July brings much needed cheer for India’s 2-wheeler and Passenger Vehicle businesses

The nation wide lockdown imposed in the last week of March, 2020 in response to the Covid-19 pandemic brought businesses across the country to a near standstill. The situation made matters worse for the automobile segment which had already suffered it’s worst year in nearly two decades in 2019. Sales hit near blank in April with showrooms closed and remained very low even in May. Some positive movement was observed in June with the lockdown gradually eased. Now, July has finally brought some cheer for India’s 2-wheeler and passenger vehicle (PV) makers with all major players registering growth over June. However, in a stark reminder of the severe economic blow of covid-19, year-on-year figures remain in the red for all top 2-wheeler manufacturers and also for many of the PV OEMs.

Snapshot of 2-wheeler segment:

Sales in no. of units (source: carandbike.com, rushlane.com)

As can be observed, all the major players have taken a major hit in July sales compared to same period a month ago with market leader Hero Moto Corp having the best performance. With the pandemic still raging, people are wary of using public transport and this has had a major effect on the boost in sales from last month especially for the top 3, according to experts.

Snapshot of Passenger Vehicles segment:

(Sales in no. of units; source: autocarindia.com, rushlane.com)

In the passenger vehicle segment, it has been bit of a mixed-bag scenario. In an encouraging development, market leader Maruti Suzuki India has been able to register a small positive movement y-o-y while no. 2 Hyundai Motors coming close to matching last year July sales. Both have registered bumper growth vis-à-vis last month. TATA Motors and Renault had strong showing compared to same period last year, albeit on a smaller base. New entrants like MG India and KIA Motors continued their positive movement. Mahindra, Toyota, Honda and Ford witnessed sharp de-growth y-o-y although all had significantly better nos. compared to June.

Conclusion: With economic activities getting further relaxations in August, it is hoped that the automotive sector will be able to maintain its positive momentum in the current month as well.

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