The cheer in the Indian auto sector is gradually making a comeback. The passenger vehicle (PV) segment in particular recorded strong sales of 294,542 units in July 2021, 49% higher when compared to the same month last year. July last year had recorded sales of 197,731 units.
The primary reasons behind the soaring sales is the low base of July 2020, a strong order book of OEMs and rising demand of top selling utility vehicles.
Experts tracking the industry said the PV segment is on the path to recovery if there is no third wave in the coming months, primarily due to the rising demand for popular SUVs and the need for personal mobility.
Ashish Modani, Vice President, ICRA told Mobility Outlook that July numbers are significantly good and are in line with ICRA’s expectations. PV sales are largely driven by the sale of SUVs, and there is a long waiting period in the segment as demand continues to be strong. “We are still cautious about the shortage of semiconductors, and the potential risk of third-wave, which will force another down-slide,” he said.
In its annual report, released earlier today, Maruti Suzuki quoted RC Bhargava, Chairman saying car sales can grow significantly if the third wave can be averted.
July 2021 sales
India’s largest car manufacturer, Maruti Suzuki India posted a strong double-digit growth of 36.5% in July 2021 over July 2020 in domestic sales of passenger and light commercial vehicles. In the PV segment alone, the carmaker dispatched a total of 133,732 units to its dealers in July 2021 as against 97,768 units it had dispatched in the same month last year.
Sales across all segments grew, with the utility vehicle (UV) segment growing the highest at 68.28% on a YoY basis. The company dispatched 32,272 UVs last month, which is 24.13% of its total domestic PV sales.
Similarly, South Korean carmaker Hyundai Motor India, which has been bullish about the SUV segment, is now recording half of its total monthly sales from the SUV segment. The company sold 24,320 SUVs in July 2021, of which the Creta accounted for 13,000 units; Venue 8,185 units; Alcazar 3,001 units; Tucson 111 units and the Kona EV accounting for 23 units last month. In total, Hyundai sold 48,042 units in July 2021.
Tarun Garg, Director (Sales, Marketing & Service), Hyundai Motor India said a positive growth momentum is clearly visible in the PV industry with the stabilisation of macro-economic factors, good monsoons and increases in consumer shift towards personal mobility.
The other Korean company, Kia India also registered a strong YoY growth of 76.6% in July 2021 with sales of 15,016 units. Kia India has an exclusive SUV portfolio, comprising Sonet, Seltos and Carnival.
Among home-grown car manufacturers, Tata Motors sold 30,185 units in July 2021, posting 101.1% growth, when compared to 15,012 units in the same month last year. Mahindra & Mahindra, on the other hand, sold 21,046 units in July 2021, which is 90% higher than the 11,025 units it dispatched in July 2020.
Sales of Toyota Kirloskar Motor zoomed 143.4% to 13,105 units last month. The Japanese automaker is observing strong rural demand for its recently launched Urban Cruiser (re-badged Vitara Brezza) and Glanza.
V Wiseline Sigamani, Associate General Manager (AGM), Sales and Strategic Marketing, Toyota Kirloskar Motor said, “July has been a good month for us as we have witnessed a significant surge in both demand as well as wholesale numbers, the second month in a row.
It is also interesting to note that for the first time, Toyota sales are double of its Japanese rival Honda Cars India, which sold 6,055 units in July 2021.
Experts say OEMs, who have launched UVs in the last year, are reaping the benefits as can be seen with sales of Skoda India and Nissan India. For the first time in three years, Nissan India recorded sales of above 4,000 units while Skoda India doubled its sales to 3,080 units from its normal average of around 1,500 units.
Optically, July 2021 sales numbers look very steep compared to July 2020 – essentially due to a low base. Even in the absolute numbers, the PV segment has recorded a decent performance, said one of the experts.
Ashim Sharma, Partner and Group Business Head, NRI viewed this with caution. “We cannot term it as recovery so far, unless the sales figures from carmakers remain constant till the festive season. July was a good month in terms of overall sales,” he said.
Notwithstanding the threat of a third COVID wave, the PV segment may continue to post strong numbers in the coming months as the basic fundamentals continue to be strong, aided by high number of pending orders.
Top PV performers in July 2021
|Hyundai Motor India||48,042||38,200||25.8|
|Mahindra & Mahindra||21,046||11,025||90.9|
|Toyota Kirloskar Motor||13,105||5,386||143.3|
|Honda Cars India||6,055||5,383||12.5|