After recording zero sales in the month of April, automobile manufacturers resumed sales and operations in May. Although sales numbers are still not comparable to May 2019, they bring with them some hope nonetheless
With the nation-wide lockdown spanning the entire month of April, manufacturers recorded zero sales – for the first time in the history of the Indian automotive scene. Right at the beginning of Lockdown 3.0, manufacturers were allowed to commence operations at their facilities. In fact, in certain cities with lower COVID-19 cases, dealerships were permitted to open too. With May coming to an end, the sales numbers for the month are now out. While they are not quite comparable to the corresponding month last year – frankly it's unfair to even expect that, they surely bring with them hope.
In comparison to May 2019, Maruti Suzuki recorded an 88.95% decline in their sale. The company sold more than 1,34,643 units in May 2019, but could only manage to sell 18,539 units last month. The impact was higher in the domestic market with Maruti Suzuki being able to sell just 13,865 units in comparison to 1,25,552 units. The Manesar-based carmaker still hasn’t opened all its dealerships across the country. All dealerships outlets that are not in the containment zones will soon open their shutters for bookings and sale.
Maruti isn’t the only brand that has been hit hard. Hyundai sales have dropped too, although not as adversely as its rival. The company could record sales of 12,583 units in May – 6,883 in the domestic market and 5,700 cars were shipped abroad. Of course, these numbers are considerably lower than May 2019 when the company registered overall sales of 59,102 units. Just a week prior to the lockdown, Hyundai launched the all-new Creta in India. The company claims that the response for the new SUV has been good and they have been able to garner 24,000 bookings since launch.
Mahindra and MG
The passenger vehicle division of Mahindra sold just 3,867 units locally in May 2020. In the same month last year, the company sold 20,608 units. Meanwhile, MG Motor has been able to sell 710 units last month. The Chinese-owned British brand made its debut in India towards the end of June last year. That being said, in the last fully operational month of February 2020, MG registered sales of 1,376. In January 2020, the company sold 3,130 units. MG currently just has the Hector SUV on offer.
While there has surely been a massive drop in sales due to the COVID-19 lockdown, it is unfair to compare the May 2020 numbers with any other month, in any other year. The automotive industry has literally started from zero, and these numbers are surely a positive sign. With the lockdown being eased substantially in June, one can only hope that the numbers will improve. Meanwhile, manufacturers are doing their bit by bringing new products and offering support to existing customers.