automotive products

Car sales up in September, but two-wheeler sales not on same trend

a motorcycle parked on the side: This Week in Auto: Car sales up in September, but two-wheeler sales not on same trend

© Swaraj Baggonkar
This Week in Auto: Car sales up in September, but two-wheeler sales not on same trend

A sustained production schedule has allowed automotive companies to supply as much as possible to their dealers in September. While a majority of car making companies recorded strong growth during the month performance by the two-wheeler companies brought out a mixed bag. More of this later in the copy, here is a look at all the major developments in the automotive space this week.

Auto sales rebound September

A strong order book for the upcoming festive period has prompted most of India’s 14 passenger vehicle makers to crank up supplies to their dealers in September, leading to a year-high growth of 32 percent during the month.

Following the lifting of lockdown restrictions that were in place to check the spread of the Covid pandemic, car and SUV makers sold 293,100 units in wholesales during September compared to 234,100 units sold in the same month last year.

Mahindra Thar launched at Rs 9.8 lakh

Mumbai-based Mahindra & Mahindra has launched the Thar at Rs 9.80 lakh (ex-showroom) for the base AX trim in India.

The second-generation Thar’s LX trim, which is more city-oriented and comes with more comfort features comes a bit more expensive at Rs 12.49 lakh (ex-showroom) in India

Honda unveils CB350

India’s second largest two-wheeler maker Honda has launched the CB350 at ‘around’ Rs 1.9 lakh to take on the dominance of Royal Enfield in the entry premium motorcycle segment.

Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI), the country’s second largest two-wheeler manufacturer has priced the CB350 higher than the Royal Enfield Classic 350 which is priced at Rs 1.61 lakh.

Thailand, Vietnam benefit from China loss

Amid thriving anti-China sentiments following clashes between Indian and Chinese armies in Ladakh, data shows that imports of tyres from China recorded a fall during the first quarter of FY21.

Tyre companies in Thailand and Vietnam reaped benefits of the hostilities, snatching away market share from Chinese tyre companies.

Tesla to make its way to India in 2021

Tesla Inc chief executive Elon Musk indicated on October 2 that the U.S. electric carmaker will make a foray into India in 2021.

“Next year for sure,” Musk said on Twitter in reply to a post with a photograph of a T-shirt with the message: “India wants Tesla”.

Sales hit a sweet spot in September

Auto companies reported a strong growth for the second consecutive month in September as far as cars and SUVs were concerned. Four of the top five passenger vehicle companies such as Kia Motors, Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, reported double digit growth in volume dispatches to their dealers during the month.

Auto companies are stocking up at the dealerships for the upcoming festive season when retail sales are expected to be higher. Festive days will kick start from the second half of October.

But the situation at two-wheelers makers was a mixed bag. While Hero MotoCorp, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India and Bajaj Auto recorded double digit growths during September, TVS Motor Company, Royal Enfield and Suzuki Motorcycle either recorded a fall or a low single digit growth during the same month.

India’s largest two-wheeler maker Hero MotoCorp, which said it’s running its plants to 100 percent capacity, clocked a growth of 17 percent during September, selling 7.15 lakh units as against 6.12 lakh units sold in the same month last year.

Bajaj Auto, the maker of the Pulsar range recorded a growth of 24 percent at 2.19 lakh units during September as against 1.77 lakh units sold in the same month last year.

Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India, the country’s second largest two-wheeler maker said it sold 5 lakh units, up by 10 percent during September as compared to 4.55 lakh units sold in the same month in 2019.

Hero, Bajaj and Honda has stepped up their supplies to the rural markets which is generating demand. Other two-wheeler brands could not keep up with their rivals. TVS has seen a correction in wholesale volumes, owing to a comparatively lower exposure to the rural pockets volumes of Royal Enfield and Suzuki have seen marginal growth in September.

TVS Motor Company, for instance, reported a fall of 0.5 percent to 2.41 lakh units in September as against 2.43 lakh units recorded in the same month in 2019.

Niche bike maker Royal Enfield also struggled with growth recording an increase of 2 percent to 55,910 units during September as compared to 54,848 units sold in the same month last year.

Suzuki Motorcycle India, the second biggest two-wheeler brand in the country reported a 2.86 percent increase in volumes to 65,195 units as compared to 63,382 units.

Dealers of two-wheelers, as per the Federation of Automobile Dealers Association, reported high inventory build up during August itself as retail sales were 29 percent lower than August of last year. Last year August sales had a low base.

September retails, whose official numbers will be released later this month, are also expected to be lower due to days considered to be inauspicious for buying new products as per the Hindu calendar.

In a statement Yadvinder Singh Guleria, Director – Sales & Marketing, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India, said, “While the sustained uptick in customer sentiments has boosted the confidence of our network on ground, Honda will cautiously monitor inventory levels in the run up to festivals.”

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