Tata Motors, the country’s largest commercial automaker, reported the best set of numbers for any automaker in India so far for the month of February as both commercial and passenger vehicle sales zoomed.
Even as sales for most of its rival truck makers continue to remain spotty, Tata Motors reported a substantial increase in its CV sales, particularly in the goods carrier segment.
This was complemented by another month of blow-out performance by the company’s passenger vehicle division.
The company’s passenger vehicles sales jumped to 27,225 units — possibly an alltime record — compared to just 12,430 units in the same month of last year, helping the company post its highest overall vehicle sales in 107 months
In the PV segment, company is benefiting from increased demand for its models like Nexon and Altroz.
Sales of Nexon were up 143% in January 2021 and contributed about a third of the total PV sales of the company. Altroz too contributed 7,378 units in January, while Tiago accounted for 6,909 units. The break-down for February has not been released yet.
Meanwhile, sales of its goods carriers continued to pick up. Volumes of intermediate and light commercial vehicles, including the successful ACE brand, were up 68% on year to to 5,624 units.
However, the biggest impact, as far as the company’s sales and profits are concerned, would be from the 30% jump seen in the sales of medium and heavy trucks, whose sales rose to 8,771 units in Feb 2021 from 6,739 in the same month of last year.
Sales of small cargo and pick-up trucks were also up 29% at 15,606 units during the month.
Overall, the CV division saw a 21% increase in numbers despite a fall in the passenger CV division, where sales of buses, vans and so on fell to 1,247 units during the month from 3,342 in the same month of 2020.
A similar pick-up could be seen in the sales of Volvo Eicher or VECV, where sales of heavy duty trucks jumped to 1,128 in Feb this year from 700 last year.
Similarly, light and medium goods carrier volumes saw sales increase to 3,349 from 2,253 units in February last year.
However, in case of VE too, bus sales were down by around 60%.
VECV’s exports too fell by around 10% due to lower demand for buses.
Nevertheless, total sales for VECV were up 19% in February — the first time that the company has reported a clear break-out from the COVID-19 disruption to its sales.
Royal Enfield too returned to growth in February, casting away the gloom and doom of the CoViD-19 lockdown.
The company sold 69,659 units, which was up 10% compared to the same month of 2020, including exports that doubled to 4,545 units during the month compared to the same month of last year.
Growth was largely confined to the 350cc market, where sales rose 12%. Sales of motorcycles with engine capacities above 350cc were at 5,297, which was 15% less than the 6,244 number posted in the same month of 2020.
Despite the 10% growth seen in February, total RE sales for the first 11 months of the current financial year are lower by 17% compared to the previous financial year.
MAHINDRA & MAHINDRA
Continuing to ride the increased momentum in sales ever since the Coronavirus lockdown was relaxed last year, Mahindra & Mahindra reported its strongest growth in passenger vehicles in over a year.
The company’s passenger vehicle sales jumped 41% for the month of February, a welcome relief in a year when they’ve so far been down 23%.
February is likely to be one of the company’s best months in recent years, as it has been struggling to catch up with rivals after its core market — that of utility vehicles — was attacked by a slew of new brands like Kia and MG.
However, things seemed to have taken a turn for the better in February, with utility vehicle sales jumping 44% on year to 15,380 units, one of the highest in the company’s recent history.
Veejay Nakra, Chief Executive Officer, Automotive Division attributed the numbers of continued robust demand.
“Demand continues to remain buoyant for our range of SUVs and Pick-ups and we have a robust order pipeline,” he said.
For the same month, rival Maruti Suzuki was reported a 19% increase in its UV sales at 26,884 vs 22,604 in 2020.
However, like Maruti Suzuki and other automakers, Mahindra & Mahindra too is feeling the heat as semiconductor chip supplies have dried up due to Coronavirus-related shut-downs and reallocations.
An increased demand for communication and computing devices has led chipmakers to divert some of their capacity to these higher-margin segments, causing supply shortages in the automotive sector.
“Supply of semiconductors, as we all know, is a global issue and it is likely to continue for another 3 to 4 months. Going forward, we will continue to monitor the situation and closely work with our suppliers to minimise this supply risk,” Nakra pointed out.
M&M’s commercial vehicles division continued to bleed, as volumes were down 33-46% in its medium and heavy CV division.
Three-wheeler sales too were down 39% at 581 units.
The growth in tractor sales, meanwhile, moderated slightly in February to 24% on year. Nevertheless, for the year so far, the company’s tractor sales are up 13%.
M&M sold 27,170 tractors during the month.
“Tractor demand continues to be robust with Rabi sowing at an all-time high, supported by healthy reservoir levels and higher liquidity with farmers, on account of timely and robust procurement of Kharif crops. The outlook for the industry continues to be positive given the all-time high estimates of Rabi production and strong rural cash flows. In the exports market, we have sold 976 tractors, a growth of 43% over last year,” said Hemant Sikka, President – Farm Equipment Sector.
TVS MOTOR CO
TVS Motor Co to reported a 21% increase in two-wheeler sales for February, led primarily by a 35% jump in exports to 89,436.
Domestic two-wheeler sales grew slower at 15% to 195,145.
Together, overall two-wheeler sales for the company was up 21% on year.
The company’s three-wheeler sales were down at 13,166 from 17,370 last year as public transportation continues to be under pressure due to fears of the viral contagion.
Nevertheless, take together, overall sales of the company was up 18% on year at 2.98 lakh compared to 2.53 lakh units in Feb last year.