Monday, 30th October 2017

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Coronavirus whammy for auto industry

Carmakers pushed to wall by pandemic; some report 90% decline in sales

By PTI in New Delhi
  • Published 1.04.20, 6:57 PM
  • Updated 1.04.20, 6:57 PM
  • 3 mins read
Maruti Suzuki's sale of mini cars, comprising Alto and WagonR, stood at 15,988 units as compared to 16,826 units in the same month last year, down 5 per cent (Shutterstock)

Automakers across the board have been negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and the economic slowdown, reporting gloomy figures on Wednesday.

Leading companies such as Mahindra and Ashok Leyland said that their March sales had declined by nearly 90 per cent.

Maruti Suzuki India, the country’s largest carmaker, on Wednesday reported a 47 per cent drop in sales at 83,792 units in March.

The automaker had sold 1,58,076 units in March last year, Maruti Suzuki said in a statement.

Domestic sales declined by 46.4 per cent at 79,080 units last month as against 1,47,613 units in the year-ago period, the statement added.

The sale of mini cars, comprising Alto and WagonR, stood at 15,988 units as compared to 16,826 units in the same month last year, down 5 per cent.

The sales of the compact segment, including models such as Swift, Celerio, Ignis, Baleno and Dzire, fell 50.9 per cent at 40,519 units as against 82,532 cars in March last year.

Mid-sized sedan Ciaz sold 1,863 units as compared to 3,672 units earlier.

Similarly, the sales of utility vehicles, including Vitara Brezza, S-Cross and Ertiga, declined by 53.4 per cent to 11,904 units as compared to 25,563 in the year-ago month, the company said.

Exports last month were down by 55 per cent at 4,712 units as against 10,463 units in the corresponding month last year, the company added.

Mahindra sales dip 88% in March

The auto major Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) on Wednesday reported a steep 88 per cent decline in total sales at 7,401 units in March.

The company had sold 62,952 units in the same month last year, M&M said in a statement.

In the domestic market, sales were down 90 per cent to 6,130 units last month compared to 59,012 units in March 2019.

The exports dropped by 68 per cent to 1,271 units as against 3,940 units in the year-ago month.

In the passenger vehicles segment — which includes UVs, cars and vans — it sold 3,384 vehicles in March this year, against 27,646 vehicles in the same month last year, down 88 per cent.

In the commercial vehicles segment, the company sold 2,325 vehicles as against 24,423 units earlier, a dip of 90 per cent.

“Our performance in March has been muted on account of the impact of the current lockdown related to Covid-19 and the disruption in our BS-VI ramp-up plan,” Veejay Ram Nakra, chief executive officer, automotive division, M&M Ltd. said.

The ramp-up Nakra spoke about was planned between February and March but was affected due to the challenges of parts supply from global and local suppliers, he added.

“We have been able to clear our BS-IV inventory, but for fewer than 100 vehicles. However, there are many vehicles that are sold, but not yet registered because of the closure of RTOs,” Nakra said.

For 2019-20 fiscal, the company reported 22 per cent dip in total sales at 4,76,043 units compared to 6,08,596 units in 2018-19.

Ashok Leyland March sales down 90%

Ashok Leyland, Hinduja group flagship firm, on Wednesday reported a 90 per cent decline in total vehicles sales at 2,179 units in March.

The company had sold 21,535 units in the same month last year, Ashok Leyland said in a regulatory filing.

Total domestic vehicles sales stood at 1,787 units in March against 20,521 units in the year-ago period, registering a decline of 91 per cent.

Medium and heavy commercial vehicles sales in domestic market were down 90 per cent at 1,498 units last month, as compared to 15,235 units in the year-ago month, it added.

Light commercial vehicle sales last month stood at 289 units as compared to 5,286 units in March 2019, down 95 per cent, the company said.

Toyota Kirloskar Motor sales down over 41% in March

Toyota Kirloskar Motor on Wednesday reported a 41.2 per cent decline in total vehicle sales at 8,022 units in March as against 13,662 units in same period last year.

Domestic sales declined 45 per cent to 7,023 units as compared to 12,818 units in March 2019.

“Even though the company has been long successful in liquidating all BS-IV stock and transitioning to a 100 per cent BS-VI manufacturing facility, last month has been very challenging for us, both in terms of sales as well as production,” senior vice president Naveen Soni said in a statement.

With the spread of Covid-19 threat in various parts of the country followed by the 21-day national lockdown, the company’s priority was to ensure the safety and well-being of all its stakeholders and most importantly, the dealers and their staff who are at the frontline, he added.