Passenger car sales continue downward trend

Consumer sentiment remained subdued; SARS-CoV-2 outbreak constrained component supplies

Wholesale sales of passenger vehicles in the country continued on a downward trend in February 2020, with major car makers posting a decline in sales as consumer sentiment remained subdued, in addition to component supply constraints due to global outbreak of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.

Market leader Maruti Suzuki on Sunday said its sales of passenger vehicles fell 2.3% last month to 1.33 lakh units in February 2020, as against sales of over 13.6 lakh units in the year-ago month.

While the sales of its mini segment cars (Alto and S-Presso) grew 11% to 27,499 units, that of utility vehicles (Vitara Brezza, S-Cross and Ertiga) rose 3.5% to 22,604 units. However, sales of the compact segment (such as Swift, Wagon R, Celerio, Ignis, Baleno and Dzire) declined 3.9% to 69,828 units, and sales of its mid-sized sedan Ciaz fell 17.5% to 2,544 units.

Hyundai Motor India said its domestic sales declined 7% last month to 40,010 passenger vehicles, as against 43,110 units in February 2019.

For homegrown car maker Mahindra & Mahindra Limited (M&M), passenger vehicle sales declined by 58% to 10,938 units (from 26,109 units), while sales of commercial vehicles were down 25% to 15,856 units (from 21,154 units).

‘Few more weeks’

Veejay Ram Nakra, Chief of Sales and Marketing, Automotive Division, M&M Ltd., said, “The ramp-down of BS IV vehicle production has been in line with our plan for February. However, because of the unforeseeable challenges on the parts-supply from China, our BS VI ramp-up has been affected.”

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He added that this had resulted in a high de-growth in the billing volume for February and the dealer inventory was now under ten days. “Going into March, we anticipate the challenges on parts-supply to continue for another few weeks, before we get back to normalcy,” Mr. Nakra added.

‘Severely affected’

MG Motor India on Sunday announced retail sales of 1,376 units in February 2020. The company, which had retailed 3,130 units in January, currently sells two models in the country — SUV Hector and ZS EV.

“…the unforeseen coronavirus outbreak has severely affected our European and Chinese supply chains, disrupting our production and impacting our sales in February and it will continue through March. We are working towards stabilising the situation and are hopeful that reasonable normalcy will be restored by the end of March,” Rakesh Sidana, Director- Sales, MG Motor India said.

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