MARCH AUTO SALES: Maruti Suzuki sees continued momentum

Maruti Suzuki continued to see strong momentum in its auto sales, assuaging fears that auto sales will soon run out of steam as pent up demand vehicles start running out.

However, India’s largest car maker reported total sales of 1.67 lakh in March, compared to 1.64 lakh in February.

The number is double the 83,792 figure reported in March last year, when sales was disrupted by COVID-19 lockdowns in the second half of the month.

It is also slightly higher than the 1.58 lakh figure reported in March 2019.

With this, the shortfall for the full financial year has fallen to 6.7%, or 14.58 lakhs, against 15.63 lakhs in the previous financial year.

In terms of domestic sales for the full financial year, the company was able to report a number of 13.23 lakh unit sales, down from 14.36 lakh in the previous financial year and 17.54 lakh for the year ended March 2019, which was also the highest on the record.

Passenger car sales for the full financial year are down 9.5%, while UV sales are down only 2.6%, indicating a shift in the market towards the UV form factor.

“MSIL domestic sales in FY19-20 had fallen by 18% due to reasons that are well known and in FY20-21 have been impacted due to COVID related factors. Domestic Sales in March 2020 had dropped about 48% due to COVID related disruptions. It will be seen that domestic sales in March 2021 have only recovered to March 2019 levels,” the company said.


Separately, tractor maker Escorts reported sales of 12,337 units for March, up from 5,444 during the same month of last year.

With this, the full year number for Escorts is up 24% at 1.07 lakh, in place of 86,018 units in the preceding year — making this the first year of 1 lakh plus sales.

“The tractor demand is expected to continue to be strong led by higher Rabi output, favourable crop prices, and initial positive forecast of 2021 monsoon season, all supporting rural customer sentiments. The rising inflation however continues to be a worry,” the company said.