Special Correspondent

The global semiconductor shortage continued to play spoilsport for the Indian automobile industry with major manufacturers such as Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, Toyota and Honda reporting a drop in wholesales for February. However, Tata Motors, Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) and MG Motor recorded an increase in sales.

Market leader Maruti Suzuki’s domestic passenger vehicle (PV) sales slipped 7.4% last month to 133,948 units. “The shortage of electronic components had a minor impact on the production of vehicles which are primarily sold in the domestic market. The company took all possible measures to minimise the impact,” it said. The company, however, registered its highest ever monthly exports of 24,021 units.

Likewise, Hyundai Motor India registered domestic sales growth of 14.6% to 44,050 units while export dipped 10.7% to 9,109 units. “As the industry continues to grapple with semiconductor shortage situation, Hyundai, along with its partners is continuously exploring alternatives to ensure customers can take delivery of their most loved Hyundai cars at the earliest,” the company said.

While Toyota Kirloskar Motor said domestic sales declined by almost 38% to 8,745 units, Honda Cars reported a 23% decline in domestic wholesales to 7,187 units.

Yuichi Murata, director, Marketing and Sales, Honda Cars India Ltd., said, “We are witnessing improvement in consumer sentiment as COVID-situation seems to be tapering off and markets are opening-up. This is positive for the industry. On supply side, chip shortage continued to impact our production and despatches in Feb’22. We hope the situation improves in future so that we can meet the market demand more effectively”.

Homegrown firm Tata Motors said domestic PV sales rose 47% to 39,981 units, while total commercial vehicle (CV) sales grew 9% to 33,894 units.

Similarly, M&M saw a significant 80% growth in domestic PV sales at 27,663 units last month. In the CV segment, the company sold 20,166 vehicles, recording growth of 119%.

Veejay Nakra, CEO, Automotive Division, M&M Ltd., said: “With overall sales of 54455 vehicles, we have achieved a growth of 89%… All segments showed robust growth including SUVs at 79%, which registered the highest-ever monthly volume. We expect demand to continue to remain strong as the Covid situation eases further. We continue to closely monitor the semiconductor related parts supply and take corrective action as appropriate.”

Honda Cars India’s monthly domestic sales declined to 7,187 units compared with 9,324 units a year earlier. On the other hand, MG Motor saw 5% growth in retail sales to 4,528 units.

In the CV segment, Ashok Leyland saw sales grow 4% to 13,281, while VE Commercial Vehicles saw a 7.3% increase to 5,856 units.

In the two-wheeler category, market leader Hero MotoCorp saw a decline of 31.5% in domestic sales to 3,31,462 units. “With a sharp decline in the number of COVID-19 cases and the economy gradually opening up with several other positive indicators, such as easing of lockdown restrictions, as well as the measures announced in the FY’23 Union Budget, a swift revival in sales is expected in the coming months,” the company said.

Rival Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India saw sales sliding to 3,12,621 units with 2,85,677 domestic sales compared with 411,622 a year earlier.

For Chennai-headquartered TVS Motor, domestic two-wheeler sales stood at 173,198 units as against sales of 195,145 units. “The shortage in supply of semiconductors has impacted the production and sales of premium two-wheelers. We are cautiously optimistic that the supply of semiconductors will improve in the coming months,” the company said.

Likewise, Royal Enfield posted domestic sales of 52,135 motorcycles, a decline from 65,114 motorcycles during the same period last year. “Supply chain constraints due to the shortage of semiconductor chips continued to persist during the month and Royal Enfield is assiduously working with its supplier ecosystem to resolve the same.” it said, adding that international sales continued the upward trajectory with the company posting a growth of 55% in exports.



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