Nascent Revival In India Auto Sales Gathers Momentum In September 2020
A visitor takes a photograph of miniature toy cars on display at the Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair in Hong Kong, China, on Jan. 10, 2011. (Photographer: Dale de la Rey/Bloomberg)

Nascent Revival In India Auto Sales Gathers Momentum In September 2020

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The nascent revival in India's auto sales gathered momentum in September 2020 as the nation's biggest automakers posted double-digit gains in the number of vehicles they dispatched to dealerships across the country.

India’s auto sector, which contributes more than 7% to the nation's gross domestic product, was grappling with a protracted slowdown when the coronavirus lockdown completely stalled operations. After a washout in April, sales revived in subsequent months as stay-at-home restrictions eased.

While factory-gate shipments—a measure of auto wholesales—of Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. rose 31% year-on-year in September, Hero MotoCorp Ltd. recorded its highest monthly sales in 2020 so far. Their closest competitors weren't far behind—Hyundai Motor Co. Ltd.'s India sales rose by nearly a quarter and Bajaj Auto Ltd. dispatched 10% more motorcycles to its dealerships in India and abroad.

But the surge in wholesales in unlikely to reflect in retail sales because according to the Hindu calendar, September and half of October this year is deemed inauspicious for vehicle purchases, says a report by brokerage Prabhudas Lilladher.

Nevertheless, automakers have used this period to stock up dealerships, anticipating demand during the festive season that follows. Inventory levels across segments rose to 35-45 days last month as compared to 20-30 days in August, the report stated. This was corroborated by research reports of Motilal Oswal and Dolat Capital.

Here's a look at the auto sales in September 2020, as reported by the companies, in year-on-year terms:

Honda Cars India Reports 10% Rise In Sales In September 2020

Total sales of Honda Cars India Pvt. Ltd. rose 9.7% over a year ago to 10.199 units in September 2020, according to a statement released on Thursday. The company had sold 9,301 units in domestic market in September 2019.

Exports stood at 170 units last month.

Honda Cars India “saw an uptick in our dispatches in line with our plan and reaffirms slow but steady path to recovery, both for demand and supply,” Rajesh Goel, senior vice president at the Indian arm of the Japanese carmaker said in the statement. “This was also our preparation for the festive season, where we expect the market to gain further momentum...”

The need for personal mobility—in light of the coronavirus pandemic—will get reflected in industry volumes in the coming months, Goel said.

TVS Motor's Sales Rise 4% To 3.27 Lakh Units In September 2020

Total sales of TVS Motor Co. Ltd. rose 3.76% over the year ago to 3,27,692 units in September 2020, according to an exchange filing on Thursday, The Chennai-based automaker, which primarily makes two-wheelers and three-wheelers, had sold 3,15,796 units in September 2019.

  • Total two-wheeler sales rose 4.16% year-on-year to 3,13,332 units.
  • Local two-wheeler sales fell marginally from a year ago to 2,41,762 units.
  • Exports rose 19% year-on-year to 85,163 units last month.

On Thursday, TVS Motor shares rose 2.49% to Rs 480.10 apiece on the BSE while the benchmark Sensex ended the day 1.65% higher at 38,697.05 points.

Royal Enfield Records Marginal Uptick In Sales In September 2020

Robotic arms spray lacquer onto gas tanks for Royal Enfield Classic 350 motorcycle as they move on a conveyor on the production line at the company’s manufacturing facility in Chennai, India. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)
Robotic arms spray lacquer onto gas tanks for Royal Enfield Classic 350 motorcycle as they move on a conveyor on the production line at the company’s manufacturing facility in Chennai, India. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Total sales of Royal Enfield rose 1% over the year ago period to 60,041 motorcycles in September 2020, parent Eicher Motors Ltd. said in an exchange filing on Thursday. The company had sold 59,500 units a year ago.

While domestic sales rose 2% year-on-year to 55,910 units, exports fell 11% from the year ago to 4,131 units, the statement showed.

Sales of 350 cc motorycles—the Classic, Bullet and Thunderbird series—rose 4% to 54,144 units. The company's bigger motorycles—the Himalayan, Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650—lagged as their sales fell 21% to 5,897 units.

Tata Motors Sales Rise 37% Year-On-Year In September 2020

A logo sits on the wheel hub of Tata Motors’ new Nexon SUV during a launch event in Mumbai, India, on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)
A logo sits on the wheel hub of Tata Motors’ new Nexon SUV during a launch event in Mumbai, India, on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Total domestic sales of Tata Motors Ltd. rose 37% year-on-year to 44,444 units in September 2020, according to an exchange filing Thursday. The automaker had sold 32,376 units in the year-ago period. The figures include sales of passenger as well as commercial vehicles.

  • Commercial vehicle sales fell 11% from the year ago to 24,910 units.
  • Passenger vehicle sales rose 163% year-on-year to 21,199 units.

On quarterly basis, Tata Motors sales rose 112% year-on-year to 54,794 units in the April-September 2020 period.

Hero MotoCorp Records Highest Monthly Sales In 2020

A Hero MotoCorp motorcycle is displayed at Pashupati Motors dealership in New Delhi, India. (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)  
A Hero MotoCorp motorcycle is displayed at Pashupati Motors dealership in New Delhi, India. (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)  

Hero MotoCorp Ltd. recorded its highest monthly sales for the ongoing calendar year in September 2020. India's largest two-wheeler maker sold 7,15,718 units last month, indicating 16.97% growth over the year-ago period.

  • Motorcycle sales rose 18.3% year-on-year to 6,60,948 units.
  • Scooter sales rose 2.35% year-on-year to 54,770 units.
  • Domestic sales rose 16.11% year-on-year to 6,00,509 units.
  • Exports rose 57.54% year-on-year to 18,425 units.

The company is now operating at nearly 100% production capacity with almost all customer touchpoints open.

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