With just 20-odd days left for Q4FY21 to end, Tata Motors is hopeful that the quarter will see better commercial vehicle (CV) sales than in Q4FY20. While month-on-month wholesales have been improving, “a major reason is that in March 2020 there were hardly any volumes, so this quarter is expected to be better both for Tata Motors and the industry,” said Girish Wagh, president, commercial vehicles business unit, Tata Motors.
He said that going forward, thanks to the expected good rabi harvest, the demand for new CVs will improve. “The CV demand had gradually picked up right after the good kharif harvest last year. Rural demand, especially for LCVs, has remained robust, and urban demand has also come back,” Wagh said.
In February 2021, according to company data, Tata Motors’ CV sales grew 22% year-on-year.
According to data from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers — it now releases CV data quarterly — total CV sales dropped 37.23% in April-December 2020, to 3,58,203 units. Within CV sub-segments, medium & heavy CVs dropped 54.43% and LCVs 29.57%. However, the drop in passenger CVs was huge, with passenger M&HCVs sales falling 91.17% and passenger LCVs 79.17%.
Wagh said the passenger CV segment will take some time to recover. “As schools gradually open up and people start getting more comfortable on public transport (with vaccination drive picking up speed), I think the demand will return,” he said. “I also expect state transport undertakings to start looking at fresh purchases, but buses will see the slowest recovery within the CV space.”
In February 2021, according to company data, Tata Motors’ CV passenger carrier sales dropped 63%, even as its M&HCV sales grew 30% and Intermediate & LCVs grew 68%.
On Thursday, Tata Motors unveiled the new range of intermediate and light commercial trucks called the Ultra Sleek T-Series. This range has three models — the Ultra T.6, T.7 and T.9, available in four-tyre and six-tyre combinations and varied deck length — to cater to primarily urban needs such as transportation of e-commerce products, FMCG, food items, industrial goods, LPG cylinders and refrigerated containers for transportation of Covid-19 vaccine. This range is also equipped with Fleet Edge, the company’s connected vehicle solution. “Fleet Edge gives fleet owners vital insights on vehicle diagnostics and driver behaviour, which help in better fleet utilisation,” Wagh said.
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