Unserviced bookings, pent up demand and increase in production are believed to be the main reasons behind the surge in June sales.
Dispatches of cars and SUVs to dealers more than doubled during June compared to May but are still less than half compared to their usual monthly level.
The industry recorded zero sales in April due to lockdown restrictions imposed to curb spread of the deadly coronavirus.
Inventory levels with dealers have been at an all-time low since end of May leading to stock replenishment in June. Unserviced bookings, pent up demand and increase in production are believed to be the main reasons behind the surge in June sales.
Carmakers have yet not seen full utilisation of their dealer strength as several showrooms which are in the containment zones, Mumbai for instance, remain shut. While footfalls in showrooms have been low, as per dealers, online enquiries and enquiries over the phone have surged compared to pre-lockdown months.
Maruti Suzuki, India's largest carmaker, clocked wholesales (sales to dealers) of 51,274 units in June. While this was less than half compared to June of last year, it was more than three times compared to May.
"Production across plants is being progressively increased consistent with maximum efforts to ensure safety and subject to the availability of employees," Maruti Suzuki said in a release.
Hyundai Motor India, which was one of the first to switch to online sales, reported deliveries of 21,320 units during June. While this was half compared to the same month last year it was three times more than May 2020. Just before lockdown Hyundai completed its product line-up revamp plans that now comprises the New Creta, Venue, Verna, Aura and Grand i10 Nios.
Utility vehicle specialist Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) also saw a surge in volumes in June to 8,075 units. While this was less than half compared to the same month last year it was still more than double compared to May 2020. The company had earlier noted that demand for Bolero and Scorpio in the rural pockets had picked up even as urban markets remained subdued.
Veejay Nakra, Chief Executive Officer, Automotive Division, M&M, said: "The automotive industry has started to see recovery both in the passenger and small commercial vehicle segments. This has been led primarily by rising rural demand and movement of essential goods across the country. Our key brands such as Bolero, Scorpio and Pik-Ups, are all seeing good traction. Managing the supply chain will be our key focus area as we ramp up production to meet this increased demand."
Toyota Kirloskar (TKM) claimed that its retail sales (sales from dealers to customers) were nearly double of wholesales for the second month in a row. The company clocked 3866 in wholesales in June which was more than double compared to May but was less than three times the sales of June 2019.
Naveen Soni, Senior Vice President, Sales and Service, TKM, said: "With demand gradually coming back in the market, support from our dealer partners and due to special financing and buy back offers we have brought customers back to our dealerships. We are also seeing a visible growth in online enquiries as well as bookings."
MG Motor India, the manufacturers of Hector SUV, recorded sales of 2012 retail units for the month of June 2020. The carmaker said it witnessed an increased traction in the markets that are normalising faster for both its product lines MG HECTOR and ZS EV.
Tata Motors had decided against sharing monthly sales numbers before the start of Q1FY21 but said that sales data will be shared at the end of every quarter. Its wholesale volumes for June quarter stood at 14,571 units, a drop of 61 percent compared to same quarter last year.
January and February recorded declines in passenger vehicle volumes of 6 percent and 8 percent, respectively, but March saw 51 percent slump in volumes, according to data provided by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM). The year change also saw the industry switch to BS-VI from BS-IV.
This was followed by zero sales in April which was a first-ever. SIAM did not share sales data for May but as per street estimates the month reported around 37,000 units which was 15 percent the average monthly volumes in FY20.
No carmaker or SIAM has provided any volume guidance for the rest of the year considering the continued impact of the disruption caused by COVID-19. However, given the need for private mobility in urban areas and a good monsoon proving well for rural pockets demand is expected to pick pace near the festive period.Follow our coverage of the coronavirus crisis here