a global semiconductor shortage that handicapped production at some companies.

Sale of passenger vehicles posted a strong 23 per cent growth in February at more than 3 lakh units--308,605 units to be exact, over the last year as the industry put to rest the ghost of the pandemic.

This is only the second time industry volumes have crossed the mark and is only a shade lower than the all-time tally of 310,294 units logged in October last year.

While that was a festive month, the last one (February), with three days less, was the shortest in the calendar year.

Barring Ford and Skoda, every car maker in the country witnessed a growth in sales year on year. Market leader Maruti Suzuki saw a 8.3 per cent growth at 144,761 units while Hyundai witnessed a 29 per cent jump at 51,600 units.

Third-placed Tata Motors continued to surprise with a whopping 119 per cent surge in sales at 27,225 units, firmly establishing itself on the podium and distancing from the chasing pack.  

Kia Motors registered a rather subdued 6.8 per cent growth at 16,702 units, but others like Mahindra, Toyota, Renault, and Honda saw a strong double-digit increase in sales.

Also Read: Share of petrol car sales hits record high even as petrol prices surge past Rs 100

Further below, on a relatively small base, MG, Nissan, and Volkswagen saw an even stronger triple-digit percentage increase in volumes. The overall positive show has lifted spirits in an industry that had started declining even before the pandemic singed the domestic economy.      

"We started the year on a positive note and the trend continues as we close the second month of the year, clocking a growth of 36 per cent. Wholesales have been very encouraging, and we are witnessing a high influx of customer orders month on month, thereby both significantly contributing to the growth story.

In fact, sales in February have been better than sales in January, thus helping us register a 27 per cent growth in wholesales," said Naveen Soni, Sr. Vice President, Toyota Kirloskar Motor Ltd.

"Moreover, new launches like the new Fortuner & Legender introduced in January and the new Innova Crysta launched in November 2020, have received a phenomenal response and have also been contributing to significant increase in both customer enquiries as well as customer orders. Here, we would like to thank our customers for their relentless trust & faith in the brand," he added.

Also Read: Amazon ties up with Mahindra to deploy 10,000 EVs in India

Though these numbers reflect dispatches from factories to dealerships and not actual sales, they are still positive. Production across factories has been hampered by first, a staggered unlockdown process and then a global shortage of semiconductors that has handicapped some companies more than others.    

"At Mahindra, we have witnessed a growth of 44 per cent in UVs for the month of February 2021. Demand continues to remain buoyant for our range of SUVs and pickups and we have a robust order pipeline," says Veejay Nakra, Chief Executive Officer, Automotive Division, M&M Ltd.  

"However, supply of semi-conductors, as we all know, is a global issue and it is likely to continue for another three to four months. Going forward, we will continue to monitor the situation and work closely with our suppliers to minimise this supply risk."

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