Technically and as a calendar year, 2020 is now firmly in the past. However, that doesn’t mean that there are no kickbacks from one of the worst years to ever dawn upon the automobile industry. Several manufacturers hemorrhaged cash due to the lockdown that began at the end of March 2020. And while it took several months for the industry to get a breather, many automakers are now in a better spot than they were some months ago. One of these is Tata Motors. The homegrown auto major has had its fair share of ups & downs, though the ups seem to be outweighing the downs of late.
Like some other automakers, March 2021 turned out to be one of the best months in Tata’s recent history. Last month, the passenger vehicles division of Tata Motors sold 29,654 units. In comparison to the bleak 5,676 units sold in March 2020, that’s a monumental growth of 422 percent! Moreover, the prosperous sales figure of March 2021 has made it the best-performing month for the Indian brand in the last 9 years. As for its month-over-month (MoM) performance, Tata Motors did quite well on that front too. In February 2021, the automaker sold a total of 27,225 units from its passenger vehicles division. This means that Tata sold 8.9 percent more cars in March 2021 than the month prior, which is a respectable achievement.
Commenting on the company’s performance in March 2021 was Shailesh Chandra, President, Passenger Vehicles Business Unit, Tata Motors Ltd. He said,
“The PV industry witnessed strong growth in Q4 FY21 on a low base with robust demand for personal mobility and new launches driving demand. Tata Motors PV Business posted its highest ever sales in 9 years, in March 21 and Q4 FY21. In FY21 the business registered its highest-ever annual sales in 8 years while posting a growth of 69% versus FY20. The company’s “New Forever” product range, including the new Tata Safari, continues to witness strong acceptance in the market. In the EV segment, the company sold 4,219 units in FY21, a threefold increase over FY20. The company also registered its highest ever monthly and quarterly sales of 705 EVs and 1,711 EVs in March 21 and Q4 FY21.”
With a market cap of nearly 9.3 percent, Tata Motors was among the top three automakers in India in March 2021. As pointed out by Mr. Chandra, the homegrown brand did exceptionally well during the FY2020-21 – relatively better than Maruti Suzuki. With combined sales of 222,025 units, Tata Motors moved 69 percent more vehicles than it did over the same period last year. Sales of the Nexon EV have only helped matters more. Currently, the Nexon EV is the best-selling electric car in the country. Furthermore, the marque sold a total of 36,955 units in the domestic market from its uber-popular commercial vehicles division. Compared to the dinky 5,336 units sold in March 2020, that figure represents a stratospheric growth of 593 percent, year-over-year!
Speaking about the CV sales was Girish Wagh, President, Commercial Vehicles Business Unit, Tata Motors Ltd. He said,
“Commercial Vehicle domestic sale in Q4 FY21 at 98,966 units was 20% higher than the previous quarter, continuing its sequential growth. It was also higher by 59% over Q4 FY20. M&HCVs and ILCVs continued to lead the recovery growing by 48% and 34% respectively over the previous quarter on the back of improved consumer sentiments, firming freight rates and higher infrastructure demand including road construction and mining. International business grew by 19% over Q3 FY21 and 25% over Q4 FY20, as the key markets started returning to normalcy. We continue to monitor and work on the supply chain to improve availability, especially of electronic components. We are also reviewing our business continuity plans in view of the rising cases of COVID-19 in the country.”
While strong sales of its commercial vehicles are extremely important, Tata’s passenger vehicles are what bring in private buyers. This means that having a healthy portfolio matters a lot, something that was boosted when the flagship and all-new Tata Safari was introduced. The new Safari has a price tag that ranges between Rs 14.69 Lakh and Rs 21.45 Lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). It is powered by a 2.0-liter turbo-diesel engine that makes 168hp and 350Nm of torque and comes mated to either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic gearbox.