February 2020: Auto Sales Continue to Fall

Passenger vehicle sales declined last month in a sluggish market, with carmakers aligning stocks ahead of the industry’s transition to BS-VI emission standards in the new fiscal year beginning April 1. The outbreak of coronavirus additionally disrupted supply of components from China affecting production at automakers such as Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra and MG Motor India in February.

The country’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki reported a decline of 2.3%, selling 133,702 units in February. While sales of mini cars Alto and S-Presso went up 11.1% to 27,499 units, those of compact cars (Swift, Dzire, Tour S, Baleno, WagonR, Ignis, Celerio) fell 3.9% to 69,828 units. Demand for midsize sedan Ciaz dropped 17.5% to 2,544 units. Wholesale volumes of utility vehicles Ertiga, Vitara Brezza, XL6, S-Cross were up 3.5% to 22,604 units in the month under review.

Home grown auto major Mahindra said that while it has cut down BS-IV production as per its plan to transition to BS-VI norms, its production ramp up of vehicles compliant with higher emission standards was affected last month due to the disruption in the supply of parts from China. At M&M, wholesale shipments locally crashed 58% to 10,938 units.

At Tata Motors too, passenger vehicle sales fell 31% to 12,430 units in the month under review.

At MG Motor India, sales during the month stood at 1,376 units, compared with average monthly volumes of 3,000 units.

Korean automaker Hyundai reported a 7.2% fall in domestic sales at 40,010 units. Automakers in India report wholesale dispatches from factories and not retail sales to customers.

Honda Cars India sold 7,269 units last month, which is a decline of 36% over 13,527 units sold in the year-ago period.

In the commercial vehicle segment, sales continued to remain under pressure due to slowing economic activity and revision in axle-load norms that created additional capacity. Market leader Tata Motors sold 25,572 units last month, which is a decline of 35% over the year-ago period. At VE Commercial Vehicles, sales of Eicher branded trucks and buses fell 27.4% to 3,875 units in February.

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