Auto sales zoom in May, but e-bike sales wobble due to fires

While carmakers like Tata Motors, Maruti Suzuki and Mahindra have reported an impressive rise in year-on-year sales, key players in the EV industry like Hero Electric, Ola, Okinawa and Ather have witnessed massive fall in sales in May 2022

Lockdowns, workforce crisis, production and supply chain disruptions as well as thrifty spending by consumers had kept car sales low last year. Representative photo

The automobile sector made a swift recovery in May 2022 with major carmakers like Tata Motors, Maruti Suzuki, Mahindra and Mahindra witnessing a rise in year-on-year sales. In contrast, the e-bike industry saw a decline in sales, thanks to a spate of vehicle-related fire incidents which has made consumers wary.

Lockdowns, workforce crisis, production and supply chain disruptions as well as thrifty spending by consumers had kept car sales low last year. However, the recovery of the economy has normalised the production in the auto sector with several companies reporting year-on-year and month-on-month rise in sales.

Carmakers make moolah

Maruti Suzuki reportedly sold 1,61,413 cars in May 2022. This includes domestic sales of 1,28,000 units, sale of 6,222 units to other original equipment manufacturers and export of 27,191 units, its highest monthly figure so far.

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During the pandemic, Maruti Suzuki in a regulatory filing said, a shortage of electronic components had stalled the production of its domestic models.

The carmaker sold 17,408 units of its mini cars Alto and S-Presso this year, compared to 4,760 units in May last year.

Similarly 67,947 units of cars in compact segment like Swift, Celerio, Ignis, Baleno and Dzire, were sold as against 20,343 units in May 2021.

Mahindra and Mahindra registered a 208 per cent growth in May 2022 compared to that last year, after selling 53,726 car units. The auto manufacturer sold 26,632 vehicles in the Utility Vehicles section as compared to 7,748 last year. Similarly it sold 26,904 units of passenger vehicles like UVs, cars and vans, last month, compared to its sale of 8,004 units in May 2021.

The company recorded a 230 per cent growth in the sale of commercial vehicles and three-wheelers as it told 24,784 pieces including 3,645 three-wheelers in May this year.

Both the passenger vehicle and electric vehicle segments of Tata Motors recorded a satisfactory sale this year.

The carmaker sold 43,341 units of internal combustion engine passenger vehicles, a 185 per cent rise in sales compared to the sale of 15,181 units in May 2021. It was the company’s highest-ever monthly sale.

The company’s EV arm – Tata Passenger Electric Mobility – also recorded its highest ever sale at 3,454 units, a 626 per cent rise over the meagre 476 units sold in May last year. Tata Motor’s ICE vehicles also recorded a 171 per cent growth in sales, by rising to 39,887 units this year against 14,705 sold last year.

Also read: Kia India sales rise 69 pc in May at 18,718 units

A similar hike in sales was reported by automobile manufacturers like MG Motors, Toyota and and Ashok Leyland.

While MG Motors recorded a year-on-year growth of 294.5 per cent, Toyota reported a whopping 1,345 per cent growth in May 2022 compared to last year. Similarly commercial vehicle manufacturer Ashok Leyland, said that its sales saw a four-fold jump with 13, 273 units getting sold in May 2022, compared to the sale of only 3,199 units in May last year.

Dark times for EV

The market wasn’t as bright for the EV manufacturing sector with players like Hero Electric, Ola, Okinawa and Ather reporting massive fall in sales in May 2022, following recurring incidents of fire involving electric scooters.

Ola Electric, one of the major producers of EV, reported a 30 per cent fall in sales. The company sold 8,681 scooters in May compared to 12,702 in April.

Hero Electric reported a 58 per cent drop in sales in May, as compared to April 2022. It only sold 2,739 EV units in May this year compared to 6,578 EV units in April.

Companies like Okinawa and Ampere, whose EVs went up in flames in separate incidents, have reported a decline in sales by 19.28 per cent and 15.46 per cent in May respectively, as compared to that in April.

Bengaluru-based EV manufacturer Ather, however, has been able to turn the loss of the above companies to its profit as it has reported an increase in sales. The company saw a 26.45 per cent growth with it selling 3,098 units of scooters in May 2022 as compared to 2,450 units in the previous month.

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