Honda Two Wheelers reports slowdown in wholesales in May 2021 following surge in Covid-19 infections
The Indian auto market has yet again taken a hard hit In May 2021. With Covid-19 pandemic related pandemic infections and complications at an all time high in April and May 2021, manufacturers have had to rework procedures to reduce production. On the sales front, individual state levied lockdowns meant that dealerships were not open for sales, nor service.
Domestic sales for Honda Two Wheelers was even lower than in May 2020. This is when the country was beginning to open up for business in a phased manner having announced a complete and absolute lockdown in March 2020.
Honda domestic sales in May 2021
Domestic sales was reported at 38,763 units, down from 54k units. Sales volume declined by 15,237 units at 28.22 percent decline. This accounted for 67 percent of total business. The figures reported are nowhere close to the volume of business Honda usually does. Best sellers in the scooter segment were the likes of Activa and Dio. In the motorcycle segment, it was the CB Shine while in performance segment, Hornet as well as CB350 posted decent numbers.
Exports stood at 19,405 units having improved from the 820 units exported a year earlier. Exports accounted for 33 percent of total wholesale business last month. Total business stood at 58,168 units at 6.11 percent gain. Volume gain stood at 3,348 units, up from 54,820 units YoY.
Current uncertainties for business
Keeping in mind the situation of May 2021, a meaningful MoM comparison isn’t possible. In April 2021, total sales was reported at 2,83,045 units. Of this, domestic sales were reported at 2.4 lakhs, and exports at 43k. The previous April, business stood at naught.
Given the difficult circumstances, one can expect sales to be subdued in June too. As states relax lockdown guidelines, chances are dealerships across more locations will open up for business. Even then, a lot would change in terms of actual business hours as shops are no longer open for the entire duration of a regular work day.
Current circumstances have compelled manufacturers to make business decisions based on ever-changing limitations and lockdowns. Given the myriad of uncertainties, coping and keeping up is difficult. Hence businesses are gauging risk factors and responding as appropriate.
Considering the totalitarian nature of a sudden lockdown last March, it took auto manufacturers months to report sales that appeared to be worth writing about. But a complete failure to gauge a potential second wave by the centre meant manufacturers were yet again pushed into a corner having had to resort to stopping or reducing production to a bear minimum. Given the lack of preparedness to deal with Covid-19, the arrival of any subsequent wave is likely to yet again push manufacturers to a corner.