The current situation being as bad as it is, automakers cannot be expected to do swell numbers. While many in the country try to bring some semblance of normality to their lives, certain companies found their sales numbers to be shocking. This particular time, we are talking about Toyota. As one of the country’s top-rated and much-beloved auto brands, Toyota has had no issues selling shiploads of cars in our market. However, even the greatest of companies face hardships every once in a while. And May 2021 was Toyota’s trial-by-fire, so to speak.
Between April 26 and May 14, Toyota had closed its Bidadi plant for annual maintenance. This was then followed by a complete lockdown in the state of Karnataka. All of this explains why Toyota India was only able to sell 707 units in May 2021. Moreover, Toyota India was also facing the now-infamous semiconductor supply issue. Since Covid-19 took over the globe as we know it, automakers across the world have been doing their best to get their hands on this vital component. As most of the systems on a modern-day automobile run on computers, these ‘electronic wafers’ (of sorts) are crucial for the operation of a vehicle. According to industry gurus, the shortage of semiconductor chips will go on for a while.
Commenting on the situation was Naveen Soni, Senior Vice President, Toyota Kirloskar Motor (colloquially known as Toyota India). He stated,
“In fact, we have even registered a 104% growth in cumulative wholesales clocked from January to May in 2021, when compared to the same period last year. We also anticipate that factors like ‘pent up demand’ and the demand for personal mobility will continue to be quite significant once the markets open as consumers will want to own their vehicles instead of using shared or public mobility options. A testimony to this is the fact that we have a very healthy number of pending orders, and there has been no significant order cancellation against the orders. However, we will be able to take better stock of the situation once the restrictions are relaxed.”
As pointed out by Mr. Soni, Toyota India did perform remarkably well during the first five months of this year. During this period, the marque was able to sell 50,531 vehicles. Compared to the same period in 2020, where the overall sales equaled 24,820 units, the first half of this year treated Toyota well. The Japanese automaker has also taken it upon itself to get all of its employees vaccinated by way of pan-company vaccination drives. Presently, Toyota India’s stable holds seven different models, including hatchbacks, sedans, SUVs, and MPVs. Due to increasing input costs, the automaker had recently hiked the prices of its cars. While this certainly made Toyota cars in India even more expensive, their demand remains strong.