India’s auto steel production and sales rose in July as easing Covid-19 restrictions bolstered demand for vehicles, although a shortage of semi-conductors threatens to derail the momentum.
Total automobile production in July rose by 22.4pc from a year earlier to 2.1mn vehicles and by 23.9pc from the previous month, while it fell by 13.6pc from a pre-pandemic July 2019, according to the Society of Indian Automobile Association (Siam).
Total auto sales rose by 4pc to 1.53mn against the previous year and by 18.5pc from June, although sales remained 9.7pc lower than July 2019 levels, Siam data showed.
A second Covid-19 wave earlier this year in India stalled mobility and demand for vehicles, but easing lockdowns have boosted consumption again.
“Wholesale dispatches of passenger vehicles grew… during July 2021, in the backdrop of easing lockdown restrictions across key markets and low base effect,” said the vice-president and sector head-corporate ratings at Indian credit ratings agency Icra Ashish Modani. “Relaxation in southern states has also added to the sales momentum, and demand continues to remain strong especially in the compact/super-compact car and compact UV segment.”
Total auto sales by dealers across the country climbed by 34.1pc from a year earlier to 1.56mn units in July and by 27.9pc from the previous month but remained 13.2pc lower from July 2019, according to the Federation of Automobile Dealerships Association (Fada).
“With the entire country now open, July… [saw] robust recovery in auto retails as demand across all categories remained high,” said Fada president Vinkesh Gulati, adding “auto retails have now started narrowing the deficit when compared to pre-Covid months”.