Wholesale auto sales near pre-Covid level; 88% jump from June for Maruti

Maruti Suzuki, India's largest passenger car manufacturer, on Saturday announced that it had sold 108,000 units in July, 88.2 per cent more than June 2020.

The numbers are dispatch from the manufacturer to their dealers and don’t reflect retail sales.

While it is a sign of recovery, Maruti executives said that the numbers primarily indicate that supply side issues like availability of workforce and raw material supply has largely been addressed.

“The numbers mean that our supply side is in order now. Whether this will translate in higher retail numbers, though the signal we are getting from our dealers is pretty encouraging,” said Shashank Srivastava, Executive Director ,Marketing & sales of Maruti, adding that the growth is also on a lower base as July 2019 numbers were low due to economic slowdown.

The automaker sold 1,307 units to other OEM (Read Toyota Kirloskar Motor), down 27.2 per cent from 1,796 units sold in the same month a year ago. The figures indicate an improvement in market conditions for the company marred by the coronavirus-induced lockdown.

Sales of mini cars Alto and WagonR stood at 17,258 units, compared with 11,577 units in the same month last year, up 49.1 per cent. Sales for the compact car segment -- models like Swift, Celerio, Ignis, Baleno and Dzire -- however, declined by 10.4 per cent to 51,529 units, against 57,512 cars in July last year.

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“As we see from the numbers, the growth is being largely driven by entry level cars. So the trend signals that despite a weaker economic scenario, buyers are inclined towards buying a vehicle to maintain social distancing during mobility,” Srivastava said.

Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd sold 25,678 units of commercial and passenger vehicles in July 2020—indicating a month-on-month growth of 32.64 per cent and decline of 36.03 per cent on year-on-year basis. The company's automotive division had sold 19,358 vehicles in June 2020 and 40,142 vehicles in July 2019.

The growth for Mahindra was primarily driven by sale of tractors which grw by 28 percent over July last year.

“We have sold 24,463 tractors in the domestic market during July 2020, a growth of 28% over last year. These are our highest ever July sales. The strong demand momentum continued, aided by positive sentiments due to good cash flows to farmers, higher Kharif sowing, a timely and normal monsoon cumulatively across June & July and continued higher rural spending by the Government,” said Hemant Sikka, President - Farm Equipment Sector, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.

Toyota Kirloskar Motor Pvt. Ltd sold 5,386 units in July, indicating a sequential growth of 39.31 per cent and an annual decline of 48.32 per cent. The company had sold 3,866 units in June 2020 and 10,423 units in July 2019. "Despite various challenges, the month of July witnessed better sales in terms of both retail and wholesales when compared to June," Naveen Soni, senior vice president (sales and service) at Toyota.