NEW DELHI: Auto sales in May witnessed a steep fall due to factory closures and regional lockdowns enforced to contain the second wave of the pandemic. The country's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India (MSIL) reported a 71 per cent sequential decline in total sales during the month at 46,555 units, compared to 1,59,691 units in April.
It had shut production facilities from May 1-16 in order to divert oxygen from its plants for medical purposes. MSIL's domestic dispatches to dealers last month stood at 35,293 units, down 75 per cent month-on-month - the lowest in 11 months.
Going ahead, the industry is unlikely to see much relief in the near future as most factories, especially ones located in the South, are operating at limited capacities due to lockdowns and low demand.
Ashok Leyland, which reported a 62 per cent month-on-month drop in May 2021 sales, said that its plants are still not fully operational and that they expect to run their facilities only for 5-10 days in June. It added that "the demand scenario is still to pick up".
Japanese carmaker Toyota (TKM), whose sales fell 92 per cent m-o-m to 707 units, said it witnessed no production at its Bidadi plant. MG Motor India's Director for Sales Rakesh Sidana said, "The continued lockdown in some states in June 2021 indicates that part shortage will continue to hamper overall production next month. Based on the booking trend we are hopeful of an uptrend in June."
MG Motor reported sales of 1,016 units in May 2021 as against 2,565 units in April. Tata Motors' total domestic sales fell 38 per cent m-o-m to 24,552 units, while Mahindra’s domestic PV sales stood at 8,004 units, down 56 per cent.
Hyundai Motor reported total sales of 30,703 units in May - a decline of 48 per cent month-on-month. Honda Cars domestic sales fell from 9,072 units in April 2021 to 2,032 units in May 2021. "Multiple state-wide lockdowns throughout the country to control the spike in Covid-19 infections in May 2021 impacted retail business," said Rajesh Goel, senior executive at Honda Cars India.
Two-wheeler sales alse fell sharply due to similar reasons. Hero MotorCorp sold 1,59,561 units, while Honda 2Wheelers dispatched only 38,763 units in domestic market. In normal months, Hero sells over 6 lakh units in domestic market while Honda easily surpasses 4-5 lakh mark. TVS and Bajaj Auto also witnessed a domestic slump.