Auto Makers Report Nil Domestic Sales In A Month For First Time

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New Delhi:

Top carmakers in the country, including Maruti Suzuki India and Hyundai, on Friday reported zero domestic sales in April after the nationwide coronavirus-triggered lockdown halted production and shut sales network. That marked the first time that carmakers in the country reported nil sales in a month.

Maruti Suzuki India, Hyundai Motor India, Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M), Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) and MG Motor India reported nil sales as they suspended operations even before the imposition of lockdown on March 25 to check the spread of coronavirus.

Maruti Suzuki, which produces more than half of the cars running on the country’s roads, said it did not sell any vehicle in the domestic market in April. The company, however, said in a statement that it exported 632 vehicles after the Mundra port in Gujarat resumed operations.

Similarly, Hyundai Motor India said it did not sell any vehicle last month in the domestic market due to suspension of manufacturing activities at its Chennai plant. The company, however, exported 1,341 units during the month.

The overseas dispatches took place by adhering to all guidelines set by the government and export regulating authorities while ensuring adequate safety and protection for everyone, it added.

Homegrown automaker M&M also reported zero sales of passenger and commercial vehicles in the domestic market. It, however, dispatched 733 vehicles to overseas markets during the last month.

“We are hopeful that our dealerships will open soon and have stocks to cover the first few weeks of sale,” M&M chief executive officer-automotive division Veejay Nakra said.

Similarly, Toyota Kirloskar Motor said the re-start of the entire value chain cycle and its restoration will be gradual as the industry is faced with varied challenges like low consumer sentiments, rebuilding of disrupted supply chains and return of workforce.

“As with many other sectors, with the closure of dealerships and manufacturing, the operation of the automotive value chain has come to a grinding halt,” Toyota Kirloskar Motor senior vice president (sales and marketing) Naveen Soni said in a statement.

These are critical times and the company was aware that there would be no wholesales in the month of April 2020, he added.

“As we prepare for a restart, we are working closely with our dealer partners to offer them the best support to re-stimulate demand in a safe and healthy atmosphere,” Mr Soni said.

MG Motor India said it has resumed operations at its Halol facility in the last week of April and now hopes that the production will ramp up in the month of May.

In two-wheeler segment, niche bike maker Royal Enfield said it had zero sales in the domestic market but exported a total of 91 units last month.

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