September auto sales show Indian auto manufacturers are almost back at pre-COVID levels — commercial vehicles continue to lag

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September auto sales show Indian auto manufacturers are almost back at pre-COVID levels — commercial vehicles continue to lag
BCCL
  • Maruti Suzuki registered 30% year-on-year growth in overall sales, led by a 31% jump in domestic sales.
  • The slowdown in M&M sales was largely offset by the farm equipment segment, which recorded stellar growth of 17%.
  • Bajaj Auto recorded its highest ever exports in September 2020.
The Indian auto-manufactures are witnessing a turnaround from the COVID-19 led slowdown on the back of demand normalization. The strong sales numbers for the auto sector are due to various factors — from the gradual resumption of the supply chain to strong sentiments in rural and semi-urban markets and the rise in preference for personal mobility due to the continuously mounting fear of coronavirus.

According to analysts, the sales in festive-centric Southern markets at the start of the month also offset the lower retail sales in the northern and western markets due to two inauspicious periods during the time of Shraadh and Adhik Maas.

September monthly auto sales number from Maruti Suzuki:

After nearly seven months of slowdown, India’s largest car manufacturer Maruti Suzuki, registered 30% year-on-year growth in overall sales led by a 31% jump in domestic sales. The export market, which continued to remain under pressure until August, also saw green shoots of recovery and registered over 9% year-on-year growth.
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Maruti Suzuki IndiaSeptember 2020September 2019 YoY (%)
Domestic sales152,608115,45231.00%
Exports7,8347,1889%
Total sales160,442122,64030.80%

However, the situation remained grim for Mahindra & Mahindra — as its automotive segment, which includes commercial vehicles, recorded a 17% downfall. The slowdown in M&M sales was largely offset by the farm equipment segment, which recorded stellar growth of 17% on the back of a strong Kharif crop season. The company remains optimistic about the upcoming festive season.

“Retail demand continued to be buoyant backed by a very good monsoon, higher kharif acreage and continued government support, including higher MSPs for key crops. We are looking forward to a very robust demand for the festive season ahead,” said Hemant Sikka, president- farm equipment sector, Mahindra & Mahindra.

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September monthly auto sales number from Mahindra & Mahindra:
Mahindra & MahindraSeptember 2020 September 2019 YoY (%)
Automotive3592043,343-17.00%
Farm Equipment43,38637,01117%
Total Sales77,00280,354-2.00%

Bajaj Auto’s commercial vehicle segment also reflected similar pessimism— the sales of Bajaj Auto’s CV were down 44%, with the domestic sales taking a massive hit. However, Bajaj logged in record exports in the two-wheeler segment, which partly offset the slowdown due to CVs.

According to analysts, the situation for the commercial vehicle segment remained grim due to the pessimism around public transport, economic slowdown, excess capacity, and limited driver availability.

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September monthly auto sales number from Bajaj Auto:
Bajaj AutoSeptember 2020September 2019 YoY (%)
Three-wheeler36,45565,305-44%
Two-wheeler404,851336,73020%

The sales numbers from Hero MotoCorp, Eicher Motors and Ashok Leyland are awaited.

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