As India witnesses the surging second wave of Covid-19 and many states like Maharashtra, Delhi, Karnataka and Jharkhand announce lockdowns, the automotive industry, like other segments, is feeling the heat.
For commercial vehicle manufacturers, the situation continues to be a challenging one with almost a year of low sales volumes, dealing with local lockdowns, tepid consumer sentiment, and excess capacity. In FY2021, the CV industry reported a sales declines for the second year in a row. Total sales were 568,559, down 20.77% (FY2020: 717,593).
As per the sales data gathered for April 2021, cumulative wholesales for April 2021 add up to 38,055 units, which is 52 percent lower than March 2021.
CV market leader Tata Motors reported sales of 14,435 units in April, which is 61 percent lower than month-on-month sales of 39,955 units in March 2021.
Ashok Leyland reported despatches of 7,961 CVs, down 49 percent on March 2021 numbers of 15,761.
For Mumbai-headquartered Mahindra & Mahindra, total sales comprised 14,104 units (-18% MoM) compared to 17,116 units in the previous month.
According to Veejay Nakra, CEO, Automotive Division, Mahindra & Mahindra “With the increase in lockdown restrictions in many parts of the country we foresee continuing supply chain related production challenges. While demand remains good, there would be some impact in the first quarter as a result of low customer movement and dealership activity due to the lockdown restrictions. In times like these, our focus is the well-being and safety of all our associates and those of our dealers. Our customers will continue to experience unrestricted personalised as well as digital; contactless sales and service support.”
Volvo Eicher Commercial Vehicles (VECV) witnessed a drop of 74 percent in sales for April, selling 1,555 units, compared to 6,054 units in the month of March.
The tepid demand notwithstanding, it is to the credit of the domestic industry that it is keeping the wheels of the economy turning and also rushing critical medical supplies to far-flung corners of the country.
Car sales feel the heat in April, OEMs brace for a tough May