Sales of Tata Motors passenger vehicles has almost doubled in January to 26,978 units from 13,894 units in January of last year — marking the highest ever monthly sales for the company.
The previous high was in November, when it sold 23,617 passenger vehicles.
The exact break-up of which models did how much in terms of sales is not available yet, but the company’s new models, including Tiago and Nexon, have been doing well in recent months.
The company also saw a bounce-back in the commercial vehicles segment, with total numbers rising to 32,909, up from 32,869 in December, but down 3% from 33,860 in January last year.
However, even as truck sales jumped over the same month of last year, sales of buses and vans remained extremely subdued to the challenges involving the movement of people during the pandemic.
In what can come only as music to the ears of investors, sales of medium and heavy trucks were up 22% on year at 8,416 vs 6,914 in Jan 2020.
Sales of intermediate and light CVs too were up 29% at 4,955.
Both these numbers suggest that economic and industrial activity is almost at normal levels.
Sales of small cargo vehicles were stable at 16,386 versus 16,941 last year.
Overall, including both personal and commercial vehicles, domestic sales was up 28% on year at 57,742 vs 45,242 last year.
The new year seemed to bring about a change of fortunes for VECV — a joint venture between Sweden’s Volvo Group and India’s Eicher Motors.
After seeing a string of declines in sales, the commercial vehicle maker was able to report an emphatic return to growth for truck sales in January even as rival M&M continued to grapple with poor growth.
VECV’s commercial vehicle sales were up 2.3% in Jaunary at 5,673 compared to 5,544 for the same period last year. The company had sold 4,892 vehicles in December, which was a decline of 3% on year.
Unlike some rivals, VECV was able to see strong growth in its non-passenger (truck) sales in January.
Sales of heavy duty trucks saw a 37% jump in sales to 1,085 units, while those of its low-to-medium trucks (3.5 to 15.0 tons) were up 22% at 3,617 units.
However, sales of both LMD and HD buses continued to be down sharply as passenger movement in buses continued to remain a challenge due to the presence of COVID-19 viruses.
Exports too were higher by 7.4% at 555 units.
Sales of Volvo-branded buses and trucks were flattish at 154 against 156 for the base month.
The two- and three-wheeler maker saw strong growth in January, continuing to ride the momentum seen in low-cost personal vehicles in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic that has made public transport unsafe.
Overall sales, including three-wheelers and exports, grew by 31% to 3.07 lakh from 2.35 lakh in January last year.
Even though January sales is below the 3.22 lakh reported for the festival month of November, it is higher in terms of growth rate, as the month of November had seen a growth of only 21%.
Moreover, at 3.07 lakh, January sales were clearly ahead of the 2.58 lakh number reported for December.
Within this, two-wheelers sales, including exports, grew by 34% recording 294,596 units in January 2021 as against 220,439 units.
Within two-wheelers, motorcycle sales were up 45% at 136,790 units against 94,367 units last year, while scooter sales rose 36% to 98,319 from 72,383.
Domestic two-wheeler sales were up 26% at 205,216 vs 163,007.
Growth was even stronger in the export market.
Two-wheeler exports registered a growth of 56% with 89,380 units in January 2021 against 57,432 in January 2020.
The company pointed out that the growth was despite scarcity in availability of containers.
“The demand in export market continues to be robust,” it added.
Including three-wheelers, the company’s total exports grew by 43% registering 100,926 units in the month of January 2021 as against 70,784 units in January 2020.
Three-wheeler sales were lower at 12,553 vs 14,481 units in January 2020.
MAHINDRA & MAHINDRA
Mahindra & Mahindra, one of India’s top two home-grown automakers, reported another month of distressing sales numbers for commercial vehicles, even as demand for its passenger vehicles remained decent. Tractor sales, meanwhile, continued to set new records as rural demand showed no signs of letting up.
Mahindra & Mahindra’s CV sales fell sharply on year — largely due to a fall in sales of lighter vehicles — while passenger vehicle numbers crawled up 4% and tractor sales jumped 50% on year.
CV sales were impacted by a sudden fall in the number of light CVs sold, while demand for heavier vehicles continued to improve.
CVs of carrying capacity below 2 tons saw sales fall to 991 units in January from 4,518 units in the same month of the previous year. What is surprising is that this also marked a sharp fall from the 3,755 such vehicles sold in the month of November and 1,989 sold in December.
The exact reason for the drop is not known, but may have had something to do with festival discounts and offers that were available in November, and which may have distorted short-term demand. Demand for pick-ups also tends to be higher during the festival season.
A drop was also visible the sales of light CVs with carrying capacity in the range of 2-3.5 tons. Here, sales fell 32% on year to 11,846, and was also below the 14,799 numbers sold in November, but were above the 11,400 recorded in December.
On a positive note, sales of commercial vehicles above 3.5 tons, including heavy trucks, rose to 551 units from 475 in November and 541 in December, though they were still about 46% below the previous-year number (1,016).
Passenger vehicle numbers tended to follow the recent trend, with strong demand for Thar managing to avert an overall decline in sales.
Total sales of passenger vehicles were up 837 units (4%) on year at 20,634. It is believed that the revamped Thar is adding around 2,500 units per month to the company’s passenger vehicle sales.
Also on a positive note, the number of passenger vehicles sold in January (20,634) is higher than the number of such vehicles sold in the festival month of November (18,212) and considerably above those of the preceding month of December (16,182).
The best numbers, however, were again reported by the company’s tractor division.
The business sold 34,778 tractors during January, which is up 50% compared to the same month of 2019. This is in line with the extremely robust performance put up by the division for the last four months or so.
With this, Mahindra’s Farm Equipment Division has posted a increase in its sales for the year-to-date (Apr-Jan), clocking a growth of 11.2% for the ten-month period.
“Tractor demand continues to be strong with expansion in Rabi acreage, very high reservoir levels and higher liquidity in the hands of farmers with timely Kharif procurement. Demand is expected to remain robust on account of these factors and higher allocations which are expected for Agriculture in the upcoming Budget in line with Government’s continued focus on Agriculture & Rural sector. In the exports market, we have sold 1,216 tractors, a growth of 55% over last year,” said Farm Equipment Division President Hemant Sikka.
The company said supply shortage of micro-processor semiconductors continued to be a serious challenge for the automobile industry.
“Going forward we are working with our supplier partners to gear up our supply chain and meet the market demand.”