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Pent-up demand in December boosts wholesale vehicle sales

The country's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) reported 17.8 per cent increase in sales in December at 1,46,480 units as against 1,24,375 units in December 2019

twitter-logoPTI | January 1, 2021 | Updated 22:30 IST
Pent-up demand in December boosts wholesale vehicle sales

Leading automakers Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, Tata Motors, and Toyota witnessed double-digit growth in wholesale despatches in December as pent up demand led to robust passenger vehicle offtakes. Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) and Honda Cars also reported increased sales in the domestic market last month.

The country's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) reported 17.8 per cent increase in sales in December at 1,46,480 units as against 1,24,375 units in December 2019. The sale of mini cars, comprising Alto and S-Presso, increased by 4.4 per cent to 24,927 units as compared to 23,883 in the same month last year.

Similarly, sales of compact segment vehicles, including models Swift, Celerio, Ignis, Baleno and Dzire, rose by 18.2 per cent to 77,641 units as against 65,673 cars in December last year. Utility vehicle sales, including Vitara Brezza, S-Cross, and Ertiga, also rose 8 per cent to 25,701 units compared to 23,808 units in the year-ago month, MSI said.

Similarly, Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL), the country's second-largest passenger vehicle maker, reported its best monthly sales in December. The company's domestic sales posted a 24.89 per cent increase in dispatches to dealers at 47,400 units,as compared with 37,953 units in the same month last year.

HMIL MD and CEO SS Kim said that right from the introduction of innovative initiatives such as Click-to-buy and mobility membership to the launch of Aura, all-new Creta, new Verna, new Tucson, and all-new i20 coupled with multiple powertrain options, the company has redefined experiences to give customers superior products and services in every segment. "This clearly reflected in our domestic sales that achieved new horizons, with Hyundai managing to increase market share for the second year in succession," Kim noted.

Tata Motors reported 84 per cent increase in sales at 23,545 units last month compared with 12,785 units in the year-ago period. "Retail sales were 18 per cent higher than wholesale for the month, and pipeline inventory remains thin," Tata Motors Passenger Vehicles Business Unit President Shailesh Chandra said.

The company is continuing to debottleneck the supply chain and ramp up our output to meet the increased demand while addressing the availability of electronic components, he added. Mahindra & Mahindra said its passenger vehicle sales in the domestic market were up 3 per cent to 16,182 units last month, compared to 15,691 units in December 2019. Its total sales however, dropped 10.3 per cent to 35,187 units in December 2020.

"Our overall sales have been affected due to the continuing supply chain challenges related to the constantly changing global environment, more specifically the supply shortage of micro-processors (semiconductors) used in electronic control units (ECUs),' M&M Chief Executive Officer Automotive Division Veejay Nakra said. Demand continues to remain strong even after the festive season, and as the company gets into the new year, he added.

Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) reported 14 per cent growth in its domestic sales to 7,487 units in December 2020. The carmaker had sold 6,544 vehicles in December 2019.

"As we wrap up the year, we are happy to have registered a 14 per cent growth in wholesales in December 2020, when compared to sales in the same period in 2019," said Naveen Soni, Senior Vice President, Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM). He said customer orders have been rising significantly, and retail sales (dealer's sale to customers) have also been very encouraging, giving the company confidence to embark upon a new target as it welcomes the new year.

"We have also managed to retain more than 6 per cent growth in wholesales in the last quarter of the calendar year 2020 when compared to the last quarter of 2019," he added. Further, Honda Cars India Ltd (HCIL) said its domestic sales increased by 2.68 per cent to 8,638 units in December compared to the same month last year.

The company had sold 8,412 units in the domestic market in December 2019. "2020 was a challenging year, but the industry showed great resilience and realigned their businesses in the new normal. Quicker market recovery aided by increased demand for personal mobility and our steady positive sales momentum is very encouraging," HCIL Senior Vice-President and Director Marketing and Sales Rajesh Goel said.

With the availability of novel coronavirus vaccines in 2021, the company expects a return of optimism to the market and boosting the consumer sentiment going forward, he added. MG Motor India said its sales rose by 33 per cent to 4,010 units in December 2020 compared to 3,021 units in the same month a year ago. The company sold 3,430 units of Hector, 458 units of Gloster, and 122 units of ZS electric vehicles last month.

"We have ended the year on a high note with customers continuing to choose the best-in-class premium products from MG's stable. Going forward, we will have more excitement for the customers in January. We expect the momentum to continue as the MG brand enters more markets in 2021," MG Motor India Director Sales Rakesh Sidana said. The carmaker said it would be taking preventive annual maintenance shutdown at its Halol manufacturing facility in Gujarat during the first 10 days of January, which would affect its production during the month.

This, coupled with lockdown restrictions, could hamper the supply chain as well, the automaker noted. In the two-wheeler segment, Yamaha Motor India reported a 33 per cent growth in sales to 39,224 units for December as against 29,486 units in the same month last year. The company has been reporting growth in its sales volumes consecutively over the past six months, following the lifting of the COVID-led lockdown, the two-wheeler maker said in a statement.

"The company expects overall demand to grow in 2021 owing to a varied demand of personal mobility," the company noted.

Also Read: Maruti Suzuki domestic sales up 20%, sells 1.6 lakh vehicles in December 2020

Also Read: Yamaha sells 39,224 units in December, sales rise 33%

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