September commercial vehicle despatches improve month-on-month

by Nilesh Wadhwa 01 Oct 2020

The second half of fiscal year 2021 is over. While Covid-19 continues to disrupt normal life, the automobile industry might well be seeing some hint of green shoots across segments. The overall commercial vehicle segment reported sales of 52,939 units in September 2020, a 16% YoY decline compared to 54,142 units in September 2019. However, on a month-on-month basis, these numbers are quite encouraging as CVs recorded strong 32 percent growth compared to August 2020.

Interestingly, the country’s largest commercial vehicle maker Tata Motors reported total sales of 23,245 units (-4%) compared to 24,279 units for the same period last year. Except for the SCV segment which was in the green, the other segments despite being in the red reported strong numbers month-on-month (MoM) indicating an expected return of demand in the market.

Commenting on the sales numbers, Girish Wagh, president – Commercial Vehicles Business Unit, Tata Motors said, “Tata Motors’ commercial vehicle domestic sales in Q2FY21 at 52,094 units was around 23% lower than Q2FY2020. However, it was significantly higher than the previous quarter (Q1 FY2021) on the back of gradually increasing demand and improving supply situation. In September, the sale at 23,245 units was 38% higher than last month while being 4.3% below September 2019. Offtake was higher than retail, as we prepare for sequential improvement in retails in the coming months. Our BS VI products are receiving very good response from customers, as these deliver on the promise of better earnings potential across applications, along with enhanced comfort, connectivity and performance.”

For the second largest CV maker, Ashok Leyland the situation was similar, the company’s overall CV sales returned to the positive with a total of 18,907 units despatched in September (0.18%), compared to 18,872 units a year ago. The company also reported a growth of 23 percent over previous month.

Mumbai-headquartered Mahindra & Mahindra has been quite aggressive in its strategy to grab a significant share in the domestic commercial vehicle market. In September the company’s overall CV sales came at 7,847 units (-0.05%) compared to 7,851 units during the same period last year. While, the company reported strong growth in all segments, the major drop was due to lower sales in the M&HCV Bus segment. The company is betting on upcoming festive season to see pickup in demand.

Commenting on the performance, Veejay Nakra, CEO, Automotive Division, Mahindra & Mahindra said, “At Mahindra, we are happy to witness a growth of 6% in Utility Vehicles. It is also encouraging to see that the enquiry and booking levels in September were significantly higher compared to the previous months, both for UVs and SCVs. With market sentiments indicating a robust festive demand across segments, both in rural and urban markets, we are positive that this festive season will augur well for us as well as the automotive industry.”

Volvo-Eicher Commercial Vehicles (VECV) too reported gradual improvement in sales with a total of 2,940 units being dispatched, which was 6 percent lower compared to same period last year, but a growth of 34 percent over August 2020.