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File photo used for representational purpose. (REUTERS)
File photo used for representational purpose. (REUTERS)

New normal to near normal: Car sales pick up pace in July as OEMs bounce back

  • Car makers like Maruti, Hyundai and Honda have reported sales figures which may still be shy of monthly figures in years gone by but are still considerably better than preceeding months.
  • New launches from OEMs are likely to further bolster sales ahead of festive season.

In what was the first solid piece of good news after months of pandemic-induced gloom, the car market in India in July finally reported a substantial uptick in sales with most manufacturers reporting considerable jumps in the month vis-a-vis the months before. The figures, while still not at levels seen in better times, were far better than what most of 2020 has had to offer.

Maruti Suzuki, the country's largest car maker, sold more than one lakh units in the domestic market itself and its overall sales for the month of July stood at 108,064 units. The mini sub-segment and UV sub-segment are the two biggest rays of hope for the company as it prepares for its first major launch since the lockdown in the form of the S-Cross petrol this week.

Hyundai too fared a whole lot better in July with cumulative sales of 41,300 units. Of this, 38,200 units were sold in the domestic market. The company's cumulative sales in July of 2019 stood at 42,007 units which means last month was almost as good for the Korean car maker.

With the launch of the new City, Honda managed to shed off weight as well and registered a 285% month-on-month growth between June and July. It sold 5,383 units in the domestic market, a figure possibly also boosted by the launch of the new WR-V. The Japanese car maker had sold almost double the numbers in July of 2019 but the manner in which 2020 has spread out, it would still take the numbers and aim for higher figures.

Mahindra and Mahindra reported selling 25,678 units in July and while that may be considerably lower than the 40,142 units sold in the same month of last year, it said the rise in enquiry and booking levels vis-a-vis previous months of the year was an encouraging sign.

Most car makers are pushing forward with launches and product plans in order to prep up before the start of the festive season - a time period being looked at in earnest to add a catalytic push to sales. That almost every car maker has also boosted online sales channels is likely to help out in its own little way while the rural market is expected to continue bolstering demand on the back of a decent monsoon this year.

Many experts say that while 2020 will be a year to forget - or take lessons from, it may yet not be the absolute nightmare that was previously predicted. Car sales have been picing up steadily in many western countries as well even as OEMs look to branch out to cement their electric offerings.

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