June auto sales: Slight improvement but far from recovery

NEW DELHIWritten By: Sumit ChaturvediUpdated: Jul 01, 2020, 08:01 PM IST


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India's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki has sold 57,428 units last month, in comparison to 1, 24,708 units sold in the year-ago month. 

It was an unusual June 2020 for the auto market in India. As the unlocking of commercial activities began from the first week of the month, automakers started delivery of vehicles booked earlier and also launched the new ones that were scheduled for April and May debut. The results are visible in June sales numbers where the sales though far below last year numbers are still encouraging when compared to the lockdown period.

India's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki has sold 57,428 units last month, in comparison to 1, 24,708 units sold in the year-ago month. The fall compared to June 2019 is 53.7% but encouraging for the automaker that witnessed nil sales in April, the first full month of Coronavirus led lockdown. Maruti Suzuki's total sales include domestic and export numbers. The second-largest carmaker Hyundai Motor India sold 26,820 units last month, a 49.2% year-on-year decline in domestic wholesales. However, on a month-on-month basis, Hyundai's sales have also improved from 6,883 units sold in May. Car sales of Toyota at the end of June 2020 stood at 3,866 units, which is a massive 235% growth compared to May but it’s a decline of 63.53% as compared to June 2019 numbers. Mahindra & Mahindra has reported a 53% decline in total domestic sales to 18,505 vehicles last month

“The automotive industry has started to see recovery both in the passenger and small commercial vehicle segments. This has been led primarily by rising rural demand and movement of essential goods across the country", said Veejay Nakra, Chief Executive Officer, Automotive Division, M&M, commenting on June sales.

In the two-wheeler market, the market leader Hero Moto has sold 4.5 lakh motorcycles and scooters in June. Though the number is a fall of 26% compared to June last year, the company claims with nearly four times growth in May 2020 sales numbers, it has reached 90% of pre-Covid sales. The other major two-wheeler player TVS Motor reported a 33.2% decline in total sales in June at 1, 98,387 units.

A large part of June sales was the result of unlocking of commercial activities that began on June 8. Also, a slew of launches kept the excitement alive during the month. From BMW's luxury SUV X6, Mercedes-Benz India's GLS and GLE to Hero Moto's Extreme 160 R, there were half a dozen new launches last month. The launch spree is likely to continue with Honda's new City sedan slated for mid-July debut.