Base effect, lower lending rates accelerate Mar auto sales (Roundup)

Base effect, along with low interest rates and preference for personal mobility due to the pandemic, accelerated year-on-year sales momentum of major automobile players during March.

Maruti Suzuki reported a growth of over 99 per cent in its overall sales during March 2021 on a year-on-year basis.

The company sold 167,014 units from an off-take of 83,792 units in March 2020.

On a sequential basis, the company sold 164,469 units of vehicles in February 2021.

The other major passenger vehicle giant Hyundai Motor India’s overall sales including exports grew by 100 per cent during March, to 64,621 units from 32,279 units sold during March 2020.

Similarly, the company’s domestic sales rose during the month under review, by 100 per cent to 52,600 units from 26,300 units sold during the corresponding month of the previous year.

Exports increased by 101 per cent to 12,021 units from 5,979 units shipped out during March 2020.

Mahindra & Mahindra sold a total of 40,403 units of its vehicles last month both in the domestic and the international markets.

On YoY basis, the sales numbers are multiple times higher than the 6,679 units sold in the pandemic-struck March last year.

In the utility vehicles segment, Mahindra sold 16,643 vehicles in March 2021, compared to 3,111 vehicles in March 2020, the company said in a statement. The passenger vehicles segment (which includes UVs, cars and vans) sold 16,700 vehicles in March 2021.

“At Mahindra, we are witnessing very good momentum in demand and have a strong pipeline of bookings across our SUV range of Bolero, Scorpio, XUV300, All-New Thar and also the Bolero Pik-up,” said Veejay Nakra, Chief Executive Officer, Automotive Division, M&M.

“In fact Bolero volumes for March has been the highest in this financial year and despite supply constraints, we have been able to ramp up production of Bolero Pik-up significantly during the month.”

He added that supply challenges are expected to remain for the next two to three months and then ease out gradually.

The company’s total passenger vehicle sales during the financial year ended March 31, 2021 was over 1.57 lakh units, higher than 16 per cent lower than nearly 1.87 lakh units sold in the previous financial year.

Tata Motors reported a sale of 66,609 units of vehicles in March.

The sales were six-fold higher compared to 11,012 units sold in March 2020.

The company sold 36,955 commercial vehicles in the domestic market last month, way higher than 1,601 units sold a year ago, showed a statement.

Furthermore, Tata Motors PV business posted its highest ever sales in 9-years, in March 21 and Q4FY21.

In FY21, the business registered its highest ever annual sales in 8 years, while posting a growth of 69 per cent versus FY20.

The PV business’ overall sales grew by 422 per cent during March to 29,654 units from 5,676 units sold during March 2020.

Two-and-three wheeler major, TVS Motor Company registered sales of 322,683 units in March 2021 as against 144,739 units in March 2020.

Additionally, two-wheeler major Hero MotoCorp sold 576,957 units of motorcycles and scooters in March 2021, registering a growth of 72 per cent over the corresponding month in the previous year.

The company had sold 334,647 units in March 2020.

“Despite a very high year-on-year growth, which is a function of an extremely low base, passenger car segment volumes should be seen in terms of having achieved record monthly sales in March, a level last exceeded in March 2017,” said Sridhar V, Partner, Grant Thornton Bharat LLP.

“Apart from expectations of offtake at the dealers end due to continuing demand, year end discounts and new introductions have also contributed to this situation.”

Ashish Modani, Vice President, ICRA, said: “Easing discounts level and high waiting period across PV OEMs suggests that underlying demand remains strong, despite hike in fuel prices and vehicle prices in recent months.”

“Domestic M&HCV demand also seems to be bottomed out, with the top two players reporting healthy volume during Mar-2021. Lockdown restrictions during March 2020 impacted volume, and hence volume growth on YoY looks exceptionally strong because of low base effect. The volume growth percentage will continue to look good in the coming months, because of the low base effect of last fiscal when industry volume almost came to a standstill post nationwide lockdown during Mar-2020 to May-2020.”

Suman Chowdhury, Chief Analytical Officer, Acuite Ratings & Research, said: “The overall PV volumes for the top 11 companies recorded a very sharp growth of around 125 per cent on a YoY basis but the growth print is relatively moderate at 4 per cent on a sequential basis (month on month).”

“We believe that the consumer sentiments in the PV segment remain positive due to preference for personal mobility, a significant number of new and competitively priced product launches particularly in the Compact SUV segment and lately, the introduction of the scrappage policy which will facilitate an easier replacement of old vehicles.”