Two-wheeler sales decline narrows in July, considerable improvement over June


MUMBAI: Wholesale of two-wheelers from factories to dealerships by five of the country’s leading manufacturers recovered to almost 90% of last years’ levels during July as pent-up demand and the need for personal mobility gained traction with movement restrictions easing across the country.

Five leading two-wheeler makers, namely Hero MotorCorp, Honda 2Wheelers, TVS Motor, Bajaj Auto and Royal Enfield cumulatively despatched over 1.2 million vehicles to their dealerships across the country in July. This meant a 23% growth in sales over the month of June, but a 13% decline over July 2019.

Market leader Hero MotoCorp led the recovery with sales of over 500,000 units, just 1% shy of last year’s number.

To be noted though, that the industry’s sales were higher in 2018 and the numbers in 2019 were on the downward trend compared to the peak year.

Experts pointed out that it remains to be seen how much of the demand in July was due to sales pending from the months of April and May when the government had imposed severe movement restrictions to contain the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. Hence, it becomes crucial to see whether the growth momentum for two-wheelers sustains in the coming months or whether sales decline again as the pending demand is slowly fulfilled.

In a statement, Hero said that sales were aided by a healthy uptick in retail demand. “While there is cautious optimism on the demand trajectory going forward, sales continue to be impacted by the micro-lockdowns in several parts of the country. For the growth momentum to continue, it would be pertinent for state and local authorities to provide a stable and consistent business environment as the situation evolves,” the company said in a press note.

Rival Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India’s (HMSI) executive stressed the same point. While the company’s sales continued to grow sequentially since May, “Intermittent regional lockdowns across India slowed down the retail momentum gained in June as the percentage of operational network dropped to 80% in July,” said Yadvinder Singh Guleria, Director – Sales & Marketing, HMSI. “With India moving to Unlock 3.0, we are cautiously optimistic of the demand.”

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