NEW DELHI: SUVs rolled over Covid’s crippling impact on the economy and managed to grow by double-digits in fiscal year 2020-21 even as all other segments, including small cars and sedans, two- and three-wheelers, as well as commercial vehicles, ended in the red.
According to industry body Siam, SUV segment managed a 12 percent growth in FY21 with sales crossing the 1-million mark for the first time.The category of small cars and sedans fell by 9 percent, despite a late recovery by the industry that began in the festive season last year, report agencies.
While the auto industry registered positive numbers in the January-March quarter and enjoys waiting periods for many models, analysts say that a full and credible recovery is still some time away.
“The rampant rise in Covid cases, and a fresh buildup in lockdowns and restrictions, threaten to disturb the momentum. Prices of inputs have been going up and affordability will be impacted,” a top executive with a leading automaker told TOI, requesting anonymity.
SUVs are likely to dominate in the coming quarters. Models such as Hyundai’s Creta and Venue, Kia’s Sonet and Seltos, Maruti’s Brezza, Tata’s Nexon and Nissan’s Magnite powered the industry during the weak period, with many new launches in the pipeline.
Hyundai, which is set to launch a new 7-seater SUV Alcazar, has seen share of offroaders to its total sales double to nearly 45 percent against the 22 percent around two years ago.
Companies are closely following lockdown announcements across vital states, and were disturbed due to the rising cases and subsequent restrictions in Maharashtra, which is estimated to provide 15-20 percent car and SUV sales.