Production halt and lockdown bumpers dent passenger vehicle sales to near 1-year low

The domestic passenger vehicle sales for several manufacturers hit a 12-month low this May as most of the states-imposed lockdown restrictions during the month and automobile manufacturers went for production shutdown at their plants for at least two weeks in a bid to break the chain of second wave of Covid.

While industry leader Maruti Suzuki India Limited announced sale of 32,903 units in May, which was lowest since May 2020 when the company sold 13,865 units, the second-largest manufacturer, Hyundai Motor India, sold 25,001 units during the month — an 11-month low. The company had sold 21,320 units in June 2020.

Even the third-largest PV manufacturer, Tata Motors, saw a dip in sales since May, compared to those in the previous months. The company posted sales of 15,181 units in May, as against sales of over 25,000 units in April. In May 2020, it sold 3,152 units. Mahindra and Mahindra sold 8,004 units last month, lowest since May 2020 when it sold 3,867 units.

While sales were impacted on account of lockdown restrictions across the country to curb the spread of coronavirus, the production also took a hit a many companies advanced their annual maintenance shutdown to May.

“During last month, we also undertook extended maintenance related shutdown of our factory leading to limited production but effectively breaking the chain amidst high number of cases in north India. With increase in pace of vaccination and the declining cases, we expect markets will open gradually allowing business continuity,” said Rajesh Goel, director, marketing & sales, Honda Cars India.

“June is expected to be another month of weak sales as both the customer and administration are very cautious. Even automobile manufacturers have started only limited production and everyone is waiting for vaccination to pick-up before things can fully normalise,” said an official with a manufacturer.

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