Tata Motors’ sales in March 2020 dropped by 84% due to COVID-19 lockdown
The Indian automotive industry, among other major businesses across the world, has been hit badly by COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown measures. The month of March 2020 saw the worst market performance in recent automotive history and many automakers were left with nearly half their usual sales figures.
Tata Motors faced one of the worst blows with sales dropping by 84% in the domestic market (all vehicle categories put together). Out of this, passenger vehicles alone met a drop of 68% — from 17,810 units in March 2019 to just 5,676 units last month. The company was actively working on a range of new products; most of which were showcased at Auto Expo 2020. One of them is the Tata HBX subcompact SUV which debuted in a concept avatar at the biennial automotive show.
Tata Motors had already commenced its road tests and we have shared a set of spy pics of the same over the past few weeks. Now, automotive enthusiast Ritesh shares with us yet another picture of an HBX test mule. The image was clicked when the test mule was getting refuelled at a station somewhere on the Pune – Sholapur highway. The test mule was clicked before India went into lockdown mode.
Tata HBX Launch Plans
At Auto Expo 2020, visitors missed the participation of many popular names. However, Tata Motors impressed everyone with its complete range of products including the upcoming Gravitas (Harrier-based 7-seater SUV and a worthy upgrade to the Tata Hexa or Aria) as well as the Sierra concept. In short, the Indian automaker is on an aggressive product strategy and has planned a host of launches in the coming years.
Tata’s HBX concept was previously named ‘H2X’ when it made its debut at 2019 Geneva International Motor Show. Somewhere in between ‘HBX’ and ‘H2X’, it also received a ‘Hornbill’ moniker without even Tata Motors’ knowing. Pratap Bose, VP of Global Design at Tata Motors, had stated that the concept at Auto Expo 2020 was 97% production-ready even though it is a bit hard to digest.
At the moment, Tata Motors has already got the Nexon as a well-rounded compact SUV (or more precisely, a crossover) spanning under four metres in length. Reports suggest that the HBX’s production version will be placed one step below the Nexon as a direct rival to Renault India’s upcoming HBC. Either SUV is yet to receive a proper production makeover while road tests have been going in full swing.
Besides causing massive losses in the industry, COVID-19 has also forced automakers to cancel or postpone their major events. Owing to this, Tata’s HBX project might not make it to the market within the timeline planned initially.