In what can be viewed as the most positive development in the Indian automotive industry in the past few years, two-wheeler retail sales in April 2022 have reported positive growth. Overall, barring a few four-wheeler manufacturers, most others have reported growth in the first month of the new fiscal, FY23.
This year-on-year (YoY) analysis is based on the sales reports issued by Indian OEMs for April 2022. The complete monthly results, however, will be released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) over a week from now.
It must be noted that vehicle sales were severely impacted due to the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2021.
Punnet Gupta, Director, S&P Global, noted, “Although it is a positive sign, but we must remember that last April we saw the second wave of the pandemic which led to lockdowns. At this stage we are much lower than FY19 when the industry peaked.”
He added that the industry is recovering with the supply chain slowly and gradually coming back to normal. However, with the new challenges coming in the form of higher commodity prices, the industry will struggle to hit its peak by next year.
While Vinkesh Gulati, President, Federation of Automobile Dealers Association (FADA), noted that apart from the 4W segment, every player reporting growth is due to the fact that the previous two April months have seen either full lockdown or partial lockdown.
He explained that the 4W players reporting a green zone are doing so because they have managed to make their way around the chip crisis. “Overall the market is fine in the car segment,” he said, “however few of the players like M&M have reported a below expectation performance.”
“April and May will be very good for the industry as per the data, but practically not,” the President noted. “I feel normalcy is there at least in the 4W segment, but the 2W segment is an issue. However we are moving towards a good situation and we expect things to go normal within the next two to three months,” he said.
Many four-wheeler manufacturers, including the country’s leading carmaker, reported a drop in retail sales. On a YoY basis, Maruti Suzuki reported a 7.6% fall with retails of 132,248 units in April 2022 – including sales to other OEMs – compared to 142,454 units sold in the corresponding month in 2021.
Two other Japanese brands, Honda Cars India and Nissan Motor India, also reported a de-growth of 13.2% and 30%, respectively. While Honda retailed 7,874 units in April 2022 as against 9,072 units it sold in April last year, Nissan’s volumes dropped from 3,360 units in April 2021 to 2,110 units last month.
SAIC-owned MG Motor India, meanwhile, reported a YoY drop of 21.7%, with retails of 2,008 units last month as against 2,565 units it sold in April last year.
French automaker Citroen India too reported a de-growth of 78% YoY with sales of just 51 units in April 2022, compared to 230 units the company sold in April 2021.
April also saw Korean carmaker Hyundai Motor India close the month with sales of 44,001 units – a drop of 10.2% – compared to 49,002 units it sold in April 2021. However, HMI’s sister brand Kia India closed the month with a growth of 18% YoY, with sales of 19,019 units in April 2022, compared to 16,111 units in April 2021.
The other notable players that reported positive sales growth included home-grown Mahindra and Mahindra and Tata Motors. M&M reported a 23% growth YoY with retails of 22,526 units in April 2022, compared to 18,285 units in the same month last year. Tata Motors, meanwhile, retailed 41,587 units in April 2022 as against the 25,095 units it had retailed last year in April, translating to a growth of 66% YoY.
In terms of sheer percentage, Skoda Auto registered the highest growth last month, with sales rising 436% YoY over the corresponding month last year. Led by the success of the newly launched Slavia sedan and the Kushaq SUV, Skoda Auto reported sales of 5,152 units in April 2022. In April last year, the company had retailed just 961 units.
Skoda’s group company Volkwagen India too reported a growth of 131% YoY, with April recording sales of 3,547 units compared to 1,533 units in April last year.
With retail sales of 15,085 units in April 2022, Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) registered a notable 57% growth compared to a year earlier performance, where the company had sold 9,600 units.
Jeep India, meanwhile, reported similar numbers as in April 2021. It closed in April 2022 with sales of 886 units.
Although in small numbers, Force Motors closed the month with retails of 280 units, a 103% YoY growth compared to April 2021, when it managed to retail 138 units.
In the two-wheeler segment, Hero MotoCorp, TVS Motor and Royal Enfield reported growth in sales on a YoY basis. Hero MotoCorp closed the month with sales of 418,622 units, a 12.4% growth over the 372,285 units it sold in April last year.
TVS closed April with 139,027 units, a 4% growth over the 133,227 units the company had sold in April 2021.
Eicher-owned Royal Enfield sales of 53,852 units in April 2022 compared to the 48,789 units it sold in the corresponding month last year; this was a growth of 10% for the company YoY.
While the new age e2W startup Ather Energy’s sales grew by 255%, YoY to close the month with retails of 3779 units.
Joy-e-bike also reported a growth of 766%, YoY as it closes the month with sales of 4087 units. Last April, the company was able to retail 472 units.
In the CV segment, all the leading players posted positive growth in sales. Year on year, Tata Motors grew 87%, with retails of 30,838 units in April 2022 compared to 16,515 units in April 2021. Ashok Leyland, meanwhile, sold 11,197 units in the domestic market, up 41%, from 7,961 in the corresponding month a year ago.
On the other hand, VECV reported a 157.6% increase in total sales at 5,525 units in April 2022. The company had sold 2,145 units in the same month last year. M&M, too, including the 3W segment, posted a growth of 26.4%, with combined retail sales of 20,411 units in April 2022 compared to 16,147 units in April 2021.
In the three-wheeler segment, TVS posted a 20% YoY growth with sales of 15,286 units in April 2022 as against 12,790 units in April 2021.
Farm Equipment Segment
Sales reports shared by the leading farm equipment players suggest a positive growth trend in the sector. Escorts Agri Machinery at 20.2%, Mahindra Farm Equipment at 51% and Sonalika Tractors at 43.5% – all reported strong growth numbers.
Domestic tractor sales of Escorts grew from 6,386 units in April last year to 7,676 units in April 2022, while Mahindra closed April 2022 with sales of 39,405 units as opposed to 26,130 units in the same month last year. Sonalika retailed 10,217 tractors last month, up from the 7,122 units it had sold in April last year.