April was a tumultuous month of auto manufacturers and May proved to be only partially better with sales barely recovering. Under such challenging conditions, Honda Cars reported that it had dispatched 375 units in the domestic market in the month, down from 11,442 units in the same month a year ago.
Honda Cars highlighted challenges related to lockdown 4.0 and operational restrictions for the low sales numbers. "Covid-19 pandemic has been an unprecedented situation where HCIL and our dealer network has been responding in the best possible manner," said Rajesh Goel, Senior Vice President and Director, Marketing & Sales, Honda Cars India Ltd. "During May, after roll out of several relaxations from central and state government, we focused on re-opening of our network while ensuring strict adherence to the sanitization, safety and distancing guidelines for Covid-19 prevention."
(Also read: After silent April, Maruti Suzuki sells 18,539 units in May | Toyota sells 1,639 units in May, down from 12,138 units in same month of 2019)
Goel also informed that around 280 dealerships are now operational across the country and that this helped deliver 1,900 units to customers. "The domestic wholesale last month was of course quite limited due to the negligible inventory available at our factory before the lockdown," he added.
(Also read: Hyundai reports cumulative sales of 12,583 units in May, Creta gains traction)
Honda had resumed operations at its Tapukara plant in Rajasthan around May 20. The company's other plant in Greater Noida was reportedly close to a red zone and remained shut for longer.
The Japanese car maker is next planning to launch the updated WR-V in the Indian market while the launch of 2020 City, previously scheduled for March, is also around the bend.
Sales of almost every other passenger vehicle maker as well as two-wheeler company were also down in May of 2020 when compared to May of 2019. The road ahead is unlikely to offer cruise control as demand is widely expected to be muted till at least the festive months, if not longer.